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Audio Tour

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$5 per person 

  • Available between 10am and 4pm daily.
  • Runs approx. 1½ hours
  • Ferry
  • Water taxi
  • Private boat
  • Kayak
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Meeting point

Visitor Centre, Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour, NSW

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Journey through Cockatoo Island’s complex and layered history at your own pace with our engaging audio tour.

Featuring an informative narrator, immersive sound effects and archival interviews with former workers and residents, this self-guided tour paints a vivid picture of the island’s bygone days across 26 audio stops.

You’ll learn about the poor living conditions of convicts incarcerated in the island’s former penal establishment, and the hellish plight of the young women raised in the Biloela Public Industrial School for Girls and the Biloela Reformatory. You’ll also hear about the feats achieved by the thousands of workers employed at the island’s enormous shipyard during the 20th century and the enduring significance of the island for First Nations Peoples.


The audio tour is available on demand from the Visitor Centre between 10am and 4pm daily. The tour is $5 per person and includes an audio unit, headphones and a special map. We also accept private bookings for groups of between ten and 30 people. To arrange a private booking for our audio tour, complete our enquiry form.


Plan ahead

Content warning arrow

There is no age restriction on the audio tour; however, children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult as the tour contains mature themes.

First Nations disclaimer arrow

The tour contains stories (and may contain images and/or visuals) of deceased people.

Island conditions arrow

The tour involves a steep incline and some uneven surfaces, and it is not suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. A moderate level of fitness and mobility is required.

What to bring arrow

Suitable walking shoes and wet weather clothing (if needed).


Tour suspended

In light of recent Government advice surrounding COVID-19, this tour is being suspended until further notice...

Our priority is to limit the transmission of the virus and ensure the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff. We will review the situation regularly as advice evolves. 

N.Head Discovery 650X550

Helpful links

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