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Our News

Welcome to Cockatoo Island's online newsroom.

Continue to check this page for news and other updates about Cockatoo Island, including upcoming events and attractions.

14 September 2020
Tours running during the school holidays – don't miss out

To celebrate the school holidays, we're relaunching three of our tours for a limited season (26 September to 11 October). 'From Sandstone to Steel' is a crash-course in the island's layered history. Meanwhile, 'Haunted History' is a journey into the island's dark past and 'Convict Escape Attempts' is an opportunity to learn about the prisoners who dared escaped the convict penal establishment. Be quick – tickets are limited!

7 September 2020
Spring Saver Deal: Save 30% on stays (T&Cs apply)

To celebrate Spring, we’re offering a MASSIVE discount on stays in our award-winning heritage accommodation and campground! Our Spring Saver Deal entitles you to 30% off weeknight rates (Monday to Friday) when you stay with us for two or more nights during September 2020. T&Cs apply.

13 August 2020
COVID-19 updates

This page provides updates on the current status of Cockatoo Island, including the steps we are taking to ensure a safe visitor experience during COVID-19. The health and safety of visitors to Cockatoo Island remains paramount. Relevantly, we continue to work closely with the NSW Government to ensure our operations are in line with the latest advice on coronavirus.

31 July 2020
Celebrating 10 years: Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property

Ten years ago, the Cockatoo Island Convict Site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List together with 10 other remnant convict sites from across Australia.

29 May 2020
Woolwich Wharf upgrade works begin 10 June

Woolwich Wharf will be temporarily closed from Wednesday 10 June 2020 while the NSW Government constructs a modern, accessible ferry wharf for the local community.Ferry services will be temporarily relocated to Clarke Road Wharf (also known as the Deckhouse Wharf) during this period.

27 May 2020
Biennale of Sydney reopening at Cockatoo Island on 16 June

In light of the NSW Government’s decision to permit galleries and museums to reopen to the public from June, the Biennale of Sydney exhibition at Cockatoo Island will relaunch for an extended, twelve-week run on Tuesday 16 June.

19 May 2020
Join us online for National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June)

The Harbour Trust is taking a digital-first approach to National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June) to enable all Australians to safely join us as we celebrate our First Nations community and advocate for a fairer, more inclusive nation. Our program includes a free webinar on Aboriginal trackers (27 May), a DigiTale on Bungaree, and a curated selection of music, films and kids activity sheets.

18 April 2020
New video celebrates Cockatoo Island's convict heritage

To celebrate World Heritage Day, the Australian Convict Sites Steering Committee have revealed a brand new video showcasing the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property, which includes Cockatoo Island's Convict Site.

8 April 2020
Complete the Harbour Trust's Visitor Survey 2020 for a chance to win a $150 voucher (T&Cs apply)

Complete our visitor survey for your chance to WIN one of four $150 food & beverage vouchers, valid at one of our cafés or restaurants on Sydney Harbour (T&Cs apply). Be quick, entries close Friday 19 June.

9 March 2020
Draft Harbour Trust Leasing Policy – submission deadline extended

The Harbour Trust, which is the agency that manages Cockatoo Island, has extended the deadline for providing comment on the Draft Harbour Trust Leasing Policy 2020. Members of the community now have until 5pm on Friday 29 May to comment on the draft policy, which proposes to amend the Harbour Trust’s current Leasing Policy.

12 February 2020
Discover what's on at Cockatoo Island during Biennale of Sydney

Cockatoo Island is being reimagined as an immersive contemporary art space for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney. Between 14 March and 8 June, visitors to the island are invited to engage with a series of public artworks – and participate in free and tickets events – anchored in this year’s theme: NIRIN.

3 February 2020
Notice: Disruptions to regular island access (05/02 to 10/03)

Three exciting events are coming soon to Cockatoo Island. While important works are carried out to build the event spaces for Red Hot Summer Tour, Sydney SailGP and the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, parts of the island will be closed to ensure public safety and create a safe work environment.

7 February 2020
Red Hot Summer Tour (8 and 9 Feb) cancelled due to weather

The Bureau of Meteorology have issued a severe weather warning due to heavy rain, damaging winds and thunderstorms continuing across the weekend. Regrettably, the Red Hot Summer Tour shows on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February have been cancelled as a result.

3 February 2020
Notice of amplified noise this weekend

Premier music festival, Red Hot Summer Tour, is marking its 10th anniversary with two sold out shows at Cockatoo Island on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February. Owing to the nature of this event, it is possible that amplified music will be audible to residents in nearby suburbs.

29 January 2020
Draft Harbour Trust Leasing Policy 2020 – Submissions Invited

The Harbour Trust is inviting the public to comment on the Draft Harbour Trust Leasing Policy 2020. Submissions are invited until 5 pm AEDT on Wednesday 11 March 2020.

23 January 2020
Special convict tour running during Seniors Festival (12 to 22 Feb)

Celebrate NSW Seniors Festival 2020 with an exclusive tour of Cockatoo Island’s UNESCO World-Heritage listed Convict Precinct led by one of our knowledgeable guide. Running Wednesday to Saturday between 12 and 22 February, this 60-minute tour is a great opportunity to learn about the former penal establishment and admire iconic landmarks from this turbulent chapter in the island’s history.

14 January 2020
Harbour Trust Review: Register for the new public forum (18 Feb)

Have your say on your say on the future of Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour and the agency that manages it – the Harbour Trust – at a public forum next month.

15 November 2019
Celebrate Dance Rites at Cockatoo Island

The Harbour Trust has partnered with the Sydney Opera House to bring Dance Rites 2019 to Cockatoo Island. On 23, 24 and 30 November, there will be events and activities celebrating First Nations dance, music and community.

11 November 2019
Cockatoo Island Dialogue: Read the Outcomes Report

The Harbour Trust has published a report on the outcomes of a recent dialogue with the community about the future of Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour.

1 November 2019
Tickets for Sunset Sessions now on sale

Ready to kickstart summer a little early? Our popular live music series, Sunset Sessions returns to Cockatoo Island this month. We have 12 outdoor shows between 23 November and 28 March. Meet the amazing line-up and book tickets.

31 October 2019
New Overnight Fright Experience

Test your fear threshold with this new paranormal package. Experience our popular Ghostyard tour, followed by a horror film in the campground cinema. No need to pitch a tent - we take care of that with an overnight stay at the island's urban campground.

30 August 2019
Check out our school holiday program

These school holidays, escape with friends and family to the heart of Sydney Harbour! Between Saturday, 28 September and Sunday, 13 October, Cockatoo Island will offer an exciting program of activities, including vacation care, historic crane demos and immersive tours.

13 August 2019
Celebrate History Week at Cockatoo Island

Running from 31 August until 8 September, History Week 2019 (NSW) is a great opportunity for the community to engage with the layered narrative of Sydney Harbour. During this week-long celebration, the Harbour Trust will host a program of events that examine the historical significance of Cockatoo Island and other special places on Sydney Harbour.

1 August 2019
Hunters & Collectors headlining Red Hot Summer Tour 2020

Hunters & Collectors will headline the Red Hot Summer Tour 2020 at historic Cockatoo Island on Saturday, 8 February.

11 July 2019
John Farnham returning to Cockatoo Island in November

John “The Voice” Farnham will headline the One Electric Day festival at Cockatoo Island this November.

29 May 2019
Cockatoo Island: Have Your Say

As our city grows and changes – it is timely to discuss what is most valued about Cockatoo Island, and to explore fresh ideas and opportunities for its ongoing revival.

09 May 2019
Sunset Sessions Special: Live Music For National Reconciliation Week (1 June)

Heading to Vivid Sydney 2019? Our upcoming Sunset Sessions special, recognising National Reconciliation Week, is a great way to gear up for the city’s dazzling light festival!

25 February 2019
Cockatoo Island Open Accommodation Day 2019

Open Accommodation Day (Sunday, 24 March) is a rare opportunity to explore our waterfront campground as well as our holiday houses and apartments, which marry heritage character and with modern amenities.