Historic Dockyard Tour

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Event Description


One of the defining features of Cockatoo Island’s distinctive terrain is its historic dockyard, which contributed significantly to Australia's shipbuilding and repairs industry between 1857 and 1991.

Our new Historic Dockyard Tour is an opportunity to journey through 134 years of maritime history at Cockatoo Island and discover key landmarks from the former dockyard, including the convict-built Fitzroy Dock as well as Sutherland Dock and the cathedral-like Turbine Shop.

Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, you’ll learn about the dockyard’s central place in Australia’s industrial and naval history, including the role it played during the First and Second World Wars. Plus, you’ll hear quirky and compelling stories that vividly bring this golden era to life – from the infamous wage theft scandal and the legendary 1941 fossil discovery through to the saga of Trevor, a budgerigar who served on one of the submarines that was serviced by the dockyard.

This accessible tour takes place exclusively on the lower island, making it an ideal activity for less mobile visitors.

Want tickets to our regular Sunday tour? They're available to book on this page. Interested in arranging the tour for a group of friends or family? Book it as an on-demand group tour (available to Monday to Friday).


Quick overview

  • Cost: $26 per adult, $16 per child and $16 per concession holder.

  • Day and time: Sundays at 11:00am.

  • Meeting point: The tour starting location is outside the Visitor Centre.

Important information

  • To ensure the safety of participants and Harbour Trust staff, at the discretion of the Harbour Trust, any participant(s) who appears intoxicated, disruptive or displays consistently unsafe behaviour, will not be permitted to take part in the tour, and / or may be asked to leave the tour at any time. Refunds will not be provided.

  • Weather conditions: Tours will proceed regardless of weather conditions except in the event of dangerous weather. Participants will be notified via email if the tour is cancelled, and under these circumstances, a full refund will be issued.

  • Cancellation / Rescheduling: The Harbour Trust reserves the right to cancel, reschedule or alter tour dates and routes at its discretion. In instances where tours are cancelled or rescheduled, the Harbour Trust will endeavour to contact all pre-booked ticket holders, within a reasonable amount of time prior to the scheduled tour date and time. If the tour is cancelled by the Harbour Trust at its discretion, the Customer may contact the Harbour Trust and reschedule or seek a refund.

Content and mobility

  • First Nations peoples: Our First Nations community are advised that this tour contains stories (and may contain images and/or visuals) of deceased persons.

  • Site conditions: This tour is not suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters due to uneven surfaces and the requirement to climb stairs and ascend rises.

  • Safety: All visitors must comply with the safety directives issued by guides, rangers and security staff.

  • Age restriction: People under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

What to bring

  • Suitable walking shoes and wet weather clothing (if needed).

Getting here

Eat and drink

Cockatoo Island features 2 family-friendly cafés – Marina Cafe & Bar and Cockatoo Overboard – both of which are licensed to serve alcohol and operate 7 days a week. Reserve a table for your group or pre-order a meal to enjoy either before or after your tour. See: Eat and drink.

Reserve Tickets
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Venue Details
Map of Venue Location.
Cockatoo Island Visitor Centre Cockatoo Island Street
Cockatoo Island, NSW 2041