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Cockatoo Island

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Cockatoo Island, New South Wales, Australia
Phone Number:
+61 2 8969 2100
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Fee: No

Off-limits to the public for more than one hundred years, Cockatoo Island...

Off-limits to the public for more than one hundred years, Cockatoo Island welcomes you to a new chapter in its long and illustrious story. Retaining all its character and heritage from decades of human endeavour by convicts and shipbuilders alike, Cockatoo Island has opened its doors to all, with a mission to re-energise history. Now a place to escape the everyday, a canvas for creatives and cultural events, the world’s first urban waterfront campground and beautiful holiday accommodation, Cockatoo Island has undergone a renaissance in every sense of the word.

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Balmain Pub Walking Tour
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 604 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 256
  • 221
    Very good
  • 55
  • 16
  • 21
Historic, yet so close to Sydney

An amazing oportunity to visit convict ruins so close to the city. Very educational with spectacular views!

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
Sydney, Australia
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604 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 569: English reviews
Level Contributor
74 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

I did this as a half day trip having read reviews that said it was good. Now I have no interest in naval ship building and wouldn't ordinarily have considered it but other reviewers with similar non interest said it was good so I had time to spare and thought I'd try something new. Well, it was certainly a unique... More 

Thank artemis1
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
83 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

An amazing oportunity to visit convict ruins so close to the city. Very educational with spectacular views!

Thank CocoCanberra
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

My partner and I visited cockatoo island just for something to do. We found cockatoo island an enjoyable place to visit, rich in history and beautiful views. Give yourself at least half a day to explore the island and to read all the information boards. I would also recommend packing your own lunch as the cafes are slightly pricey and... More 

Thank JeanetteMN
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Found this island while using the Sydney ferries. Lots of history records it being so former penal colony and also links to ship building. It is apparently a good area to view the new year fire works. Lots of people were setting up tents while we were there.

Thank Angela B
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Very interesting place to stay for a few nights to enjoy the islands history. We stayed in a homestead up on top of the island. Staff were very friendly and helpful.

Thank debra_turner
Level Contributor
100 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The island has the most amazing history from early convicts to today, with ship restoration and work happening today. Its a national park and a UNESCO site so take the literature from the visitor centre and explore

Thank Daniel S
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
107 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

If you are looking for something new to do in Sydney and enjoy history then I recommend Cockatoo Island. It's a great place to spend the day and there's free entry. The unique combination of convict and industrial history make it a fascinating place for history buffs. The audio guide ($5 with 2 headphone jacks, BYO 2nd set of earphones)... More 

Thank Malingshu
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
181 reviews
113 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Being not the first time on Cockatoo Island, we chose what we enjoy seeing and visitors who do not want to spend a whole day there can also consider this option. From the wharf, walk straight to Convict Precinct (UNESCO Heritage site) which is near the end of the camp site. This part of the island is on high ground,... More 

Thank Good_Partner
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Pleasant surprise in Sydney harbour, ferry to the island is like a mini harbour cruise. If you are interested in convicts this is a great visit. You can take a picnic, eat at the cafe or stay for a glamping evening.

Thank Cheryl H
CockatooIsland, Manager at Cockatoo Island, responded to this review

Thanks for your great comments Cheryl H More 

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I love this place. Its very close to the city yet so peaceful and beautiful. Great place for a picnic. Carry your lunch or have a BBQ there. Also camping facilities available. Love the waterfront. Haven't gone camping personally but will love to.

Thank happydips
CockatooIsland, Manager at Cockatoo Island, responded to this review

Great comments thanks happydips More 

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Sydney, New South Wales

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?