Cockatoo Island, Sydney

My last post was about the ferry ride that I took to reach Cockatoo Island. The place is a short distance from Circular quay, takes about 20-30 minutes. I took the ferry that stopped at wharfs in between Circular Quay and the island. That way I enjoyed a longer ferry ride. 🙂

Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located at the junction of Parameta River and Lane Cove river. The island was a convict penal  establishment between 1839 to 1869, a secondary establishment for convicts who had offended in the colonies. I shared one such story of air poisoning in silos here (Convict Silos).

The place is a famous camping site. You can indulge in a number of outdoor activities like football, barbeque, fishing or just soak in the sun. Below you can see a number of camping tents.

I loved walking around the edge. It was absolutely peaceful with just the sound of lapping water.


We walked up to the prison quarters.

These structures are decades old, build during the early 1900’s.


This was the military guardhouse.  The whole area is filled with history, but it was somewhat sad to read about the prisoners and their difficult life inside the prisons.


Inside most of the houses, there was audio/video playing, depicting different stories, of prisoners and others. I didn’t watch it completely as  most were depressing and made me sad. 





Fitzroy Dock is the oldest surviving dry dock in Australia, which was mostly build by convicts with their bare hands often waist deep in water.

From here I could see the Sydney Harbour Bridge too.

The Convict Trail 

I walked past the convict silos, made by prisoners to store wheat grains. It was really really high.

Heavy Machine Shops

There are different self trails that you can take here. It doesn’t take long to cover the whole island. There are restaurants and wine shops for those who want to relax and enjoy the view.


Here I am, waiting for the Ferry, that would take us back to Circular Quay.



27 thoughts on “Cockatoo Island, Sydney

  1. the prison looks to be well-built. makes for an interesting place to camp.

    thanks for stopping in today!

  2. Thanks for the tour and showing us this historic place, some place that typically doesn't get shown in the area and I would love to visit.

  3. What an amazing place – you're so fortunate to have been able to visit! Thank you for sharing your experience.

  4. Loved your Cockatoo Island tour but the sad history of the convicts depressed me. Andaman Islands too has a similar story.

  5. These are some lovely pictures, Rajlakshmi. I just wish the sad history of the place wasn't accompanying the loveliness of this place…but I guess such is life 🙂

  6. Fantastic picture walk, Raj! I am thinking of all the convicts and how they'd have felt though.

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