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High school programs

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Cost
  • $14 per student (min. ten students per group)
  • Free admission for teachers/supervisors
  • Pricing excludes cost of ferry travel
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Hours
  • Programs run for 2½ hours with lunch break
  • Available Monday to Friday by appointment
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Transport
  • Ferry
  • Water taxi
  • Private boat
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Meeting point

Visitor centre, Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour NSW

 

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Seeking inspired school excursion ideas? Our tip: Escape your classroom and head to Cockatoo Island for a memorable learning experience...

Our interactive high school programs – Social and Maritime Case Study and History Site Study – support key syllabus areas of the NSW Curriculum and foster enquiry-based learning.

Importantly, students will have fun as they interact with historical artefacts from different eras and explore one of the most extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour.

Social and Maritime Case Study

Is your history class preparing for the Higher School Certificate? We recommend Social and Maritime Case Study...

This program is an opportunity for budding historians to examine Cockatoo Island’s place in Australia’s historical narrative from a variety of perspectives. Leveraging the island’s extensive historical sources, students will develop an awareness of the validity of multiple viewpoints.

High School Tour Biloela House Historic House Precinct Convict Era Cockatoo Isla

History Site Study

Through an evaluation of primary and secondary sources, Year 7 to 10 students will gain insights into Australia’s major social, political and technological developments...

History Site Study is complemented by post-visit activities that will further help students to hone their historical enquiry and writing skills, including their ability to use historical language, and identify and organise information using information and communication technologies, and organise information.

High School Tour Sandstone Guardhouse Convict Era Cockatoo Island 650X550

Plan ahead

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Ferries: 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.

Opal cards: If your group is travelling to Cockatoo Island by ferry, each person will need to be in possession of an Opal Card with sufficient funds. Alternatively, you can pre-purchase Opal One Day Travel Passes for their entire group. To arrange Opal One Day Travel Passes for your group, visit opaldaypass.transport.nsw.gov.au.

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On-street parking is available for cars near the ferry wharves at Woolwich, Greenwich, Chiswick, Huntleys Point, Drummoyne, Birchgrove and Balmain. The Clarkes Point Reserve Carpark (access via Clarke Road, Woolwich) offers parking for coaches and is a short walk from the Woolwich ferry wharf.

First Nations disclaimer arrow

Our high school programs contain stories (and may contain images and/or visuals) of deceased people.

Island conditions arrow

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

What to bring arrow

Suitable walking shoes, sun protection, wet weather gear (if needed) and packed lunches.

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General

If you decide to cancel a booking, please provide 48 hours’ notice to avoid being charged a fee to cover casual staff costs.

Weather

Bookings for our high school programs will proceed regardless of weather conditions except in the event that ferry services advise against travelling to Cockatoo Island due to extreme weather conditions.

Guided tour also available arrow

In addition to offering primary school programs, we accept private bookings for our Dark Past Tour. As your students visit iconic landmarks and buildings from different eras – including the Convict Workshops, Dog Leg Tunnel and Biloela House –  our guide will blend history with mystery to captivate their imaginations! To arrange this tour for your class, please complete our school program form

COVID-19 safety arrow

School groups booked into an excursion at Cockatoo Island must ensure teachers and students:

  • maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres from others;
  • have not travelled overseas in the last 14 days;
  • have not been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days; and
  • are not unwell and have not demonstrated any COVID-19 symptoms in the last 14 days.
Request a booking
To request Social and Maritime Case Study or History Site Study for your class, complete our school programs enquiry form...
arrowEnquiry form

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Interested in visiting Cockatoo Island as part of a school excursion? Here are some useful resources...