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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.

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.

Ghost Tour (18+)

Cost: From $37 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. 

Dark Past Tour

Cost: From $16 | Duration: 90 mins | Available: Select 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!

Historic Dockyard Tour (accessible)

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

Our new Historic Dockyard Tour is an opportunity to journey through 134 years of maritime history at Cockatoo Island and discover key landmarks from the former dockyard, including the convict-built Fitzroy Dock as well as Sutherland Dock and the cathedral-like Turbine Shop.

Lower Island Tour (accessible)

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

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.

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: Lower Island Tour (accessible), Convict Prison Tour, Island Highlights Tour and Historic Dockyard 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.

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.