A day trip to Cockatoo Island, Sydney

Transport New South Wales has a Family Funday Sunday ticket offer, where you can enjoy unlimited travel in Sydney, Newcastle, the Central coast and even to the Blue Mountains, on trains, buses and ferries, for just $2.50 per person! All you need to be is travelling in a family group, on a Sunday! So last weekend, we decided to take advantage and took a day trip into the ‘cidy’!

Via train and ferry ride, with beautiful views of the Sydney harbour area, we ended up at Cockatoo Island. This is a world heritage listed island, just a stone-throw away from the main harbour. It has a history steeped in ship-building and housing ‘the most dangerous convicts’ in Australia. It’s also been home to an all-girl school, but was soon turned back to housing prisoners; don’t know what that says about the girls boarding there beforehand!

The island mainly consists of enormous hangar-type industrial buildings, all long-abandoned. Walking around, there is an eerie feel about the place, despite the sunshine. There are also lots of angry, nesting sea-gulls all over the island- the kids enjoyed spotting the small, pale-blue eggs if they were brave enough to get close to a nest! The gulls certainly weren’t as big as the one’s we’ve seen in Cornwall in the UK, but they definitely had the same incessant, loud squawks.

You can stay on Cockatoo Island – there are two ex-naval officer houses which have been made into luxury accommodation for tourists and there is also a very large camping area, that you have to walk through after disembarking the ferry. I don’t really know why you’d want to stay overnight here. I can imagine at night, it would be especially creepy. Anyway, I don’t do camping! However, it is suggested that Cockatoo Island has the best view of the Sydney Harbour bridge area – thus is was totally sold out for the New Year celebrations!

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