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Fort Denison or Cockatoo Island

Melbourne, Australia
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Fort Denison or Cockatoo Island

Will be in Sydney this weekend for the MLB and looking at some options for things to do, as we have done a lot of the main typical tourist sites around so looking at something new. Came across both Fort Denison and Cockatoo that look interesting and should fill the just over half a day we have before flying back to Melb in the afternoon.

The problem is I having troubles deciding between the two. Cockatoo is looks really interesting as it looks like its a place that you can really explore and work around at your own pace. Denison Fort appears much smaller and organised.

Can anyone make a suggestion of one over the other.. & why? Or should I consider doing both on separate days, as I can always sacrifice another acticvity planned for Sat.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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1. Re: Fort Denison or Cockatoo Island

I like them both... so naturally I would opt for doing them on separate days. Both are different which you will enjoy. Cockatoo Island will take you longer to explore so work your days around what other activities you are doing to fit them both into your itinerary.

The other attraction you could consider is the Q Station which makes a perfect day trip too.

http://www.qstation.com.au/

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Fort Denison or Cockatoo Island

I wouldn't recommend one over the other but here are a few points:

* Fort Denison (Pinchgut Island, if you prefer) is served by a private ferry; the $20 ticket includes the national park fee.

* Make sure you go for the guided tour though it does cost around $15 extra. If you take the tour at 12.15pm , it will finish with the cannon firing at 1:00 pm which is an interesting historical tradition.

* If you have lunch at the cafe that will extend your afternoon a bit, otherwise there's not a huge amount to do there once you've done the tour

* The views are stunning and harbour ferries and other boat traffic passes within metres of the island.

Cockatoo Island for this weekend is the site of a special event, the Bienniale of Sydney

* More information here: http://www.biennaleofsydney.com.au/

* There are special $7 ferries for the event, although you can still take the public ferries, which are more frequent than Fort Denison

* The island will be "hopping" with the event, but it's still a large enough place that you can wander up and down and all around and enjoy your afternoon, even if you don't go to the art exhibitions

* Allow extra travel time as there can be queues for the ferries going back. Sometimes water taxis are available as a way to beat the queues at a higher fare.

For something a bit different, have you considered Goat Island? It has good views of the bridge and an interesting convict heritage. Tours can be taken through this company:

www.sydneytallships.com.au/convicts-tour.html

I haven't done it yet but plan to soon as I've heard good things about the tour.

Edited: 9:31 pm, March 18, 2014
Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin
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3. Re: Fort Denison or Cockatoo Island

FD is very small and once you have done the short tour, there is not much else to do other than eat- but thats pricey. Good views though,

I think Cockatoo is much more interesting and more scope to wander and spend some time there relaxing.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Fort Denison or Cockatoo Island

I'd go to Cockatoo because you can see

Some of the biennale works too.

On its own, it's a very interesting place - wear your walking shoes & hat. I can spend 3 or 4 hours there roaming around easily. There are a couple of cafes and a bar that will probably be open all day because of the Biennale.

Make sure you walk through the dog leg tunnel - the sandstone walls are like artworks.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Fort Denison or Cockatoo Island

Agree Cockatoo over FD. FD is very small compared to Cockatoo Island and there is so much more to see here (art and history). And plan your travel as likely to be busy.

sydney
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for Cambodia
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6. Re: Fort Denison or Cockatoo Island

A fabulous exhibition is on at Cockatoo at the moment as part of the Sydney Biannale - may not be your thing but here's a link cockatooisland.gov.au/events/19th-biennale-s…

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Fort Denison or Cockatoo Island

Thanks for the feedback. Have to say I was leaning more towards Cockatoo as a hobbyist photographer looks like lots of great places to explore. However this Biennale of Sydney event is beginning to put me off a bit, as the part of the appeal of the island was having the place to ourselves kinda things. Seems like queuing for ferries and food is a distraction... if only the Biennale started on Saturday and not Friday... Although Im wondering if Friday might be a little less busier then say Sunday? So nothing of interest for Biennale for us though, is this likely to be a popular event?

I haven't had the chance to look at what Goat Is. or Q Station have to offer yet, Ill have a look tonight.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Fort Denison or Cockatoo Island

Go on Friday - Saturday & Sunday will be busier.

You can take a water taxi from the steps near the Overseas Passenger Terminal if you don't want to wait for the ferries. I did that one way last time & it wasn't too expensive & was rather fun.

You never know - there is usually some interesting stuff at Biennale ( as well as a few "what were they smoking?" pieces )

I do take your point about better photos with fewer people though.

9. Re: Fort Denison or Cockatoo Island

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