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Family scanning the QR code on Cockatoo Island's self-guided Talking Object Tour near the Convict Precinct.

Talking Object Tour

Awaken history with our self-guided Talking Object Tour and speak directly to iconic objects, including historic landmarks, about their incredible stories.

When you visit Cockatoo Island, keep an eye out for our turquoise "hello" signs. As you chat with key objects, you'll hear their stories and gain insight into the island’s First Nations, convict and maritime narratives.

Additionally, you'll receive helpful tips for your visit and have the chance to share your thoughts and provide feedback on your experience. Plus: Stick around to the end of any talking object conversation to find out how you can win a camping voucher worth up to $109 (T&Cs apply). So, what are you waiting for? Join the conversation today!

How it works

Eager to start a conversation? Anyone can speak to our talking objects – all you need is a mobile phone!

To chat to a talking object, simply follow these steps:

  1. Look out for our turquoise "Hello" signs (see: talking object map).

  2. Scan the QR code on the sign or text the advertised phone number.

  3. Answer the object’s questions, provide your feedback, and get to know each other.

  4. Once you’ve wrapped up your conversation, look out for other "Hello" signs to awaken another object.  

Psst... we've also awoken two different landmarks at nearby Woolwich Dock and Parklands; namely, a historic graving dock and a scenic paddock. When you next visit this maritime precinct, look out for the aqua and off-white "Hello" signs. They are also identified on the talking object map below.

To bring this exciting initiative to life, we have partnered with smart city platform Hello Lamp Post.

Interactive map

Cockatoo Island features 9 different talking objects. Use this interactive map to discover where they are!

Visitor information

To ensure your time at Cockatoo Island is enjoyable and hassle-free, refer to the below information.

Getting here arrow
Public ferry

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. You can also visit Cockatoo Island by water taxi, private boat or kayak.

Private transport

Sydney Event Cruises offer private transport to and from Cockatoo Island for small and large groups. A luxury limousine and large charge vessel hire can be arranged for up to 300 people, enabling your group to arrive in style to Cockatoo Island via Camber wharf. Call Sydney Event Cruises directly on 0407 973 508.

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Boat mooring: Private vessels may use Camber Marina on the island's southern apron. Pay for casual berthing at Marina Café & Bar near the gangway. Overnight berths must be booked in advance by calling 9940 0172 or emailing info@cockatoomarine.com.au. Most boats to 42' can be accommodated but there are restrictions above 30' length and 10m height so call ahead to enquire about availability. Fees are $15 for 4 hours for a boat to 29'. Please visit cockatoomarine.com.au for details and overnight bookings.

Car parking: Street parking is available near the ferry wharves at Woolwich, Greenwich, Chiswick, Huntleys Point, Drummoyne, Birchgrove and Balmain. Check signage for any restrictions. 

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Cockatoo Island has wheelchair access, toilet facilities (including accessible toilets), vending machines, barbeques, showers, an Opal card top-up machine, a kitchen (for exclusive use by campers), free Wi-Fi (enquire at the Visitor Centre) and gold coin operated lockers. Located in the Muster Station, each locker contains power outlets for charging devices. Small lockers (20cm x 20cm x 40cm) are available $2 for eight hours or $4 for 24 hours. Medium lockers (30cm x 40cm x 60cm) are available for $4 for eight hours or $8 for 24 hours. Large lockers (55cm x 60cm x 90cm) are available for $8 for eight hours or $12 for 24 hours.



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.

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Help ensure the safety and enjoyment of all visitors, by observing the below rules, enforceable by our rangers

Conditions of entry

Do not fish, do not smoke within buildings or within five metres of a café; do not littering or dump rubbish; do not erect gazebos or marquees (without a permit); do not operate remote-controlled vehicles (including drones); do not play amplified music (without a permit) or create excessive noise; do not undertake commercial activities (without a permit); do not hold private functions (without a permit); do not climb cliffs or on historical structures; do not ride or use skateboards, roller-skates, in line skates or similar equipment on Harbour Trust land. For further information, see: Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (SHFT) Regulations 2021

Alcohol consumption

To prevent unsafe alcohol consumption and curb anti-social behaviour, alcohol rules are enforced on the island. Visitors (with the exception of apartment and heritage house guests) are not permitted to bring alcohol onto the island. Alcohol consumption is permitted at the island’s two licensed venues, Cockatoo Overboard and the Marina Café & Bar. For further details, see: FAQs.      

Assistance animals

No animals, except for assistance animals (as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992), are permitted to access Cockatoo Island.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can't find what you're looking for? Our FAQs page contains further visitor information. Topics include the consumption of alcohol, our bag check and photography policies, guide animals and the island's amenities

Helpful links

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