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Summer holiday program

Escape to Cockatoo Island during the summer holidays (until 28 January 2022) and enjoy activities that combine fun, outdoor exploration, and history.

Our summer holiday program boasts activities for everyone, including families and vacationing school kids as well as those eager to explore our iconic destination or enjoy a scenic staycation.

We are proud to offer visitors a selection of great all-ages tours, ideal for families with young kids as well as vacation care providers. 

Can’t make it to Cockatoo Island or want a fun pre- or post-visit activity? Be sure to check out our FREE sand sculpture tutorial, only available online until 28 January.  

Sand sculpture tutorial (FREE)

Join us for an online tutorial and create your own mythological sea creature...

Cost: FREE | Tutorial duration: 22mins | Available: 20 December to 28 January

Seeking a sand-tastic activity that will entertain you over summer? Watch our sand sculpting tutorial and learn how to create a mythological sea creature from sand! Suitable for children and their families, this tutorial ties into the common 18th and 19th Century fear amongst sailors and convicts that giant mythological roamed the sea. Presented by sand sculpture group, Thrill, this tutorial is the perfect companion activity to our Crooked Characters Meet a Sea Creature Tour.


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Fun all-ages tours

We’re running five other great all-ages tours during the holidays…

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

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Saturdays at 11am

Book tickets for our World War II Shipyard Tour to learn about the significant contribution Cockatoo Island's dockyard made to the Allied 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.

Convict Precinct Tour (all-ages)

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Saturdays at 1:30pm

During the Convict Precinct Tour, our guide will lead you through the turbulent history of the island's former penal establishment, stopping at iconic landmarks including the Mess Hall, Barracks, Guardhouse, Military Officers Quarters and Solitary Confinement Cells.

Lower Island Tour (all-ages, accessible)

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Sundays at 11am

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.

Sandstone to Steel Tour (all-ages)

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Sundays at 1:30pm

Want a crash course in Cockatoo Island's storied history? Book tickets for Sandstone to Steel. This all-ages tour charts the changing face of Cockatoo Island. As you visit key landmarks, our guide will reveal how they fit into the island’s historical narrative. They will also share anecdotes about a colourful cast of real-life characters.

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!

Camping adventure

Escape the hustle and bustle of modern life with a stay at our award-winning waterfront campground on Sydney Harbour.

Check into our waterfront campground, featuring unbeatable views of Sydney Harbour. Choose from five camping packages, catering for a range of budgets, group sizes and occasions, including romantic getaways and family vacations.

Waterfront Campground Sunrise Cockatoo Island Sydney Harbour 1920X1080

Crooked Characters Meet a Sea Creature Tour

Unfortunately as a result of staff shortages due to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Crooked Characters Meet a Sea Creature Tour.

Ticket holders will be contacted directly by our ticketing platform, Ticketbooth, and refunded in full.

We apologise for any inconvenience.


Helpful links

Looking to visit, stay at or tour Cockatoo Island? Here are some useful links...