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Cockatoo Island

Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Cockatoo Island, New South Wales, Australia
+61 2 8969 2100
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Balmain Pub Walking Tour
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Off-limits to the public for more than one hundred years, Cockatoo Island welcomes you to a new chapter in its long and illustrious story. Retaining all its character and heritage from decades of human endeavour by convicts and shipbuilders alike, Cockatoo Island has opened its doors to all, with a mission to re-energise history. Now a place to escape the everyday, a canvas for creatives and cultural events, the world’s first urban waterfront campground and beautiful holiday accommodation, Cockatoo Island has undergone a renaissance in every sense of the word.
  • Excellent46%
  • Very good38%
  • Average10%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible3%
Travelers talk about
“ship building” (63 reviews)
“audio tour” (60 reviews)
“island bar” (45 reviews)
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Cockatoo Island, New South Wales, Australia
+61 2 8969 2100
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Reviews (666)
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1 - 10 of 630 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The island is an ex-prison and ex-shipyard. If that's not your thing then don't go. I found it really interesting. There is no entry charge and the audio tour is only $5. The audio tour doesn't cover the whole island so it's worth breaking off...More

1  Thank Barny D
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I think Cockatoo Island is like Alcatraz (the world-famous prison island in San Francisco and No. 1 ranked TripAdvisor attraction in San Francisco) of Sydney Harbor. However, it is much cheaper and less overcrowded than Alcatraz. Even so, it is no less interesting than Alcatraz....More

1  Thank Saricie_Q
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The brochures encourage you to visit and even camp here, but I'd only visit again if I was running out of things to do. There is no vegetation and so no cockatoos. Pretty industrial looking site with huge hangers (which they hold concerts on occasionally)....More

Thank M J
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a great getaway within Sydney! Loads of options from BYO tents through to accommodation in an old building on the island. We went with the 'glamping' option of having a tent already setup including mats, wooden patio and a couple of chairs. The...More

Thank rebekahkeirancaseyl
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Lovely day out starting with the ferry trip from circular quay to cockatoo island. Lots to see and walk around this historic site. Kids loved it. Lunch was at the cafe societe, bit pricey but tasty food, glass of vino went down nicely too. Can...More

Thank Hewettp
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

My partner wanted to visit and to be honest I didn't really know much about it, so didn't know what to expect. It was extremely interesting and sad at the same time. A must see, make sure it's a nice day though.

Thank Lynn H
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We took the ferry from Circular Quay which took 20 minutes. The island is very beautiful and when we visited, very quiet so in many places it feels like you have it all to yourself. We did the audio guide for $5 which was worthwhile...More

Thank Julia B
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Use Sydney's fabulous public transport to get here with frequent ferry stops. Many of the historical buildings are open for you to wander through. It is an interesting mix of harsh convict prison history to early 20th century heavy industrial history. The Island must have...More

1  Thank Contention
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I have enjoyed every visit I have made to this island, including the short ferry trip to get there. It's simply fascinating to walk around such a small island, but then there are also tunnels, historic buildings with stories of past imprisonment, defence and ship-building....More

Thank Jean762014
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We hadn't realised what a rich history the island has, particularly its strategic ship building role in WWII. Well worth a half day visit, the ferry ride to get there is a bonus. Recommend the audio tour. Informative and interesting although we did find the...More

1  Thank Liz C
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Questions & Answers
December 20, 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from CockatooIsland | Property representative |
There is limited free parking at the wharves around Sydney.
Tegan O
September 4, 2016|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Geoffrey M | Reviewed this property |
In previous years they have had a funky bar with DJs during the spring & summer months, but it seems that it has been cancelled for this year, which is a real bummer.
fairlie n
March 27, 2016|
Response from CockatooIsland | Property representative |
The Biennale of Sydney is open until 5pm each day. The cafes are open at various times, check the Cockatoo Island website for more details.