Following on from Part #1 : The Gap, Sydney NSW


The Gap is also infamous for suicides and accidental deaths.

The tall cliffs have made it a location for those wishing to end their lives. The Tasman Sea is the body of water here, east of Sydney and all the way to New Zealand. Between 2008 and 2011 numerous measures have been implemented to dissuade those at risk of suicide, these include security cameras to monitor the area, several purpose-built Lifeline counselling phone booths, and information boards from the Black Dog Institute and Beyondblue. An inward-leaning fence has also been erected to deter people from jumping. The Gap, Sydney NSW is a seriously interesting place.

William Albert Swivell

On the afternoon of 20 April 1936, noted Australian diarist Meta Truscott recorded how she and her uncle, Christopher Dunne, witnessed a suicide at The Gap. By chance, the pair shared a bench with a well-dressed, middle-aged man who was later identified as William Albert Swivell. As the three watched a ship sail through the Sydney Heads, her uncle asked the man if he knew its name, to which Swivell replied, “The Nieuw Holland.” Soon afterwards, the smartly-dressed man stood up and walked away; he climbed to the top of the cliff and jumped to his death.

Caroline Byrne

Feeling old! We remember this one – in June 1995, a 24-year-old model, Caroline Byrne, fell to her death at The Gap. Due to the notoriety of the area, police did not initially suspect foul play. However, in 2008, her then-boyfriend was convicted of pushing her over the edge, but in February 2012, he was acquitted of her murder on appeal.

Charmaine Dragun

We remember this one – it’s so sad. In November 2007, Charmaine Dragun, a 29-year-old newsreader who worked for 10 News First, jumped from The Gap after battling depression and anorexia.

In conclusion, Troll Tours finds The Gap, Sydney NSW very interesting. We love taking our passengers here, to show them the view and to tell them the haunting history.

Photo by ConstantZero

The Gap Sydney NSW – Part 1 – hopefully this article will give an insight into a little known but beautiful area of Sydney. We can take you here on a Harley or trike tour. Just ask us!

The Gap is part of the eastern suburbs of Sydney, just 7kms north of the famous Bondi Beach. It is an ocean cliff on the South Head Peninsula. It is formed from Sydney sandstone making it part of the Sydney basin. More on that later. The Gap has a spectacular view to the east, out to the Tasman Sea. It’s not possible to see NZ but the north island is 2,154 km from here, straight ahead.

Prior to European settlement, The Gap was inhabited by the Birrabirragal Aboriginal clan.

A short European history:

Shortly after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, the British established a makeshift signalling station on the ridge above The Gap. Its role was to give early warning to the colony of any approaching ship. A formal signal station was established in 1790, serviced by a bridle trail that developed into the Old South Head Road by 1811. Pilots based at Camp Cove in Watsons Bay would meet ships at the entrance to Port Jackson in order to guide them safely into Sydney Harbour.

In 1871, a year after the official withdrawal of Imperial British forces, the headland around The Gap became a military garrison when work began to build coastal artillery emplacements to defend the Port of Sydney. Construction was undertaken by the colonial government’s militia under the command of British military engineers. The first barracks, which were occupied by members of the New South Wales Artillery, were completed by 1877. Extensions were added in 1880 to accommodate additional personnel. Many of the early barracks are still standing near The Gap.

By 1895, the area was being used by the fledgling Australian Army as a gunnery school. In 1942, the Royal Australian Navy had established a radar training school nearby. The facility was initially named HMAS Radar, but was later commissioned as HMAS Watson on 14 March 1945. Torpedo and anti-submarine warfare training were relocated to Watson in 1956.

The Gap has been part of Sydney Harbour National Park since 1982. In 1990, the area was opened to the public to offer access to the spectacular cliff views and walks.

Ship wreck

In 1857, the sailing ship Dunbar carrying 63 passengers and 59 crew struck the rocky cliff at the foot of The Gap. The Dunbar, which was captained by James Green, had left England on 31 May 1857 arriving off Botany Bay shortly after dark on 20 August 1857. In poor visibility and stormy weather, Captain Green misjudged the entrance to the harbour. The Dunbar drove into the rocky cliff at the foot of The Gap causing the ship’s topmasts to snap and the ship to turn broadside against the rocks because of the pounding of the waves.

By light next day, crowds watched as breakers pounded victims’ corpses against the rocks. Other bodies amid cargo and wreckage were washed inside Sydney harbour with the incoming tide; many of the dead were naked and had been mutilated by sharks. The funeral of the Dunbar victims was one of the longest processions ever seen in Sydney. The unidentified dead were buried in a common grave at Camperdown cemetery.

A young sailor named James Johnson was the only survivor. He was rescued after clinging to a rocky ledge below The Gap for 36 hours. Johnson, who was later employed at the lighthouse near Newcastle, rescued another lone survivor from the wreckage of the steamer, SS Cawarra, in July 1866.

More than fifty years later, The Dunbar’s anchor was recovered and placed on the cliffs at Watsons Bay with a memorial tablet.

We hope you have enjoyed The Gap Sydney NSW – Part 1. Part 2 will be about some of the sad (but interesting) suicides and accidental deaths. It’s really why The Gap was in the news often. Not so much any more, thankfully.

Thanks to:

Troll Tours is COVID Safe! We are an officially registered COVID Safe business.
Troll Tours is COVID Safe!

Troll Tours is COVID Safe! COVID Safe businesses and organisations are committed to getting back to work. At the same time, protecting the community and preventing the spread of COVID-19. We are an officially registered COVID Safe business.

COVID Safe businesses and organisations

COVID Safe businesses and organisations have:

  • a comprehensive COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.
  • registered as COVID Safe.
  • COVID Safe businesses and organisations are easily recognised by the blue tick badge displayed on their premises or online. 

However, for some industries it is mandatory to register as COVID Safe under the Public Health Orders. Troll Tours doesn’t have to mandatory register. In the interests of doing the right thing for our customers, we registered voluntarily. For our passengers and all the population of Sydney (and Australia).

COVID-19 Safety Plans

On the NSW Government website, it says, COVID-19 Safety Plans are comprehensive checklists designed by NSW Health and approved by the Chief Health Officer. The plans provide clear directions on how businesses and organisations should fulfil their obligations under Public Health Orders to minimise risk of transmission of COVID-19 on their premises. 

Businesses should review the COVID-19 Safety Plan for their industry to see if completing a plan and registering is compulsory under Public Health Orders. All other businesses are encouraged to complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan voluntarily. This is exactly what we have done. We have a COVID-19 Safety Plan registered company. Troll Tours keeps a record of all our passengers. If there happens to be a COVID-19 outbreak somewhere, we can give the government/COVID tracers the details.

So, be assured that Troll Tours is COVID Safe! Your health is in good hands.

Holiday here This Year. An Australian Tourism campaign. This post is also about Trike and Harley rides, Sydney Australia.
with Troll Tours – Harley and trike tours.

Holiday Here This Year

The Holiday Here This Year campaign encourages Australians to support tourism operators around the country. You can do this by booking and planning a domestic holiday. The ‘Holiday Here This Year’ platform launched in January. It’s the first significant domestic marketing push since 2013 in response to the bushfires.

Get out and explore Australia

But a couple of months after Tourism Australia first asked locals to ‘Holiday Here This Year’, the pandemic’s impact hit. It closed not just international, but domestic borders. Any kind of travel was rendered not only risky, but forbidden.

Australia’s tourism industry is suffering through an incredibly challenging period. Australian businesses needs support more than ever. While international borders remain closed, domestic tourism will lead the recovery.

There’s never been a better – or more important – time to get out and explore Australia. Specifically Sydney (for us). Troll Tours is a company that is based in Sydney NSW, Australia. We have felt the effects of COVID19. Like almost every company and business in the world. Like everyone, it hit us by surprise. The world will never be the same again.

Things are picking up

Things are picking up and in Australia the virus is not doing nearly as much damage as overseas. This is for a few reasons. We are a wonderful island so it is easier to police. Our politicians went in and went hard. Yes, it’s hard for so many people especially those in Victoria. But, we are finally seeing success. The numbers of infection are under control. Slowly the borders between states in Australia are opening up.

Troll Tours is open for business. Things are starting to look up. We are COVID safe (blog coming) so there is no reason to not have some fun. Feel the Freedom!

Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand is different to the rest of the world.

There is no real reason why!

There is no definitive explanation why Father’s Day is celebrated in Australia and New Zealand on the first Sunday in September, though it is clear that the custom of the September date began in the mid 1930s.

maximise its commercial value

An article in the Western Herald in 1964 said the day was officially designated as the first Sunday in September across the Commonwealth in 1964 and that the date was chosen for commercial reasons to distance it from other celebrations. This is similar to the date selected in Scandinavia, where November was also chosen to maximise its commercial value.

Father’s Day is a celebration that honours the role of fathers and forefathers. It is a modern holiday, though the ancient Romans did have a tradition of honouring fathers, every February, but only those who had deceased.


One thing is for sure, it is a day to celebrate your relationship with the best males in your life. Whether it be your dad, grandfather, uncle, son or a good friend, it’s day of celebration and remembering how they have had such a positive influence on you and your life.

Father’s Day present

The question is, what do you give your favourite male(s)? How do you show them you love them? Well of course, you can tell them but, if you aren’t good with words a present certainly shows them. Troll Tours provides an experience he won’t forget. Buy a Harley Davidson or trike tour for him and if you are feeling adventurous, go with him. We promise you will both have a fun time. This year in 2020, we have another special offer. This time it is “buy a one hour tour and get half an hour for free”. A saving of $20 per person.

Ring or email us and we can either book a ride with you or email you a Gift Voucher in time for Father’s Day!

Sydney Harbour – 8 interesting things you should know! A report by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, reveals some very interesting secrets lying in Sydney Harbour.

One Sydharb

1: One Sydharb is an official Australian unit of measurement. It is used to measure volume and is equivalent to 500 gigalitres. Incredibly, this is the volume of water in Sydney Harbour.

The beautiful Sydney Harbour – One Sydharb is an official Australian unit of measurement.

2: Sydney Harbour is also known as Port Jackson. It is 19 km long with an area of 55 km². A source of confusion has been the definition of “Sydney Harbour”. The estuary (see point 4) does not have one official name; instead, there are five formally defined parts, of which Sydney Harbour is one. All five together are sometimes called greater Sydney Harbour, while the combined parts of Sydney Harbour, North Harbour and Middle Harbour are collectively known as Port Jackson.


3: Over 586 species of fish are found in Sydney Harbour. This is more than you would find off the coast of the United Kingdom. During summer, recreational fishers caught an estimated 74,000 tonnes of fish. Interestingly, the NSW Government has a recommended maximum intake. No fish or crustaceans caught west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge should be eaten. Release your catch. For fish caught east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, generally no more than 150 grams per month should be consumed. Interestingly, I read interviews with locals who live on Sydney Harbour. Many people catch and eat more than the guidelines with no adverse effects. Sydney Harbour is getting cleaner by the year.

A Dusky Flathead, one of many species of fish found in Sydney Harbour.

drowned river estuary

4: Amazingly, the harbour is a drowned river estuary. It was carved out of the sandstone about 29 million years ago. About 17,000 years ago, the sea level rose flooding the river and creating the harbour. As a result, we have the beautiful Harbour we all know and love. The Sydney Harbour Estuary comprises Port Jackson and its major tributaries – Parramatta River, Lane Cove River and Middle Harbour.

Looking across Sydney Harbour to the city. This is one view Troll Tours takes our passengers to see.

5: 20,000 boats (approximately) are registered in the harbour, which is about 52 boats per square kilometre.

swimmable beaches

6: There are over 20 swimmable beaches nestled in the harbour. 77km of the original 322km of shoreline has been reclaimed.

The famous Bondi Beach. ©Tourism Australia

Sydney’s Bridges

7: Five bridges cross the harbour: the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the ANZAC Bridge, the Gladesville Bridge, the Ryde Bridge, and the Silverwater Bridge. However, on our 3 Bridges ride we take you over 3 of these bridges. Also included are a couple of minor bridges. Most Sydneysiders don’t know these minor bridges. All bridges have spectacular views!

The ANZAC Bridge and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Two of the bridges we ride over on the 3 Bridges ride.
©Tourism Australia

A secret reef

8: An unpublished NSW government report, reportedly, has mapped a secret reef in the harbour. Also, marine scientists have been examining the little known coral reefs of Sydney to try and understand more about coral survival. Mangroves are often known as ‘nurseries of the sea’ for the role they play in supporting small fish and other marine creatures.

Mangroves are an extremely important part of Sydney’s waterways.
Source: UNESCO

In conclusion, we hope you have enjoyed this blog, Sydney Harbour – 8 interesting things you should know!
With thanks to

Us, COVID19 and Point to Point – Book Now! What can we say about this relationship?


COVID19 – the virus – Coronavirus or as Troll calls it – Coniverus, has certainly changed our lives. Probably forever. We decided to close down for 2 months though we could actually have stayed open. Troll Tours runs under the NSW Government Point to Point system. This means social distancing is not applicable. As long as we follow the hygiene practices, as outlined by the Government, we are able to provide our tours.

Troll Tours is now fully operational with all our tours. We follow the NSW Government rules on COVID19, for Harleys and trikes. Hygiene has always been a big deal for us so this really is nothing new.

Point to Point

From 1 February 2018, all point to point transport service providers (Troll Tours, taxis etc) need to pay a temporary $1 Passenger Service Levy on all trips (including taxi, hire car and rideshare) taken in NSW. Apparently this is to help people like mums and dads and retirees who have put their lifetime savings into the taxi industry and are now doing it tough. The levy is funding an industry adjustment assistance package of up to $250 million.

Basically, Uber, Olacabs etc have made a huge indent into the taxi industry. This means the taxi licences are not worth as much as they used to be. NSW Government data in 2017 shows Sydney licences in February were worth, on average, $200,000, down from $406,000 in October 2012.

taxi licences

This has now crashed from $115,500 (average for August 2018) to around $70,000 in June 2019 and a little more in July 2019. We can hardly believe it but we do believe it is true. We really do appreciate how hard it is for the taxi licence owners. The thing is, we don’t understand what it has to do with us. However, it is what it is so we have to put up and pay up.

The NSW government website says, “Service providers can absorb the cost of the levy or pass the levy on to the passengers. If the levy is passed on, GST is payable and $1.10 will be added to your fare. The levy may affect the cost of your trip – you can check whether the levy is being passed on with your driver or service provider before your trip commences or when you make your booking.”

However, we at Troll Tours, don’t pass the levy on to our passengers. We absorb as many costs as we can. Our reward is our passengers loving our tours! ??? Reviewing and writing about your ride is our reward!

Us, COVID19 and Point to Point – Book Now! Yes, it is a weird combination but it doesn’t stop us giving you the Ride of your Life! Contact us now or 0410 46 47 40 for the Adventure of a Lifetime!

Our Harley riders clean their Harleys before every ride. They will also provide hand sanitiser.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the different types of mums in our lives!

To all the mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, stepmothers, mothers-in-law, and women who love with a mother’s heart. ?

Photo credit: Tourism Australia

Happy Mother's Day from near the Sydney Opera House
Happy Mother’s Day from near the Sydney Opera House

ANZAC BRIDGE SYDNEY – in memory of ANZACS is on the 25 April every year.

The Anzac spirit

The Anzac spirit is all about looking after your mates. It is only fitting that the bronze statue of an Aussie Digger standing sentry on Anzac Bridge, keeps an eye on his Kiwi counterpart on the opposite side.

The New Zealand soldier is 2cm taller than his counterpart and also eight years younger. He was winched into position in time for Anzac Day in 2008. The sculptor Alan Somerville said the height difference is because the trans-Tasman Digger (NZ) is wearing the traditional “lemon-squeezer” headwear, while the Australian has the famous slouch hat.

Interestingly, inside the plinth on which the Kiwi Digger stands, is a jar of sand from the shores of Gallipoli.

It is said “When the statue is placed on its plinth, it will be angled so that the Digger faces the setting sun, while the Kiwi will greet the dawn.” The Daily Telegraph of April 16, 2008 had an article about the unveiling of the New Zealand soldier. Thanks to the Daily Telegraph for the photo of the Australian soldier (on the left).

The Anzac Bridge

The ANZAC Bridge, formally known as the Glebe Island Bridge, was completed in 1996. With a span of 345 metres, it is the longest cable-stayed bridge in Australia. The Anzac Bridge is an eight-lane cable-stayed bridge that carries cars along the Western Distributor (A4). It crosses Johnstons Bay between Pyrmont and Glebe Island (part of the suburb of Rozelle), on the western fringe of the Sydney CBD.

The bridge was opened to traffic on 3 December 1995 as the Glebe Island Bridge.

However, the Anzac Bridge was given its current name on Remembrance Day in 1998. It is to honour the memory of the soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (known as Anzacs) who served in World War I. Now, ANZAC Day includes soldiers of all wars. An Australian Flag flies atop the eastern pylon and a New Zealand Flag flies atop the western pylon. On Anzac Day in 2000, a bronze memorial statue of an Australian Anzac soldier (“digger”) holding a Lee–Enfield rifle in the “rest on arms reverse” drill position, was placed on the western end of the bridge. A statue of a New Zealand soldier was added to a plinth across the road from the Australian Digger. He is facing towards the east, and was unveiled by Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark on Sunday 27 April 2008.

Thanks to for the information.

Harley and trike tours over the Anzac Bridge

ANZAC BRIDGE SYDNEY – in memory of ANZACS – we can take you over the Anzac Bridge on our Harley and trike tours. Our 3 Bridges will take you over the wonderful Anzac Bridge. Or, we can adapt another tour or design a completely new tour to take you over the Anzac Bridge. It’s our favourite bridge of Sydney.

The Australian Digger on the left is looking towards the setting sun. The New Zealand soldier on the right is looking towards the rising sun.

We are still open for business – Gift Vouchers. These certainly are difficult times for everyone. Almost every business is suffering to some degree. and we are no exception. The tour and travel industry is basically non-existant now. As you would imagine, we are not legally allowed to take people on Harley tours or rides anymore, this includes the trikes.

A Gift Voucher will give hope for the future!

Gift Voucher

However, our office is still open. If you are wondering what to give someone for their birthday, or for Mother’s Day next month, we can organise a Gift Voucher for you. The best way would be for us to email it but we can also print it and post it if you’d prefer.

We will extend the expiry date

For Gift Vouchers bought during this COVID19 pandemic, we will extend the expiry date for 3 years. This should give peace of mind that it will be used. If, for some reason the virus is still around in 3 years we will refund your payment in full.

A Gift Voucher in these uncertain times, will give hope. It will show that there is something to look forward to. One day life will get back to normal. We intend to weather this virus storm out and be here to put smiles back on the faces of our passengers.

Our Harley and trike tours are definitely the best

Our Harley and trike tours are definitely the best way to see the sights and sites of Sydney. Whether for 1 hour or 4 hours, or longer, we know you will have a lot of fun and see some interesting and iconic nature, beaches and buildings.

An interesting fact about Sydney Harbour

Here is an interesting fact about Sydney Harbour. The harbour is a drowned river estuary carved out of the sandstone about 29 million years ago. The sea level rose about 17,000 years ago flooding the river and creating the harbour. Around the world, it really is hard to think of a more beautiful harbour than Sydney Harbour.

So, we are still open for business – Gift Vouchers. Contact us today to organise one.

Sydney Harbour Harley tours
We are still open for business – Gift Vouchers