Today, Cockatoo Island is a popular escape for Sydneysiders and tourists alike. Rewind to the mid-1800s, however, and people were singing a very different tune. That’s because – from 1839 to 1869 – the island was a notorious convict penal establishment, where inmates suffered through grim living conditions and backbreaking work.
This lively, all-ages tour will introduce a line-up of brave, foolhardy and desperate convicts who dared to escape, including fabled bushranger Captain Thunderbolt. As you explore the island, you’ll hear about successful and ill-fated escape attempts involving disguises, sewers, shark-infested waters, stolen boats and a volley of bullets.
Book tickets for a scheduled tour or request an on-demand tour for your group...
Although this is an all-ages tour, people under 18 must be accompanied by an adult as our guide will address potentially confronting.
The tour contains stories (and may contain images and/or visuals) of deceased people.
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.
Suitable walking shoes and wet weather clothing (if needed).
This tour will proceed regardless of weather conditions except in the event of extreme weather.
Ahead of your visit, we encourage you to read the terms and conditions for this tour.
Looking to visit, stay at or tour Cockatoo Island? Here are some useful links...