Cockatoo Island Sydney Reviews
A forgotten piece of history in the heart of Sydney Harbor Jun 14, 2009
Arriving at Cockatoo Island you are greeted by a volunteer and handed a map of the island. To tour the island by yourself is free (don't forget to pay for your ferry ticket!!) but an audio tour is available for a low cost of $5. Simply ask the volunteer and they will get you organised.
I took the Audio Tour, so My review is based on that.
Once you receive the audio gear, you need to back track slightly to get started. The audio scripts are very informative and do a good job in taking you back in time. For those of you who wear glasses (as I do), my only con at this point is that my ears were hurting by the time I'd finished. Mind you, I was wearing my specks, a pair of sunnies and the headphones, however the pressure where the arms of your glasses sit on your ears is bearable, but uncomfortable.
The tour takes you on a very thorough route of the island, but unfortunately is not exactly wheelchair friendly. There is a steep hill towards the start of the tour, and several areas with many stairs and uneven surfaces.
Keep a look out for markings in the stones used to make the buildings. I found my initials carved into a stair which I had a good chuckle at. Also keep a sharp eye on the audio tour map and the audio tour signs as I nearly missed 2 stops!
For those who are Reality Television Buffs. Australias season 4 of the biggest loser had their wildcard super challenge here. So for a fan like myself, it felt like walking on hallowed turf! Definitely worth the visit.
There is a small cafe at the entrance to the island. Prices are perfectly reasonable, and though it's a little limited, there is still plenty to chose from.
Take care that you check the ferry times once you arrive at the island as I was stranded for an hour while I waited for the next ferry. (between roughly 2 and 3pm). If you do get stuck on the island while waiting for the ferry... the locals will laugh with you about the ease of getting onto the island, and the difficulty of getting off the island... it is, a former penal colony after all!!
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