Cockatoo Island is a Heritage Listed island in Sydney's western harbour. You can get there easily by ferry and once on the island there's a lot to explore. The island has been used for shipbuilding for many years and is now a massive museum! Many of the old buildings are open to explore and there is still a lot of old machinery and furniture to see. There are 3 huge dry docks, lots of cranes, big and small, tunnels (it was quicker then walking over the island) and lots more. The island hosts festivals, art shows and lots of other cultural experiences so be sure to check out their website.
If you're looking for a unique experience you can camp on the island in the tents provided. There is a large BBQ and eating pavilion so you can prepare a gourmet meal in between explorations around the island. There's even a cafe if you're not up to cooking yourself.
The island was a penal colony prior to it's use for shipbuilding and you can explore the old jails and the original 'keep' that the guards could retreat into if the convicts got out of control. Digging a tunnel right though the island by hand could not have been a lot of fun!
Cockatoo is great for kids and history loving adults alike, so be sure to check it out.
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