Our two primary school programs – Convict Times and Then, Now and Tomorrow – each support several key syllabus areas of the NSW Curriculum and have been designed to foster enquiry-based learning. Critically, students will have fun as they interact with historical artefacts from different eras and explore one of the most extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour. PLUS: We recently launched an online version of Convict Times to enable more schools to access this popular program.
Available as an on-site or online excursion, Convict Times transports students (Kindy to Year 4) to the colonial era...
As students engage in outdoor exploration, role-play and dress up, they will learn about the First fleet, the impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, and the island’s convict penal establishment, which operated from 1839 to 1869.
We have transformed our popular Convict Times program into a self-paced virtual excursion! This immersive online history lesson has been designed to activate imaginations and encourage the use of primary and secondary sources.
Students (Years 1 to 4) will journey through the island’s layered history with this on-site excursion...
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.
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.
Our primary school programs contain stories (and may contain images and/or visuals) of deceased people.
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
Suitable walking shoes, sun protection, wet weather gear (if needed) and packed lunches.
If you decide to cancel a booking, please provide 48 hours’ notice to avoid being charged a fee to cover casual staff costs.
Bookings for our primary 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.
In addition to offering primary school programs, we accept private bookings from schools for our our Haunted History, Convict Precinct and Group History Tours. To arrange one of these tours for your class, please complete our school program form.
School groups booked into an excursion at Cockatoo Island must ensure teachers and students:
Learn about history, geography, biodiversity and First Nations cultures with our selection of resources for primary school students...
Interested in visiting Cockatoo Island as part of a school excursion? Here are some useful resources...