Cockatoo Island

Just over the bay from Darling Harbour sits the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cockatoo Island, a renowned historical site and protected area. The island was one of the first areas to be settled by indigenous people before being converted into a penal establishment holding offenders from the colonies. Today the island has been revamped for tourists, and you’ll find a handful of bars and restaurants mixed in between the original prison walls.

What to Do

To learn more about the island’s history, pick up an audio-guide and enjoy a walking tour around the historical outbuildings, to enjoy sweeping harbour views head to the Marina Café & Bar or simply stretch your legs with a sunny stroll around the island. If you’ve got extra time in the city, why not sleep over as the island is the only island in the bay to offer overnight accommodation.

Getting Here

Ferries depart from Circular Quay multiple times throughout the day and make the 30-minute journey across the bay to Cockatoo Island. Head to Wharf 4 and hop on the F3 which stops at Barangaroo Wharf before making its way round to Cockatoo Island Wharf. Make sure you check the ferry schedule, so you don’t miss the last ride back into the city!