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Guided history tour at Cockatoo Island.

Guided tours of Cockatoo Island

Eager to experience a different side to Sydney? Journey to Cockatoo Island’s storied convict and dockyard eras – or dare to step into the supernatural realm – with our guided tours.

We offer 5 all-ages tours, including tours suitable for visitors with low mobility plus a night tour that blends mystery with history.

Up for a fright? Try our adults-only Ghost Tour. Best of all? As you explore the largest island on Sydney Harbour, including heritage buildings rarely opened to the public, a knowledgeable guide will field your questions and share fascinating anecdotes.

Our guided tours run to a weekend schedule but we also accept group bookings for weekdays. Details below.

Island Highlights Tour

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Saturdays at 11am & Sundays at 1:30pm

Want a crash course in Cockatoo Island's history? This tour charts the changing face of Cockatoo Island. As you visit key landmarks, our guide will reveal how they fit into the island’s narrative and share anecdotes about a colourful cast of real-life characters.

Ghost Tour (18+)

Cost: $47 per person | Duration: 2 hours | Available: Select Saturday nights at 9pm

As the witching hour approaches, embark on our popular Ghost Tour and journey into Cockatoo Island’s supernatural realm. As you search for ghosts and explore historic buildings rarely open to the public, our guide will share macabre stories and hair-raising paranormal tales, including reported hauntings. 

Convict Prison Tour

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

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

Dark Past Tour

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 90 mins | Available: Saturday nights at 6:30pm

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!

Lower Island Tour (accessible)

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

Explore the lower island, including the cathedral-like Turbine Shop, convict-built Fitzroy Dock and towering Powerhouse chimney. Along the way, our guide will share stories and anecdotes that paint a vivid picture of the island throughout the ages.

World War 2 Shipyard Tour (accessible)

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Private group bookings only

Learn about the significant contribution Cockatoo Island's dockyard made to the Allied war effort during the global conflict. Our 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.

Private group tours available

Want to arrange a tour for a large group? Some of our guided tours are available for private group bookings between Monday and Friday, subject to guide availability.

Private group tour – request form

Cost: From $16 per person (min. 10 people) | Duration: 60 mins | Available: Monday to Friday by appointment

Private group tours can be booked between Monday and Friday for 10 or more people. Probus groups, tour operators, and other interested groups are invited to complete our group tour request form. There are 4 tours to choose from: World War 2 Shipyard Tour, Lower Island Tour, Convict Prison Tour and Island Highlights Tour.

*Due to current high levels of demand, we are unable to book any private or on demand tours less than 14 days in advance of the tour date. Bookings subject to guide availability.

Our weekday on-demand tours will be available until 15 December 2023. We look forward to offering these tours again from 15 January 2024. 

Convict Precinct Group Tour Guided Tours Cockatoo Island Sydney Harbour 710X480

Tour calendar

Planning a trip to Cockatoo Island? See how one of our guided tours can fit into your schedule.

Day Available tours
Mon to Thurs

Helpful links

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