What is now a popular destination for history buffs once served as a defense facility that kept watch over the bay. Fort Denison Island, located northeast of the Royal Botanic Gardens, was where some of the most gruesome acts against convicted felons took place.
Today, travelers can wander the grounds of this recently restored island and see the gibbet where criminals were hanged. Explore the fort built to protect the island from invaders and climb the historic Martello Tower, the only one of its kind in the country. The island is home to an informative museum, as well as a number of landmarks that illustrate its dark and violent past.
Fort Denison Island is about one kilometer from the Opera House. Matilda and Captain Cook ferries head to Fort Denison daily and depart from Circular Quay at wharf six. Tickets cost less than $20 and include the park entry fee and admission to the museum, but travelers must pay extra for tours and admission to the tower.