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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2012
22 | www.probussouthpacific.org TRAVEL Paranormal paradise? F ear of contagious disease was suitably high in mid- 19th century Sydney. When ships carrying passengers suspected of having contagious diseases reached Sydney, they anchored near North Head so that passengers and crew could be quarantined. While some enjoyed a leisurely stay in the First class section of the Quarantine Station, down the hill others did not fare so well. After enduring horrible treatments to ‘sanitise’ themselves and their belongings – think carbolic acid showers and fumigation – they were packed into one of the Second Class, Third Class, Asiatic or Hospital wings. Luckily, when I visit, guests are accommodated in First Class fashion. Rooms are bright and breezy – with hot water from the taps rather than skin-peeling acid – and many open onto wide decks with views high over the water. Fridges in common rooms are a great place to chill down a pre-dinner bottle of bubbles before toasting the sunset as the ferries glide by. Dutch courage Those sunset bubbles are not just for pleasure. When we head out for our Ghosty Tour, we need enough Dutch courage to grab our lanterns, don our walking shoes and traipse around the station listening and watching out for ghouls, ghosts and all things spine-tingling. Ghosty Tours take in the station’s ‘most haunted’ spots. In the Shower Block, the most I could muster was an eerie, uneasy feeling – not helped by the guide refusing to come inside and the other people on the tour trying their best to make everyone shiver. According to the history, this was certainly a horrible place, and other visitors have reported being terrified by lights and showers switching on and off, footsteps, banging and even an exploding light bulb. In the Hospital wing, said to be the scariest spot on the station, beds are set up as they would have been when the rooms were in use. Spooky stories abound at Q Station, on the site of Sydney’s 19th-century Quarantine Station. But even when the ghosts and ghouls don't come out to play, Manly has plenty to offer travellers seeking intriguing histories, good food and gorgeous surroundings – and even those looking to work up a sweat. By Hallie Donkin TRAVEL DOMESTIC
Active Retirees Oct-Nov
Active Retirees Feb-March 2012