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Learn at Cockatoo Island

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Featuring heritage buildings and landmarks from different eras, Cockatoo Island is a great place for children and teenagers alike to deepen their knowledge of Australia’s historical narrative.

Our school and vacation care programs are an opportunity for the next generation to develop their historical enquiry skills, exercise their imagination, participate in outdoor activities and form lasting friendships.

School programs

Escape the classroom and head to Cockatoo Island with your students for an memorable learning experience...

Primary school

Our interactive primary school programs – Convict Times and Then, Now and Tomorrow – are an opportunity for students to learn about the historical significance of Cockatoo Island as they engage in dress up and role-play, and interact with artefacts from different eras.

High school

Our interactive high school programs – Social and Maritime Case Study and History Site Study – are an opportunity for students, including those studying for the HSC, to consider the history of Cockatoo Island from multiple viewpoints and hone their historical enquiry and writing skills.

Virtual excursion

We have transformed our popular Convict Times program into a self-paced virtual excursion...

Virtual Excursion: Convict Times

Virtual Excursion: Convict Times is an immersive online history lesson that transports students (Kindergarten to Year 4) to Cockatoo Island’s convict era (1839-69). It has been designed to activate children’s imaginations and encourage them to use primary and secondary sources. 

Convict Times Virtual Excursion Cockatoo Island 650X550

Camping trips

Owing to its layered history, Cockatoo Island is the perfect camping spot for school, scout and youth groups.

Enrich your next school excursion with an overnight stay in our waterfront campground, situated alongside Cockatoo Island’s historic Industrial, Docks and Convict Precincts.

Camping Tents Cockatoo Island Sydney 650X550

Vacation care

Available during the NSW school holidays, our vacation care program combines outdoor exploration, historical learning and fun activities.

Children will learn about the Island's storied past, including the golden maritime era, as they engage in fun games such as historical roleplay. They will also get to tap into their creativity as they construct ships using LEGO and recyclable materials.

Vacation Care Cockatoo Island 650X550

Unguided visits

We welcome school groups wishing to embark on a self-guided tour of Cockatoo Island... 

Ahead of your excursion, please register your scheduled visit using the form on this page. The information you share with us will be communicated to our rangers and visitor service staff so they can, in turn, ensure your visit is safe and enjoyable. 

School Group Cockatoo Island Entrance Sydney 650X550

Kids Corner

Looking for ways to bust boredom outside the classroom? Check out the Harbour Trust's Kids Corner – a one-stop-shop for FREE activity sheets including DIY projects!

Kids (and kids at heart) can channel their creativity into a selection of activity sheets, including colouring in sheets, crosswords, construction sheets, science experiments. Activities include a First Nations card game and a nature scavenger hunt as well as instructions for creating a paper cup phone and a toothpick torpedo. Check out all 30 sheets!

Two Kids Colouring In Sheet Cockatoo Island 650X550