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Tours of Cockatoo Island

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Looking for things to do while you're exploring Sydney? Journey back to Cockatoo Island’s storied convict and maritime eras – or dare to step into the supernatural realm – with our program of history and paranormal tours.

Our tours cater for different ages and interests – from history buffs and ghost seekers through to families and seniors’ clubs. They're also a great opportunity to discover iconic landmarks, including heritage buildings rarely opened to the general public.

Book tickets for our regularly scheduled day and night tours, or request a tour for your group.

Day tours

Book one of our four day tours and immerse yourself in Cockatoo Island's fascinating convict and maritime history...

World War II Shipyard Tour (all-ages, accessible)

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Select dates

Book tickets for our World War II Shipyard Tour to learn about the significant contribution Cockatoo Island's dockyard made to the Allied war effort during the global conflict. A knowledgeable guide will delve into this fascinating slice of maritime history as you visit key landmarks including the Turbine Shop, Fitzroy and Sutherland Docks and the Slipways.

Convict Precinct Tour (all-ages)

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Saturdays at 1:30pm 

During the Convict Precinct Tour, our guide will lead you through the turbulent history of the island's former penal establishment, stopping at iconic landmarks including the Mess Hall, Barracks, Guardhouse, Military Officers Quarters and Solitary Confinement Cells. 


Lower Island Tour (all-ages, accessible)

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Sundays at 11am

As you explore the lower island, including the cathedral-like Turbine Shop, convict-built Fitzroy Dock and towering Powerhouse chimney, our knowledgeable guide will share stories and anecdotes that paint a vivid picture of the island throughout the ages. Suitable for less mobile visitors. 

Sandstone to Steel Tour (all-ages)

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Saturdays at 11am & Sundays at 1:30pm

Want a crash course in Cockatoo Island's storied history? Book tickets for Sandstone to Steel. This all-ages tour charts the changing face of Cockatoo Island. As you visit key landmarks, our guide will reveal how they fit into the island’s historical narrative. They will also share anecdotes about a colourful cast of real-life characters.

Night tours

Looking for a tour that combines history with mystery and supernatural thrills? Book tickets for our Dark Past and Ghost Tours...

Ghost Tour (18+)

Cost: From $47 | Duration: Two hours | Available: Select Saturday night

As the witching hour approaches, embark on our popular Ghost Tour and journey into Cockatoo Island’s supernatural realm. As you search for ghosts and explore historic buildings rarely open to the public, our guide will share macabre stories and hair-raising paranormal tales, including reported hauntings. 

Dark Past Tour (all-ages)

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 90 mins | Available: Saturday nights

Secrets. Scandals. Skeletons... Cockatoo Island has its fair share of all three. Discover for yourself with our intrigue-filled Dark Past Tour. As you visit iconic landmarks and buildings from different eras, including the convict workshops, Dog Leg Tunnel and Biloela House, our guide will blend history with mystery to captivate your imagination!

Group tour – request form

Looking to arrange a tour of Cockatoo Island for either a large group or your friends and family? Our day tours (see above) are available for group bookings…

Group tour - request form

Cost: From $16 per person (min. 10 people) | Duration: 60 mins | Available: by appointment

Probus groups, tour operators and other interested parties are invited to complete our group tour request form (link below). There are four tours to choose from; namely, World War II Shipyard TourLower Island TourConvict Precinct Tour and Sandstone to Steel Tour. Each tour focuses on a different facet of Cockatoo Island's layered and (at times) turbulent history, including the convict and maritime eras, meaning there is something for everyone. 


School holiday tour: Convict Sounds

Looking for a school holiday idea that will engage and excite your kids? Catch the ferry to Cockatoo Island and step back in time with our brand-new sensory experience!

Join us on Wednesday 12 April for our 'Convict Sounds' school holiday experience. For one day only, you will explore convict-era buildings while our knowledgeable guide shares historical anecdotes and prompts you to recreate sounds from the island’s former penal establishment. Tickets start from just $16 per person. 

Crooked Characters Cockatoo Island School Holiday Activity 1920X1080

Self-guided tour

Journey through Cockatoo Island’s complex and layered history at your own pace with our engaging Audio Tour…

Audio Tour (all-ages)

Cost: $6 | Duration: approx. 90 mins | Available from the Visitor Centre

Featuring an informative narrator, immersive sound effects and archival interviews with former workers and residents, our self-guided Audio Tour paints a vivid picture of the island’s bygone days across 26 audio stops. Visitors can rent the Audio Tour handset from the visitor centre during operating hours (10am to 3pm daily). No booking required. 

Audio Tour Convict Precinct Couple Cockatoo Island Syney Harbour 650X550

Tour calendar

Check out the below calendar to see how a tour can fit into your visit...

Day Available tours
Monday to Thursday