Featuring an informative narrator, immersive sound effects and archival interviews with former workers and residents, this self-guided tour paints a vivid picture of the island’s bygone days across 26 audio stops.
You’ll learn about the poor living conditions of convicts incarcerated in the island’s former penal establishment, and the hellish plight of the young women raised in the Biloela Public Industrial School for Girls and the Biloela Reformatory. You’ll also hear about the feats achieved by the thousands of workers employed at the island’s enormous shipyard during the 20th century and the enduring significance of the island for First Nations Peoples.
The easiest way to get to Cockatoo Island is by public ferry. The F3 and F8 services operate to Cockatoo Island daily, departing from Circular Quay, Darling Harbour and Barangaroo as well as from wharves along Parramatta River. For further information, including timetables, visit the Transport NSW website. You can also visit Cockatoo Island by water taxi, private boat or kayak.
$5 per person (includes audio unit, headphones and a special map)
Note: The audio tour is available for purchase from the Visitor Centre between 10am and 4pm daily.
All ages: There is no age restriction on the audio tour; however, children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult as the tour contains mature themes.
Warning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: The audio tour contains stories (and may contain images and/or visuals) of deceased people.
Conditions: This tour involves a steep incline and some uneven surfaces, and it is not suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. A moderate level of fitness and mobility is required.
What to bring: Suitable walking shoes and wet weather clothing (if needed).