Ever strolled along the Bay Run and wondered, “What on Earth is that little plot of land in the middle of the Harbour?” That would be Rodd Island, also known as Rabbit, Rhode, Snake and Jack Island. Named after Brent Clements Rodd – a local solicitor who attempted to buy the island for his family in 1842, to no avail – it became the first public recreation reserve in Sydney. It was then used as a scientific research facility, a factory, and a training base for the US army during WWII, before settling as a recreational area. Fun fact: when Sarah Bernhardt was in Australia in 1891, she visited the island frequently to see her dogs, which were quarantined on the island.
Island hop? The island is home to two gazebos and a hall, all available to hire for functions and weddings, with exclusive hire at $1,250 per day and non-exclusive at $7 per person (02 9585 6570). There are great views of the Harbour and it's accessible by water taxi, boat or kayak.