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Guided tours

arrow Sub Base Platypus Walking Tour – NEW
Our tour program has changed to ensure compliance with the NSW Government’s COVID-19 public health orders.

Our volunteer-led tours (North Fort, Tunnels and Gunners, Third Quarantine Cemetery and Macquarie Lighthouse) are currently unavailable. Meanwhile, our regular schedule of tours at Cockatoo Island is on hold. However, a selection of Cockatoo Island tours are available for group bookings of up to 20 people plus a guide. Details below. 

Cockatoo Island

Although our weekly tours are currently on hold, we are accepting group bookings for the following tours...

Group History Tour

Cost: $12-16 per person (min. 10 people) | Duration: 60 to 90 mins

Embark on a a guided journey through the complex and layered history of Cockatoo Island, formerly a prison, navy dockyard and major ship-building site. As you visit iconic landmarks, including the UNESCO World Heritage listed Convict Precinct, our knowledgeable guide will share stories and anecdotes that paint a vivid picture of the island throughout the ages. This is a great sightseeing activity for Probus and other groups, including families, seniors, tourists and historical societies.

Haunted History Tour (all ages)

Cost: $25 per adult, $15 per child (12 & under) | Duration: 90 mins 

This tour will introduce you to the brave, foolhardy and desperate convicts who dared to escape Cockatoo Island’s penal establishment between 1839 and 1869. As you explore the island, you’ll hear about successful and ill-fated escape attempts involving disguises, sewers, shark-infested waters, stolen boats and a volley of bullets.

Convict Precinct Tour (all ages)

Cost: $16 per adult, $12 per child, $12 per senior | Duration: 45 mins

Discover Cockatoo Island’s UNESCO World Heritage listed Convict Precinct with this tour of the upper island. Our guide will lead you through the turbulent history of the former penal establishment, stopping at iconic landmarks.

Arrange an on-demand tour

To arrange one of our three on-demand tours for your group, complete our online booking form. 

Sub Base Platypus

Go behind the scenes of a historic gasworks, torpedo factory and submarine base that was off-limits to the public for 150 years.

Sub Base Platypus Walking Tour

Cost: $25 per adult, $15 per child (12 & under), $15 per senior | Duration: 60 mins | When: 10:45am & 12pm, select Saturdays | Online bookings essential

Running select Saturdays, the Sub Base Platypus Walking Tour is a 60-minute guided journey through the different layers of history at the site. Ticket holders will have an opportunity to explore buildings from different eras and learn about the First Nations, industrial and military heritage of this emerging community hub. 

Sub Base Platypus Promenade Ben Guthrie 650X550

Headland Park

Tunnels and Gunners Tour (all ages)

Featuring gun emplacements, underground tunnels and military relics dating back to the 1870s, Headland Park in Mosman was crucial to Sydney's defence throughout World War II. During this 90 minute tour, our guide will vividly share the history of this demilitarised location, surrounded by beautiful coastal bushland and spectacular views over the harbour.

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Macquarie Lightstation

Macquarie Lighthouse Tour (all ages)

Originally built in 1818, Macquarie Lightstation is the site of Australia’s first lighthouse. During this 20 minute tour, our guide will regale you with Macquarie Lighthouse's storied history. You will ascend 100 steps to the lantern room and, from there, access the balcony for a breathtaking panoramic view of Sydney Harbour and the Pacific Ocean.

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North Head Sanctuary

North Fort Tour (all ages)

With its large network of gun emplacements and underground tunnels, North Fort at North Head Sanctuary, Manly played a major role in Sydney’s coastal defence system throughout World War II. During our 70 minute tour of this former army base, you will walk in the footsteps of soldiers who protected our shores–above and below ground.

Third Quarantine Cemetery Tour (all ages)

Established in 1881 for victims of a smallpox epidemic, North Head Sanctuary's Third Quarantine Cemetery is inscribed on the National Heritage List as a significant example of Australia’s evolving quarantine practices. During this hour-long tour, you will hear stories of people interred at this beautifully maintained coastal cemetery and enjoy unspoiled harbour views.