Who runs the accommodation on Cockatoo Island?
Cockatoo Island and Cockatoo Island Accommodation is managed by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. Visit the Sydney Federation Harbour Trust website for more information.
What kind of experience can I expect?
On Cockatoo Island you will find a place where history and a unique atmosphere have been preserved by an island location. A place to relax and unwind, yet still only 10 minutes from the centre of Sydney.
For those camping, it is an experience very different to traditional bush camping. With space at a premium, sites are small and close together. Many people use their site as a "bedroom" and use the campground kitchen as well as the island's many open spaces for eating, picnics and other leisure activities. Since fires and stoves are prohibited, why not get to know some new friends in the campground kitchen or have a meal at The Cafe or The Island Bar. And whilst harbourside camping is spectacular, the harbour can get busy, so light sleepers may wish to bring earplugs.
What can I do on Cockatoo Island?
There's lots to see and do on Cockatoo Island itself, including an audio tour of the historic island. Why not make Cockatoo Island your base for a stay in Sydney and take the ferry each day into the city? You can also use the island as a starting point to discover Sydney and its harbourside suburbs.
How do I get to Cockatoo Island?
Sydney Ferries run public services to Cockatoo Island every day. Plan your arrival and departure in accordance with ferry timetables. Or you can catch a water taxi to the island. Campers, as you are packing for your stay, remember that there is no vehicle access to the island, so all equipment must be hand-carried by boat!
What about food and drink?
The Cafe provides meals and beverages on the Plaza (Eastern Apron) on the lower island, not far from the campground. Be sure to bring your own picnic or barbeque supplies - we have a well appointed campers' kitchen with electric BBQs overlooking the water. Campers are advised that no alcohol is to be brought onto the island. Alcohol purchased on the island is restricted to beer and wine only and must be consumed in licenced areas. For those staying in the holiday houses, self-catering is available in the modern kitchens.
Can I stay on Cockatoo Island on New Year's Eve?
Yes, the campground and houses will be open on New Year's Eve. Join the Sydney Federation Harbour Trust mailing list and keep updated on ticket sales for camping and holiday house and apartment accommodation for New Year's Eve. Alternatively, call the Accommodation office on (02) 8898 9774.
What is the size of the campsites?
We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to enjoy a camping experience on the island and a 4m x 4m site offers the best compromise between space and privacy. At the discretion of the booking office, more room to spread out may be available at off-peak times. In the meantime, bring a small tent and get to know your neighbours!
Is there a maximum stay for camping?
Yes, 30 days is the maximum stay. No returns possible within 7 days.
Why are there no powered campsites?
The less power the campsite uses, the less impact we have on the environment and power is often used to create sound and light, so we want to encourage people to respect their camping neighbours.
Can I access the internet?
There is good wireless internet reception on Cockatoo Island. Please check with your service provider for coverage in the area.
Can I go swimming?
Yes. The Cockatoo Island swimming area is now open at No. 1 Slipway. We recommend that you wear plastic sandals as the seabed can be rocky and there are also oyster shells at the bottom. Children must be supervised.
What if I miss the last ferry?
You'll need to call a water taxi. Check details of water taxi access.
Why are there no waste bins?
General waste on Cockatoo Island is removed as comingled waste and transported off site where it is separated into different waste streams, including recycling. The comingled waste is removed in one transport movement from the island, thereby reducing the number of vehicles and barge movements to and from the mainland. This is the most efficient way to take waste off the island and it also avoids the environmental impact of additional truck movements. We would appreciate campers taking their rubbish home with them to help support efficient waste management on the island.
Are gift vouchers available?
You can now purchase your camping gift vouchers from the Cockatoo Island Accomodation Office on (02) 8898 9774. Vouchers are valid for six months from the date of purchase. Allow approximately five days for delivery.
If I am camping what do I need to bring?
If you are hiring one of our packages you will need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, torch and your food (including crockery/utensils), remember you can purchase food and drinks from The Cafe. Also bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper!
The are no ATMs on Cockatoo Island, eftpos is available at The Island Office, The Cafe and The Island Bar (minimum purchases apply).