EN language selector search
EN arrow Contact search

Tours of Cockatoo Island

arrow New tour: Convict Escape Attempts
Experience our program of regular tours, catering for all ages, interests and personalities – from history buffs and thrill seekers through to families and seniors clubs.

Whether you want to see remnants from a bygone era, journey into the supernatural or explore distinctive heritage buildings, our tours are an opportunity to discover what makes our heritage listed island so unique.

History Tours

Haunted History Tour

Secrets. Scandals. Skeletons... Cockatoo Island has its fair share of all three. Discover for yourself with our all-ages Haunted History Tour. As you explore atmospheric landmarks, our guide will blend mystery with history to captivate your imagination.

Ghostyard – A Paranormal Tour

As the witching hour approaches, embark on an adults-only journey into the supernatural realm with Ghostyard – A Paranormal Tour. As you search for ghosts, our guide will regale you with macabre true tales and unconfirmed sightings of ghastly apparitions.

Overnight Fright Experience

Test your fear threshold with this paranormal package. Experience our popular Ghostyard tour, followed by a horror film in the campground cinema. No need to pitch a tent - we take care of that with an overnight stay at the island's urban campground.

Crooked Characters Tour

Get to know the charlatans, rogues, thieves and cut-throats who once populated Cockatoo Island, with our Crooked Characters Tour. This hour-long tour, available during the NSW School Holidays, is fun for the whole family.

Convict Escape Attempts Tour

This all-ages tour will introduce you to the brave, foolhardy and desperate convicts who dared to escape Cockatoo Island’s penal establishment between 1839 and 1869. As you explore the island, you’ll hear about successful and ill-fated escape attempts involving disguises, sewers, shark-infested waters, stolen boats and a volley of bullets.

From Sandstone to Steel: A Walking History Tour

Step back in time with our all-ages history tour! From Sandstone to Steel: A History of Cockatoo Island charts the changing face of our extraordinary island. As you visit key landmarks, including the Convict Precinct, Biloela House, the Convict silos, the Fitzroy Dock and the Turbine Hall, our guide will share historical stories, including anecdotes about a colourful cast of real-life characters.

Convict Precinct Tour

Discover Cockatoo Island’s UNESCO World Heritage listed Convict Precinct with our 45-minute tour of the upper island. Our guide will lead you through the turbulent history of the former penal establishment, stopping at iconic landmarks including the Mess Hall, Barracks, and Solitary Confinement Cells.

Audio Tour

Journey through Cockatoo Island’s complex and layered history at your own pace with our engaging audio tour. Featuring an informative narrator, immersive sound effects and archival interviews, this self-guided tour paints a vivid picture of the island’s bygone days.

Group History Tour

Available in a 60-minute or 90-minute format, our Group History Tour is a guided journey through Cockatoo Island’s complex and layered history, from its use as a meeting place for the Eora People through to the convict and maritime eras.

Seniors Club Tour

Accompanied by our guide, the members of your Seniors Club will have an opportunity to learn about and visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Convict Precinct as well as the location of the island’s former shipyard, industrial school for girls and reformatory.