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Family enjoying Cockatoo Island's self-guided Audio Tour on the Lower Island.

Audio Tour

  • $6 per person 
  • Note: Card payment only
Further details
  • Available between 10am and 4pm daily
  • Runs approx. 1½ hours
Further details
  • Ferry
  • Water taxi


Further details
Meeting point

Visitor Centre, Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour, NSW

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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 with former workers and residents, this self-guided tour paints a vivid picture of the island’s bygone days across 26 audio stops.

You’ll learn about the poor living conditions of convicts incarcerated in the island’s penal establishment (1839-69), and the plight of the young women raised in the Biloela Public Industrial School for Girls and Reformatory. You’ll also hear about the feats achieved by the thousands of workers employed at the island’s enormous shipyard during the twentieth century and the enduring significance of the island for First Nations Peoples.

Our Visitor Centre relies on the generosity and availability of our  volunteers. While we endeavour to open from 10am to 4pm daily, we cannot guarantee the Centre will always be open. In the event our Visitor Centre is closed, the Audio Tour will be unavailable.


Pick-up a handset and map for our Audio Tour from the visitor centre.

The audio tour is available on demand from the Visitor Centre between 10am and 4pm daily (Note: card payments only).

The tour is $6 per person and includes a handset and special map.

Audio unit includes a speaker; however there is also an audio jack. BYO headphones (audio jack, not Bluetooth).


Plan ahead

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

Content warning arrow

There is no age restriction on the audio tour; however, children 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

Headphones (audio jack, not Bluetooth), suitable walking shoes and wet weather clothing (if needed).

Getting here arrow

For information about getting here, including by public transport, see: Visit us

Helpful links

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