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Our tours

TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF TOURS: In light of the Government advice surrounding COVID-19, our program of tours is being suspended until further notice.

Further, our volunteer-led tours – namely, the North Fort, Tunnels and Gunners, Third Quarantine Cemetery and Macquarie Lighthouse Tours – will be suspended until 30 April 2020. We will review the situation regularly as advice evolves. 

See also: The Harbour Trust's approach to COVID-19 (updates)

Cockatoo Island

Audio Tour (available on demand)

Journey through Cockatoo Island’s complex and layered history at your own pace with our engaging audio tour. Featuring an informative narrator, immersive sound effects and archival interviews, this self-guided tour paints a vivid picture of the island’s bygone days.

Haunted History Tour (all ages)

Secrets. Scandals. Skeletons... Cockatoo Island has its fair share of all three. Discover for yourself with our all-ages Haunted History Tour. As you explore atmospheric landmarks, our guide will blend mystery with history to captivate your imagination.

Ghostyard – A Paranormal Tour (18+)

As the witching hour approaches, embark on an adults-only journey into the supernatural realm with Ghostyard – A Paranormal Tour. As you search for ghosts, our guide will regale you with macabre true tales and unconfirmed sightings of ghastly apparitions.

Overnight Fright Experience (18+)

Make each Friday a 'Fright Day' with our adults-only Overnight Fright Experience! As the witching hour approaches, you’ll journey into the supernatural realm with our popular Ghostyard Tour. Afterwards, we’ll test your scare threshold further with a screening of a paranormal horror film. Finally, you’ll settle in for an overnight stay in our waterfront campground. Pleasant dreams!

Convict Escape Attempts Tour (all ages)

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.

Crooked Characters Tour (for kids)

Kids and their families will get to know the charlatans, rogues, thieves and cut-throats who once populated Cockatoo Island, with our Crooked Characters Tour. This hour-long tour, available during the NSW School Holidays, is fun for the whole family.

From Sandstone to Steel Tour (all ages)

Step back in time with our all-ages history tour! From Sandstone to Steel charts the changing face of our extraordinary island. As you visit key landmarks, including the Convict Precinct, Biloela House, the Convict silos, the Fitzroy Dock and the Turbine Hall, our guide will share historical stories, including anecdotes about a colourful cast of real-life characters.

Convict Precinct Tour (all ages)

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.

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.


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.

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.