Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is the largest island in Sydney Harbour, and has a rich history. It has been used as a penal establishment, an industrial school for girls, and dockyard. The buildings that are the remnants of this history are all there to be explored. Apart from this history, the camping ground on the island has great facilities, and is a pleasant place to camp on the harbour and to relax and watch the yachts and other boats go by. Events such as festivals and exhibitions are occasionally held at the island. It is also a popular place to stay to celebrate New Year’s Eve and view the fireworks.

The aboriginal name for the island is Waremah.

How to get there:

Cockatoo Island can be visited by ferry, water taxi, private vessel or by kayak. If coming by kayak, you can land at slipway #2 on the western side of the island near the campground. Sydney Ferries currently operates services to Cockatoo Island via the Balmain/Woolwich service and the Parramatta River service. Ferries depart from Circular Quay and other wharves. Some services also connect to Darling Harbour or to Woolwich and Balmain. See the timetable at for up to date information.


Toilets, showers, BBQs, picnic tables, camping grounds, bar and restaurant.


Camping. See the camping entry for this island for more information.

Walking around the historic island

Tennis: a grass court with some of the best views in Sydney is available for hire. Bookings are essential.

Swimming in a now unused slipway.

Contact Information:


Phone: (02) 8898 9774


About David Rutter

Dave grew up on a small acreage on the outskirts of Sydney, within a stone's throw of the bush. Having spent a large part of his childhood exploring the bush behind the family home, much of his adult life has been spent exploring the world - he has lived in Sweden, traveled much of Europe, travelled in the Pacific and South America, and more recently in Asia. The Australian bush is however, the place where he feels he truly belongs.
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