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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    General Visitor Informationarrow
  • Q: How do I get to and from Cockatoo Island?

    A: Catching a public ferry is the easiest way to get to and from Cockatoo Island. The F3 and F8 services operate to Cockatoo Island daily, departing from Circular Quay, Darling Harbour and Barangaroo as well as from wharves along Parramatta River. For further information, including timetables, visit the Transport NSW website. You can also visit Cockatoo Island by water taxi, private boat or kayak.

    Q: Does Cockatoo Island offer food and beverage options?

    A: There are two cafes on Cockatoo Island, both of which are family-friendly venues licensed to serve alcohol. Societé Overboard is located a short stroll from the ferry wharf, while the Marina Café and Bar is is near Camber Wharf. The island’s vending machines contain small snacks and cold drinks, small sundry food items are available for purchase from the Visitor Centre and a range of meal and barbeque packs are available for pre-order.

    Q: Can I bring my own food and drinks?

    A: You are free to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages to Cockatoo Island; however, a No BYO Alcohol Policy applies to campground guests. Both of the island’s cafés are licensed to serve alcohol, and takeaway wine and beer is available to accommodation guests from Societé Overboard.

    Q: Is smoking permitted on Cockatoo Island?

    A: Smoking is permitted with some exceptions. Visitors are not permitted to smoke in accommodation areas, including the campground, or within five metres of any buildings. 

    Q: Is there an ATM on Cockatoo Island?

    A: There are no ATMs on the island; however, the Visitor Centre and other retail outlets offer EFTPOS facilities. Note: Minimum purchase amounts may apply, cash withdrawals not available.

    Q: Are lockers available on Cockatoo Island?

    A: Gold coin operated lockers are located in the Muster Station (near the Visitor Centre) for use by day visitors and campground guests seeking to store their luggage, prior to check-in and following check-out. Each locker contains power outlets for charging devices.

    • Small lockers (20cm x 20cm x 40cm) are available $2 for eight hours or $4 for 24 hours.
    • Medium lockers (30cm x 40cm x 60cm) are available for $4 for eight hours or $8 for 24 hours.
    • Large lockers (55cm x 60cm x 90cm) are available for $8 for eight hours or $12 for 24 hours.

    Q: Where is the closest parking?

    A: Visitors and accommodation guests are not permitted to bring vehicles onto Cockatoo Island. Parking is available at Woolwich, with plenty of unmetered spaces. Valentia Street Wharf at Woolwich is just one ferry stop from the island.

    Q: Who manages Cockatoo Island?

    A: Cockatoo Island is managed by the Harbour Trust.

    Q: Is there disability access?

    A: Cockatoo Island has wheelchair access and accessible toilet facilities; however, there are some uneven surfaces.

    Q: Can I bring my pet to Cockatoo Island?

    A: All animals aside from guide dogs are not allowed on the island.

    Q: Does the island have a bag check policy?

    A: Yes. Our rangers and security officers will undertake random bag checks as visitors arrive at Cockatoo Island, and will confiscate prohibited items, including alcohol, portable BBQs and skateboards. Visitors will be asked to surrender any alcohol prior to a bag check. Any item surrendered will be placed in our security office and can be collected by the owner upon their departure. Visitors who fail to surrender prohibited items, which are then discovered during a bag check, can be fined up to $340. Visitors who decline a bag check will be asked to leave the island on the next ferry.

    Tours And Other Activitiesarrow
  • Q: Does Cockatoo Island offer tours to the public?

    A: Visitors can embark on guided tours as well self-guided audio tours. For more information, see: Tours 

    Q: Does Cockatoo Island have sporting facilities?

    A: Cockatoo Island has a harbourside basketball court and a novelty-sized chess board, both located on the Eastern Apron. The tennis court on the upper island is currently closed to the public. For more information, see: Visit 

    Q: Are there activities for kids on Cockatoo Island?

    A: Children aged 12 and under can head to the Visitor Centre for a free activity book. These include colouring-in challenges and games. Don’t forget to bring pencils!

    Q: Are there movie screenings at Cockatoo Island?

    A: Our Campground Cinema, located on the Upper Island in the Convict Precinct (Building 4), is open to the public every night. Following an all-ages movie screens at 7pm every night, there is a screening for grownups at 9:15pm.

    Q: Can I fish on Cockatoo Island?

    A: Fishing is not allowed on the island.

    Alcohol Consumptionarrow
  • Q: Are people permitted to bring alcohol to the island?

    A: To prevent unsafe alcohol consumption and curb anti-social behaviour, alcohol rules are enforced on the island by our rangers and security officers.

    Rules for day visitors

    Visitors are NOT permitted to bring alcohol onto the island. Apartment and heritage house guests are an exception to this rule. Both of the island's food and beverage venues – Societe Overboard and the Marina Café and Bar – are licensed to serve alcohol. Note: Children are not permitted into the bar areas of these venues after 3pm Saturdays and Sundays.

    Rules for campers

    Campers are NOT permitted to bring alcohol onto the island. The campground is a shared, family-friendly zone patrolled by rangers and security officers. Security and rangers patrol the campground and can confiscate any alcohol found during this time, and also issue on-the-spot fines. Bag checks apply before check-in.

    Both of the island’s cafés are licensed to serve alcohol, and takeaway alcohol is available to campers from Societe Overboard during their operating hours. Note: Takeaway alcohol can be consumed in one of three licensed areas – within a tent, within the campground kitchen and at the campground fire pit. Each camper is limited to one bottle of wine (opened), and four cups of beer per hour per booking, due to NSW Liquor Licensing laws.

    Rules for apartment and house guests

    Heritage House and apartment guests are permitted to bring alcohol to consume within their rented accommodation. Unlike the campground, the Houses and Apartments have their own designated areas, including kitchens, balconies and outdoor areas. The responsible consumption of alcohol within these areas is the responsibility of the guest who made the booking.

    Accommodation Guests arrow
  • Q: Is there anything I need to bring with me?

    A: Depending on what is included in your selected accommodation package, we recommend you bring certain items with you.

    • Heritage Houses and Apartments: Food, beverages and personal items.
    • Camping Package: Sleeping bags pillows, a torch, food, non-alcoholic beverages, cooking utensils, cutlery, plates and personal items. If you are a light sleeper, you can collect ear plugs from the Visitor Centre upon check-in. 
    • Deluxe Camping Package: Food, non-alcoholic beverages, cooking utensils, cutlery, plates, personal items and a torch. If you are a light sleeper, you can collect ear plugs from the Visitor Centre upon check-in.
    • Deluxe Waterfront Camping Package: Food, non-alcoholic beverages, cooking utensils, cutlery, plates and personal items. If you are a light sleeper, you can collect ear plugs from the Visitor Centre upon check-in.
    • Deluxe Waterfront Two-Bedroom Camping Package: Food, non-alcoholic beverages, cooking utensils, cutlery, plates and personal items. If you are a light sleeper, you can collect ear plugs from the Visitor Centre upon check-in.
    • BYO Tent (aka Site Only) Camping Packages: A tent, sleeping bags, pillows, torch, food, non-alcoholic beverages, cooking utensils, cutlery, plates and personal items. If you are a light sleeper, you can collect ear plugs from the Visitor Centre upon check-in.

    Q: Can I hire or purchase additional items on the island?

    A: Yes. The following extras are available for campers and other accommodation guests to hire and purchase from the Visitor Centre:

    • Sleeping mats, pillows and towels (For Hire)
    • Biodegradable plates, bowls, cups and cutlery (For Purchase)
    • Sleeping bags (For Purchase)
    • High chair and cot (For Hire – Heritage Houses and Apartments only)
    • Ice (For Purchase – $7 per bag).

    Q: Are gift vouchers available?

    A: Yes, gift vouchers are available for our accommodation options. Purchase a gift voucher

    Q: Where can accommodation guests enjoy food?

    A: For a care-free stay on Cockatoo Island, we offer a range of convenient meal options for campers and other accommodation guests.

    Waterfront cafés

    For catered dining, head to Societe Overboard, just a short stroll from the ferry wharf, or journey to Camber Wharf to arrive at the Marina Café and Bar. These family-friendly venues are both licensed to serve alcohol. For more information, see: Visit

    Campground kitchen

    The campground kitchen offers campers a range of sheltered facilities exclusively for their use. These include barbeques, boiling water, fridges, a coffee maker, microwaves, a vending machine and seating for up to 50 people.

    BBQ and breakfast packs

    A range of BBQ and breakfast packs are available for campers and other accommodation guests to pre-order from Societé Overboard. Orders must be placed at least 48 hours prior to arrival. Orders can be made at the time of booking your accommodation online (see: optional extras section of the booking process). If you have already made an accommodation booking and would like to add a pack to your reservation, please email us at stay@cockatooisland.gov.au and we can assist.

    BBQ Pack Menu

    Youfoodz (pre-order required)

    A selection of fresh Youfoodz meals are available for purchase. Unlike frozen meals, Youfoodz meals are supplied fresh to the island, and are ready to enjoy following two minutes in a microwave. Our Yoofoodz range includes creamy steak and mushroom, beef lasagne, butter chicken, honey mustard chicken and creamy mushroom cannelloni.

    Orders must be placed at least 10 days prior to arrival. Orders can be made at the time of booking your accommodation online (see: optional extras section of the booking process). If you have already made an accommodation booking and would like to add a meal or barbeque pack to your reservation, please email us at stay@cockatooisland.gov.au and we can assist.

    Q: Do you have accommodation Terms and Conditions online?

    A: Yes. You will find a link to the accommodation T&Cs on the webpages for our individual offerings. Alternatively, you can view the T&Cs here

    Waterfront Campground arrow
  • Q: Where on Cockatoo Island is the campground located?

    A: The campground is located on the water’s edge at the northern end of Cockatoo Island.

    Q: What time is check-in and check-out for campground guests?

    A: Check-in is 2pm; check-out is 10am. The Visitor Centre is open for check-in until 5:00pm. Security will be available to assist with late check-ins.

    Q: How many people can fit in a tent?

    A: The maximum person per tent, will depend on which camping package you purchase:

    • Camping Package (Two adults and two small children OR three adults)
    • Deluxe Camping Package and Deluxe Waterfront Camping Package (Two people)
    • Deluxe Waterfront Two-Bedroom Camping Package (Four people)

    For more information, see: Camping on Cockatoo Island

    Q: What size are the BYO tent sites?

    A: Each BYO tent site is 4m x 4m. For more information, see: Camping on Cockatoo Island

    Q: Can I bring my own tent?

    A: Yes. However, if your tent exceeds 4m x 4m you will need to book one or more additional BYO tent sites.

    Q: Is power available to campers?

    A: Pre-erected tents and BYO tent sites are unpowered; however, power is available to accommodation guests in the communal kitchen, shower facilities and locker facilities.

    Q: What amenities are available?

    A: All campers have access to hot showers, toilets and a communal kitchen featuring fridges, microwaves and a boiling water system. Campers are prohibited from bringing personal cooktops, gas or charcoal BBQs.

    Q: Does Cockatoo Island have a fire pit?

    A: Yes. Cockatoo Island’s fire pit is located towards the end of the campground, near the slipways. It is lit every night, dependent on weather.

    Q: Are there laundry facilities?

    A: The campground laundry facilities, near the slipway, are available for use during offices hours of 9am to 4pm. To use these facilities, head to the accommodation counter at the Visitor Centre. Each washing load is $4 and detergent satchels are also available for purchase.

    Q: Can I bring my campervan or boat?

    A: Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate campervans on the island; however there is parking available at Woolwich, just a short ferry ride away. Short-term and overnight boat berthing is available at Camber Wharf on the southern side of island. Book at Cockatoo Island Marine Centre.

    Q: Is after-hours help available?

    A: Our security team is onsite 24 hours a day. Contact details are provided to guests at check-in.

    Heritage Houses and Apartmentsarrow
  • Q: What time is check-in and check-out?

    A: Check-in is 3:00pm; check-out is 11:00am. The Visitor Centre is open for check-in until 5:00pm. Security will be available to assist with late check-ins.

    Q: Where do I check-in?

    A: Check-in is at the Visitor Centre. Guests of the Houses and Apartments, and their luggage, are taken to the Upper Island by guest services staff in the buggy.

    Q: Is there a minimum length of stay?

    A: Yes. Heritage house guests must stay a minimum of one night if there stay occurs between Monday and Thursday or two nights if there stay is occurs between Friday and Sunday. Apartment guests must stay a minimum of nights if their stay occurs between Friday and Sunday.

    Q: Can I hold a function in the Harbour View or Garden Apartments?

    A: Apartments are only for the residential use of booked occupants. No functions, events, ceremonies or parties are to be held in the apartments.

    Q: Can I hold a function in the Heritage Houses?

    A: Booked occupants of the houses can hold a small event up to 30 people. Fees apply. For more information, view our Hire Agreement for Event Bookings in the Heritage Houses.

    Q: Can I bring my own alcohol if I'm staying in a house or an apartment?

    A: Guests staying in the island’s Heritage Houses and Apartments are permitted to bring a reasonable amount of alcohol to consume within their rented accommodation.