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High school students experiencing Cockatoo Island's education program near the beam benders.

High school programs

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  • $14 per student (min. 10 students per group)
  • Free admission for teachers/supervisors
  • Pricing excludes cost of ferry travel
  • Programs run for 1½ hours
  • Available Monday to Thursday by appointment
  • Note: Our education tours will be available until 14 December 2023. We look forward to offering these programs again in February 2024. 
  • Ferry
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Meeting point

Visitor centre, Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour NSW

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Seeking inspired school excursion ideas? Our tip: Escape your classroom and head to Cockatoo Island for a memorable learning experience.

Our engaging high school programs – Social and Maritime Case Study and History Site Study – support key syllabus areas of the NSW Curriculum and foster enquiry-based learning.

Importantly, students will have fun as they engage with historical artefacts from different eras and explore one of the most extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour.

Note: Our education tours will be available until 14 December 2023. We look forward to offering these programs again in February 2024. 

History Site Study

Through an evaluation of primary and secondary sources, Year 7 to 10 students will gain insights into Australia’s major social, political and technological developments.

The History Site Study is complemented by worksheets that can be printed out at school and brought on the excursion. The worksheets aim to increase students ability to identify and organise their historical learning during the excursion.

High School Tour Sandstone Guardhouse Convict Era Cockatoo Island 650X550

Social and Maritime Case Study

Is your history class preparing for the Higher School Certificate? We recommend Social and Maritime Case Study.

This program is an opportunity for budding historians to examine Cockatoo Island’s place in Australia’s historical narrative from a variety of perspectives. Leveraging the island’s extensive historical sources, students will develop an awareness of the validity of multiple viewpoints.

High School Tour Biloela House Historic House Precinct Convict Era Cockatoo Island Sydney harbour 650x550

How to get here

Planning to visit? Refer to the information below ahead of your trip.

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Ferries: The easiest way to get to Cockatoo Island is by public ferry. The F3 and F8 services operate to Cockatoo Island daily, departing from Circular Quay and Barangaroo as well as from wharves along Parramatta River. For further information, including timetables, visit the Transport NSW website.

Opal cards: If your group is travelling to Cockatoo Island by ferry, each person will need to be in possession of an Opal Card with sufficient funds. Alternatively, you can pre-purchase Opal One Day Travel Passes for their entire group. To arrange Opal One Day Travel Passes for your group, visit opaldaypass.transport.nsw.gov.au.

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On-street parking is available for cars near the ferry wharves at Woolwich, Greenwich, Chiswick, Huntleys Point, Drummoyne, Birchgrove and Balmain. The Clarkes Point Reserve Carpark (access via Clarke Road, Woolwich) offers parking for coaches and is a short walk from the Woolwich ferry wharf.

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Our high school programs contain stories (and may contain images and/or visuals) of deceased people.

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Most areas of the island are wheelchair accessible; however, there is a steep incline from the lower island to the upper plateau, and – owing to the island’s industrial heritage – there are uneven surfaces as well as some buildings not accessible by wheelchair

What to bring arrow

Suitable walking shoes, sun protection, wet weather gear (if needed) and packed lunches.

Cancellations arrow


If you decide to cancel a booking, please provide 48 hours’ notice to avoid being charged a fee to cover casual staff costs.


Bookings for our high school programs will proceed regardless of weather conditions except in the event that ferry services advise against travelling to Cockatoo Island due to extreme weather conditions.

Request a booking
To request Social and Maritime Case Study or History Site Study for your class, complete our school programs enquiry form.
arrowEnquiry form

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