New Holland Island is, as the name suggests, an island. It is also one of the oldest parts of the city, and started life as a shipyard. In more recent times it was shrouded in mystery, but that all that has changed with the inception of a major renovation project.
Now it is a focus for all kinds of activity, attracting young and old alike. I like to relax on a beanbag no the lawn in summer or play table-tennis, and there are a couple of playgrounds (including a life-size replica of Peter the Great’s ship). The garden is well-tended and an army of staff ensure it is spotless.
The round building near the entrance (Bottle House) – a former naval prison – has a floor of restaurants (smaller versions of other city establishments), while the upper floors host trendy boutique shops and fitness studios. It also frequently stages concerts. There is also a school (the Lighthouse) which offers courses in creative arts and professions of the future. My daughter attended an excellent animation course there in the state-of-the art studio.
High-brow lectures on a broad range of topics are held in the Pavilion.
In winter (from November to March) the large lawn area is transformed into an open-air ice-rink. Weekend nights are disco on ice, as skaters display their skills (or if you’re anything like me – lack of!!!).
New Holland is an interesting cultural and social place which transports you into a different world.