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School holidays program

These school holidays, escape with friends and family to Cockatoo Island on Sydney Harbour!

Between Saturday 11 April 2020 and Sunday 26 April 2020, there will be an exciting program of activities including vacation care, immersive tours and historic crane demos. Children will have opportunities to learn outdoors, make friends and tap into their creativity as they discover one of Sydney’s most extraordinary places. Plus, families can pick up free Convict Clues or Ship Shape Challenge activity books from our Visitor Centre. 

Crooked Characters Tour

Cost: $12 per adult, $5 per child (12 and under)

Duration: 60 mins

Dates/times: TBD

Meeting point: Campground fire pit

Note: Online bookings are essential

Kids and their families will get to know the charlatans, rogues, thieves and cut-throats that once populated Cockatoo Island, with our Crooked Characters Tour. This hour-long tour takes families on a hilarious and fascinating journey through the island’s colonial and recent history.


Convict Escape Attempts Tour

Cost: $16 per adult, $5 per child (12 and under)

Duration: 60 mins

Hours: TBA

Meeting Point: Visitor Centre

Note: Secure your spot online or purchase tickets at the Visitor Centre. 

This all-ages tour will introduce you to the brave, foolhardy and desperate convicts who dared to escape Cockatoo Island’s penal establishment between 1839 and 1869. 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.

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From Sandstone to Steel Tour

Cost: $16 per adult, $5 per child (12 and under)

Duration: 90 mins

Hours: TBA

Meeting Point: Visitor Centre

Note: Online bookings are essential

Our all-ages From Sandstone to Steel Tour is a crash course in the island's layered history and an opportunity to explore landmarks including the Convict Precinct and cathedral-like Turbine Shed.


Steam Crane Demos

Cost: Free

Dates/times: TBA

Location: Fitzroy Dock

Note: No booking required. If a Total Fire Ban is in effect on the advertised dates, the demos will not proceed

Travel back to the era when steam ruled! See the island's oldest steam crane – the Mort's Dock Steam Crane – come to life. It was built by Mort’s Dock and Engineering Company at Balmain and installed next to Fitzroy Dock in 1891. 



Vacation care

Cost: $12 per student, supervisors free of charge

Dates: Available Monday-Friday between 13 and 24 April 2020

Times: 11:30am – 2pm

Cockatoo Island’s vacation care program combines fun activities, outdoor exploration and historical learning. Children will learn about the Island's storied past, including the golden maritime era, as they engage in fun games such as historical roleplay. They will also get to tap into their creativity as they construct ships using LEGO and recyclable materials.


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