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Cockatoo Island

Home > Sydney > Free | Historic Houses | Tours
by Ivana Katz (subscribe)
Ivana is passionate about travel, writing, photography and website design. She enjoys helping people start a new business and turn their hobby into a profitable venture. Visit Ivana at
Published February 6th 2012
Cockatoo Island is the largest heritage listed island in Sydney Harbour and is located at the junction of the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers. The Island is a former imperial prison, industrial school, reformatory and gaol. It is also the site of one of Australia's biggest shipyards.

Cockatoo Island offers guided tours, which last approximately 1.5 hours and include an overview of the island's remarkable history, and features some of the best examples of early colonial history to be found in Sydney. The tour involves a lot of walking and includes one medium incline. It will go ahead in wet weather, so bring along appropriate wet weather gear.

Kids will love exploring Cockatoo as they discover the island's spooky convict prison, giant cranes and historic ship-building machinery. Equipped with an activity booklet and a map, children can become history detectives as they search the Island for convict clues.

Accommodation is available on the island including luxury holiday apartments, heritage holiday houses or you can go glamping (camping, glamour style) or camping. The camping pack includes; tent, mattresses, camping chairs and a lantern. Tents sleep up to two adults and two children or up to three adults. All you need to bring is your sleeping bag and pillow.

The Canteen kiosk, located on Cockatoo Island's water front, serves breakfast, lunch and snacks and is open daily for dine in or take away.

Sydney Ferries currently operates services to Cockatoo Island via the Balmain/Woolwich service and the Parramatta River service. Ferries depart from Circular Quay and on Sundays Cockatoo Island can be visited as part of a Family Funday Sunday ticket. For $2.50 per person you can enjoy a fun day out with unlimited travel on Sydney's buses, trains and ferries

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Why? Step back in time and visit former imperial prison
When: All year round
Where: Cockatoo Island, Sydney
Cost: Free
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