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Sydney Harbour Islands

Highlights

Explore Sydney Harbour islands

Dotting the dazzling Sydney Harbour National Park, the Sydney Harbour Islands offer sublime scenery and a unique historical journey. See the islands from a harbour ferry leaving Circular Quay or relax and take in the view. Guided tours are available during the day and some nights. 

Must Do

Island hopping on Sydney Harbour

Dining on Fort Denison. Image Mark Pokorny

Sydney Harbour Islands – Fort Denison, Shark, Clark, Rodd, Goat and Cockatoo – are among some of Sydney's most popular natural attractions. Catch one of the regular ferry services from Circular Quay during summer and take in the sparkling scenery.

The largest of the harbour islands, Cockatoo Island, offers guided tours, activities and overnight camping. This island has been home to convicts, a reformatory school, and one of Australia's biggest shipyards.

Book a tour on Goat Island to learn about Sydney's colonial and Aboriginal history or book a night tour to learn more about its colourful past.

Book lunch in the middle of the harbour at the restaurant on Fort Denison, which combines stunning views with colonial history. Accessible by ferry or water taxi, this island is great for picnics or to have lunch at the cafe – it's open daily for breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and a scrumptious brunch on Sunday.

Matilda's Shark Island Ferry departs daily from Circular Quay. If you're looking for things to do with the kids in Sydney, pack a picnic and enjoy a day out on a secret island. Shark Island was named for its sharklike shape, its sandy beaches and rocky foreshores. Drinking water and toilets are available.

For a truly memorable New Year's Eve with epic views of Sydney's famous fireworks, secure a spot on Cockatoo, Shark, Clark or Goat islands, which are open to a limited number of visitors (bookings essential).

Sydney Harbour Island tours

Cockatoo Island's walking tours unveil the secrets of its convict and maritime past with colourful tales.  Delve into the past with a ranger-led tour at Fort Denison; the tours run up to three times daily. Goat Island's Heritage Tour includes the convict-built Queen's Gunpowder Magazine.

Fort Denison on Sydney Harbour. Image Hamilton Lund
Camping on Cockatoo Island. Image Hamilton Lund

Camp out at Cockatoo Island

Why not try glamping (glamourous camping) on Sydney Harbour at Cockatoo Island? Enjoy a luxury camping experience where everything is organised for you. All you have to do is relax and enjoy your waterside stay on one of the world's most beautiful harbours.

Ferry on Sydney harbour. Image Hamilton Lund

Catch a ferry on Sydney Harbour

With Sydney Harbour sparkling during summer, island-hopping is a great way to get out and about on the water. Sydney Ferries operate daily services from Circular Quay and other inner harbour wharves. Charter a yacht for a relaxing sail or catch a water taxi to a harbourside restaurant.

The view to the city from Shark Island. Image Andrew Gregory

Picnic on Sydney Harbour Islands

For a fun family day out, pack a picnic and head to one of the Sydney Harbour Islands – enjoy the chance to explore an out-of-the-ordinary destination. Shark Island offers shaded areas and a safe wading beach, while Goat island's picnic spots deliver sensational views.

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