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Convict Escape Attempts Tour

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  • $25 per adult
  • $15 per child (12 & under)
  • $15 per senior

See Make a booking for details. 

  • Times: 11:30am and 1pm, Saturdays.
  • Running weekly during the school holidays, fortnightly thereafter
  • Duration: 60 mins


  • Ferry
  • Water taxi

See Plan ahead for details on getting here.

meeting point.svg
Meeting point

Visitor Centre, Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour NSW

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Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour wasn’t always an idyllic getaway. From 1839 to 1869, it served as a convict penal establishment, where inmates suffered through grim living conditions and backbreaking work.

This lively, all-ages tour will introduce you to a line-up of brave, foolhardy and desperate convicts who dared to escape Cockatoo Island’s penal establishment, including fabled bushranger Captain Thunderbolt. 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.


Book tickets for one of our regularly scheduled tours or arrange a private tour for your group...

Scheduled tours

Tickets are $25 per adult, $15 per child (12 & under) and $15 per senior. 

Make a booking

Private group tours

Subject to guide availability, we accept private group bookings with a minimum charge equal to the cost of 10 participants. To request a private group tour, complete our enquiry form. Note: Private group tours are not available on Friday or Saturday nights. 

Power House Convict Precinct Cockatoo Island Sydney Harbour 650X550
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Book tickets for our Convict Escape Attempts Tour to meet a line-up of brave, foolhardy and desperate escapees...
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Plan Ahead

COVID-19 safety arrow

Service NSW app – COVID Safe check-in

As a registered COVID Safe business, we require ticketholders to visit the Service NSW website, upon arrival at the tour meeting point, and scan a QR code to ensure a COVID Safe check-in.

[Note: When you check in, only the tour location and the time of visit is recorded. This information is stored for 28 days and only for the purpose of contact tracing, if necessary.]

Other conditions for tour participation

To comply with the NSW Government’s COVID-19 public health orders, we are currently only accepting tour bookings for groups of up to 20 people. Further, members of each group must ensure they:

  • bring and wear a face mask for the duration of the tour;
  • maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres from others;
  • have not travelled overseas within the last 14 days;
  • have not had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within the last 14 days; and
  • are not unwell and have not had any COVID-19 symptoms in the last 14 days.
Content warning arrow

Although this is an all-ages tour, people under 18 must be accompanied by an adult as the tour contains mature themes. Further, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are advised that the tour contains stories (and may contain images and/or visuals) of deceased people.

Site conditions arrow

The tour involves a steep incline and some uneven surfaces, and it is not suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. A moderate level of fitness and mobility is required.

What to bring arrow

Suitable walking shoes and wet weather clothing (if needed).

Weather conditions arrow

Tours will proceed regardless of weather conditions except in the event of extreme weather. 

Terms and conditions arrow

Ahead of your visit, we encourage you to read the terms and conditions for this tour.

Getting here arrow

For information about getting here, including by public transport, see: Visit Cockatoo Island.

Solitary Confinement Cells Power House Slipway Cranecockatoo Island Sydney 650X550

Helpful links

Looking to visit, stay at or tour Cockatoo Island? Here are some useful links...