EN language selector search
EN arrow Contact search arrow Subscribe

Tours of Cockatoo Island

arrow View COVID-19 Updates page for disruptions to tours
Looking for things to do in Sydney? Journey back to Cockatoo Island’s storied convict and maritime eras – or dare to step into the supernatural realm – with our program of history and paranormal tours.

The program caters for different ages, interests and personalities – from history buffs and ghost seekers through to families and seniors’ clubs. Our tours are also a great opportunity to discover iconic landmarks, including heritage buildings rarely opened to the general public.  

Book tickets for one of our regular guided tours, request a private tour for your group or drop by our visitor centre to pick-up a headset and map for our self-guided audio tour.

Regular tours

Our Dark Past and Ghost Tours are a staple of our weekend program. Meanwhile, our Lower Island and World War II Shipyard Tours are running every week for a limited season…

Ghost Tour (18+)

Cost: From $47 | Duration: Two hours | Available: Friday and Saturday nights

As the witching hour approaches, embark on our popular Ghost Tour and journey into Cockatoo Island’s supernatural realm. As you search for ghosts and explore historic buildings rarely open to the public, our guide will share macabre true stories and hair-raising paranormal tales, including reported hauntings. Feeling brave? Book our ‘Overnight Fright’ package! After the tour, we’ll screen a horror film in the Convict Cinema and you’ll spend the night in our campground.

Dark Past Tour (all-ages)

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 90 mins | Available: Saturday nights

Secrets. Scandals. Skeletons... Cockatoo Island has its fair share of all three. Discover for yourself with our intrigue-filled Dark Past Tour. As you 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 your imagination!

Lower Island Tour (all-ages, accessible)

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Select Saturdays

As you explore the lower island, including the cathedral-like Turbine Shop, convict-built Fitzroy Dock and towering Powerhouse chimney, our knowledgeable guide will share stories and anecdotes that paint a vivid picture of the island throughout the ages. Suitable for less mobile visitors. 

World War II Shipyard Tour (all-ages, accessible)

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Select Saturdays

Book tickets for our World War II Shipyard Tour to learn about the significant contribution Cockatoo Island's dockyard made to the Allies’ war effort during the global conflict. A knowledgeable guide will delve into this fascinating slice of maritime history as you visit key landmarks including the Turbine Shop, Fitzroy and Sutherland Docks and the Slipways.

Self-guided tour

Journey through Cockatoo Island’s complex and layered history at your own pace with our engaging Audio Tour…

Audio Tour (all-ages)

Cost: $6 | Duration: approx. 90 mins | Available from the visitor centre

Featuring an informative narrator, immersive sound effects and archival interviews with former workers and residents, our self-guided Audio Tour paints a vivid picture of the island’s bygone days across 26 audio stops. Visitors can rent the Audio Tour handset from the visitor centre during operating hours (9:30am to 3pm Mon to Fri, 9:30am to 4pm on weekends). No booking required. 

Audio Tour Convict Precinct Couple Cockatoo Island Syney Harbour 650X550

Arrange a tour

We accept private group bookings for all our regular tours. Plus, our Convict Precinct Tour is currently available EXCLUSIVELY for private bookings...

Cost: Varies (From $16 per person) | Duration: Varies (45-120 mins)|  Available by request

Convict Precinct Tour (all-ages)

In 2010, the Cockatoo Island Convict Site (1839-69) was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List with 10 other heritage sites nationally. Our guide will lead you through the turbulent history of the former penal establishment, stopping at iconic landmarks including the convict workshops and gaol.

Eastern Apron Cockatoo Island Sydney Harbour Waterfront 650X550

Other tours

Cockatoo Island is just one of the extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour protected by the Harbour Trust…

Visit the Harbour Trust’s website to discover tours of other heritage sites including North Fort in Manly, Sub Base Platypus in North Sydney, Macquarie lighthouse in Vaucluse and Georges Heights in Mosman.

Third Quarantine Cemetery 650X550