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Fun school holiday activities at Cockatoo Island

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5 min read
These school holidays, escape to Cockatoo Island / Wareamah on Sydney Harbour for a fun-filled adventure!

Located in the heart of Sydney Harbour, Cockatoo Island offers a wide range of fun and educational activities that are perfect for all-ages. From camping under the stars to engaging with the island's rich history, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, we will be running guided tours for families during the school holidays on select weekdays! 

Keep scrolling to discover all of our exciting school holiday activities that will be sure to keep the kids (and parents) entertained.

Book a special school holiday tour

These school holidays, explore the layered history of Cockatoo Island with 3 of our most popular family-friendly tours: Sandstone to Steel, Convict Prison Tour and Dark Past Tour! Available on select weekdays, these all-age tours chart the history of Cockatoo Island throughout different points in time. Tickets available from just $16. 

Stay in the heart of Sydney Harbour

Bordered by landscaped gardens, Cockatoo Island’s holiday houses and apartments combine authentic heritage character with modern amenities and harbour views. Meanwhile, our waterfront campground is an opportunity to unwind in a spectacular outdoor setting and watch the sun set and rise on Sydney Harbour.

Enjoy a picnic or barbeque

With its panoramic harbour views, tranquil picnic spots and waterfront cafés, Cockatoo Island is an ideal rest and relaxation setting, removed from the hustle and bustle of city life. Enjoy dining in or takeaway from our 2 family-friendly cafés – Cockatoo Overboard and Marina Café & Bar – both of which are licensed to serve alcohol.

Book a regular weekend tour

Journey back to Cockatoo Island’s convict and shipyard eras with our program of guided history tours, available on weekends. Suitable for families, our day tours allow you to explore heritage buildings rarely opened to the public. Looking for an after-dark experience? Book tickets to our Dark Past Tour (all-ages) or our Ghost Tour (18+)! 

Develop your orienteering skills

Enjoy a scenic workout with one of four orienteering courses, each commencing at Cockatoo Island's Muster Station. An initiative of Orienteering NSW, they cater for different fitness levels and experience and can be completed with the official orienteering map or the MapRunF mobile app (FREE).

Image credit: Tony Hill (photographer), supplied by Orienteering NSW

Embark on a self-guided tour

Want to explore Cockatoo Island at your own pace? Try our self-guided tours! Our Audio Tour is an immersive, 90-minute experience. Meanwhile, our Talking Object Tour harnesses mobile technology to bring historic objects to life. Look for the turquoise "Hello" signs to start a lively conversation with our talking objects.

Pick up a kids activity book

Visiting with kids? Let your little explorers tap into their creativity with our fun activity book, available for just $2.50 from the visitor centre. It includes challenges that encourage outdoor exercise and learning.

Shoot some hoops

Play a game of basketball at our harbour-side court, a short distance from the ferry wharf. Bring a basketball or hire one from the Visitor Centre for $5.

Exercise your brain

What’s better than playing a game of chess in your living room? Playing a game on our giant, outdoor chess board, surrounded by Sydney Harbour! Head to the island’s Eastern Apron, it’s your move! 

Did you know the Harbour Trust manages and protects extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour, including Cockatoo Island / Wareamah? Known for their natural beauty, layered stories and historic landmarks, each destination is an opportunity for visitors to enjoy rewarding experiences against the backdrop of the world’s best harbour.

Learn more and visit our places on Sydney Harbour


Helpful links

Looking to learn more about Cockatoo Island? Here are some useful links.