I’ve never written a blog post before (so what I’m lacking in blogging ability I can hopefully make up in pretty pictures).
On Monday we went on a field trip to the Quarantine Station on North Head. It was hard not to be completed distracted by the stunning view of the harbour, visible from almost every location on the site. At the same time I was completely taken aback by the inscriptions in the stones, the lovely old buildings and the waste which remained from a time when nothing could leave the site.
There existed a strange balance between old and new as we walked from the landing site lined with red leaved trees (where boats would have docked when they were declared to be carrying ill passengers) to the hospital buildings up a steep hill. The site was overgrown, being part of a national park, yet these buildings were in immaculate condition, and now house guests and host weddings. There was a hospital room we visited which is primary used for school education, and had been restored to resemble a 1800’s ward complete with metal bed frames and Florence Nightingale style uniforms on display. Yet as we continued further along the path, towards the isolation area (in which people who were not yet sick but had been in close contact with those who were stayed), there was an restored shed which had a brand new timber deck, deck chairs and a new sign which read “Isolation Guest Lounge”.
The Quarantine Station is not only an archaeological site, a historic site and a site for educational purposes, but is also a four star hotel with a conference centre, function rooms, restaurants and a museum. It’s wonderful that with the support of a private company the Q Station can be sustained and enjoyed presently whilst maintaining its connection to the past and without compromising its historic value.