Cockatoo Island - Sydney Harbour

Cockatoo Island:

Coordinates: 33.84684°S 151.17115°E

Density: 11.2/km2 (29/sq mi)

Area: 0179 km2 (0.1 sq mi)

Location: 10 km (6 mi) west of CBD

Area: 18 ha

Official name - Australian convict Sites

UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription: 2010

Did you know: Between 1839 and 1869, Cockatoo Island operated as a convict penal centre for primarily a place for secondary punishment of convicts who had re-offended in the colonies.

With a short ferry ride from Circular Quay while passing 2 of Australias world famous land marks such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Once on the Island you will have the opportunity to do a "Cockatoo Island Audio Tour" where you will learn about the past and current uses of this Harbour Island. Great place to rock up for a Coffee with fantastic Harbour views or stay on the Island either by Camping or fully serviced Accomodation.

Keep a eye out for the Cockatoo Island Concert Series, which would be a perfect thing to do with friend son a warm Sydney Evening.

Past History -

Cockatoo Island, UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located at the junction of Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers, in Sydney Harbour, Sydney - New South Wales, Australia.

Cockatoo Island is the largest of several islands that were originally heavily sandstone knolls. Originally the Island was at a height of 18 metres (59 ft) above sea level and was 12.9 hectares - but it has been extended to 17.9 hectares and is now cleared of most vegetation. Called Wa-rea-mah by the Indigenous Australians who traditionally inhabited the land before European settlement, the island may have been used as a fishing base, although such evidence of Aboriginal heritage has not been found on the island.

Cockatoo Island was also the site of one of Australia's biggest shipyards, operating between 1857 and 1991. The first of two dry docks were built by convicts, the island is significant for its demonstration of the characteristics of a long-running dockyard and shipbuilding complex, including evidence of key functions, structures and operational layout. Cockatoo Island contains the nation's most extensive and varied record of shipbuilding, and has the potential for the understanding of maritime and heavy industrial processes in Australia from the mid-19th century.

Today -

The island is managed by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust which is also responsible for seven other lands around Sydney Harbour. The Harbour Trust is revitalising the island as a landmark harbour attraction with cultural events and heritage interpretation. Today Cockatoo Island retains some remnants of its past. Its prison buildings have been World Heritage listed, part of a serial listing of 11 Australian Convict Sites.

Although some large workshops, slipways, wharves, residences and other buildings remain, Other buildings were demolished after Cockatoo Island closed as a dockyard in 1991. As the remaining buildings contain few of their original industrial artefacts and none of the remaining industrial heritage including the docks and cranes are operational, it is difficult to currently see how the island functioned as a dockyard for over a century.

In late March 2005 the Harbour Trust, in partnership with an event organiser, held the Cockatoo Island Festival. The event put the island on Sydney's cultural map and initiated a range of cultural activities including contemporary art installations, exhibitions and festivals.

The Harbour Trust opened a camp and glamping site on the island in 2008. The camp ground attracts some 20,000 campers a year and is a popular spot for watching Sydney's renowned NYE. In 2010, the island attracted a capacity crowd of over 2000 campers to view NYE fireworks. Other island holiday accommodation consists of five renovated houses and apartments with harbour and city views

Cockatoo Island is serviced by Sydney Ferries on the Balmain/ Woolwich service and the Parramatta river cat service, both with various departure times from Circular Quay Wharf.

Camping -

Why not try a bit of camping / Glamping and make a night or Weekend of it as Cockatoo Island has got various options from bring your own Tent to using the Tents provided with limited facilities to Semi Glamping that gives you some added luxuries minus the full benefits that Glamping has to offer. If Glamping is still not your style there is still the option to stay in Fully Serviced Accomodation and enjoy the pampering while being on the Island.

Please see the website for full pricing and details:

for more information on the Island please visit:


In 2010, parts of Cockatoo Island were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, along with 10 other historic sites that together form the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. Recognised as collectively representing the best surviving evidence of the large-scale convict transportation and forced labour used to support European colonial expansion, our Convict Precinct stands testament to the harsh living conditions and deprivations endured in prison labour.

# Sydney Harbour federation Trust

# Australian Convict Sites (World Heritage list in 2010)


Norman Herfurth

Indigo Photography

Yours In Adventure

"This Blog is of the Opinion of my own Personal Experiences and are not necessarily Fact.. and is written to the best of my knowledge, but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. This blog is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as any kind of advice."

#Walking #Tour #VisitSydney #sydneyharbour #architecture #convictsites #AustralianConvictSites #CockatooIsland #oldsites #Harbour #SydneyconvictSites #history #SydneyHistory #VisitNSW #cockatooisland

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