Cockatoo Island, Cockatoo Island

4.1
#2 of 19 in Nature in Sydney
Island · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the junction of the Parramatta and Lane Cove River in Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia.

Cockatoo Island is the largest of several islands that were originally heavily timbered sandstone knolls. Originally the Island rose to 18 metres (59 ft) above sea level and was 12.9 hectares (32 acres) but it has been extended to 17.9 hectares (44 acres) and is now cleared of most vegetation. Called Wa-rea-mah by the Indigenous Australians who traditionally inhabited the land prior to European settlement, the island may have been used as a fishing base, although physical evidence of Aboriginal heritage has not been found on the island.
Between 1839 and 1869, Cockatoo Island operated as a convict penal establishment, primarily as a place of secondary punishment for convicts who had re-offended in the colonies.
Cockatoo Island was also the site of one of Australia's biggest shipyards, operating between 1857 and 1991. The first of its two dry docks was built by convicts. Listed on the National Heritage List, 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 to enhance understanding of maritime and heavy industrial processes in Australia from the mid-19th century.
In July 2010, UNESCO proclaimed Cockatoo Island as a World Heritage Site, and has been managed by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust since 2001.

Plan to visit Cockatoo Island and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Sydney attractions using our Sydney holiday builder tool.
Source
Create an itinerary including Cockatoo Island
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Cockatoo Island reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
914 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • Recently visited Cockatoo Island on a lovely Spring day. There were a few other tourists on the island, but the place is large enough for people to disperse quickly, so in several precincts we felt.....  more »
  • Historical, interesting and just pleasant for a few hours. Easy access by ferry, free entry. Worth a visit.  more »
Google
  • What an amazing place to learn about Australian convict history. There are tours available but opted to explore ourselves. There is information in each section about the history and in certain places you can almost feel the inmates around you. Tons of incredible photography and video locations on the island too.
  • Such a beautiful place to stay Camping trip or just a day trip Facilities are fully equipped and lots of places to explore. Great for kids and families You get a awesome view of the Sydney city including Sydney Harbour Bridge. The sea gulls can be a bit aggressive but not much to worry about. Will definitely come back and stay longer 😀

Plan your trip to Sydney

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.