Cockatoo Island camping gives you one of the most unforgettable and beautiful experiences. It has the most beautiful view of Sydney harbor and the most scenic picnic spots ever. It is ideal for you if you love being outdoors but do not want to compromise the basic facilities of being at home. Cockatoo Island is ideal for all visitors, i.e., singles, couples, or families.
Looking for a fun-filled outdoor weekend Staycation? Stay waterfront park of Cockatoo Island for picturesque views of Sydney Harbour and accessible scenic picnic spots, BBQs, and luxury coffee shops!
The campsite offers a unique extraordinary experience and an evening under the stars. You will remember it forever.
1. A Brief of Cockatoo Island Camping
Even though Cockatoo Island is near a busy Sydney Harbour, it is amazingly quiet and calm. You can enjoy the beautiful view of Sydney Harbour while sitting in the lap of beautiful greenery.
Before becoming a famous picnic spot, the island had a long and interesting past. From around 1839 to 1869, Cockatoo island was used as a place for giving secondary punishment for convicts who had re-offended in the colonies. UNESCO declared Cockatoo Island a WORLD HERITAGE SITE in 2010.
Currently, Cockatoo island’s upper area is divided into three areas:
You can visit these places to feel and observe the historic past of cockatoo island which has been an important part of the history of Australia.
There are guided historical tours conducted on the island. You can join these tours if you are a history buff. There are a lot of builds that tell a story of their own.
You might feel a bit of spookiness in these buildings. Since they have been preserved so well.
The ancient structures still contain the charm of their past. Once inside one of these buildings, you feel relatable to the stories you might have heard about them. There is a good chance of getting lost in the past.
When you are done going back in the time machine. Then you can come back to your campground and enjoy the panoramic views of the early sunrise.
2. How to reach Cockatoo islands?
Cockatoo Island has a water transport medium for reaching there. There are public ferries, that operate regularly on Sydney Harbour.
Hop on to one of the ferries that operate regularly from Circular Quay, Barangaroo, and also from Wharves along Parramatta River. you can look up additional information, like timetables by visiting the official website of Cockatoo Island.
Duration/Travel time: Public ferries depart every half n hour, it takes around approx 30 minutes, from Circular Quay to Cockatoo island. Besides being an easy medium of transport, it also gives you beautiful views of Sydney Harbour and Sydney city.
Once you get here, you get a lot to do. If you wake up at dawn, there is bountiful nature and gurgling water that relaxes your senses immediately. Cockatoo Island Camping helps you to detoxify your mind from honking cars in busy traffic. The relaxing sound of nature is the main bonus of the Cockatoo Island Camping trip.
3. Where to Stay in Cockatoo Island Camping?
Cockatoo island camping sites are famous for their unique Glamping tents i.e., glamorous camping tents. These tents are a specialty of Cockatoo island camping, where everything is available to you ready-made and tailored according to your need
Here, you don’t need to take the pain of setting up your tents or cooking your food, etc. You just need to sit back in your tent and enjoy singing your camping songs. You have all the comforts of your home like proper comfy beds. The bathrooms provided are clean, with hot showers so that you do not miss the comfort of being at your home.
3.1. Deluxe waterfront camping package:
Cockatoo island provides you with ultimate luxury in your deluxe tents which are situated directly on the waterfront site. These are pre-erected tents.
You get raised single camping beds (with mattresses), sheets and bedding, cushions, and two sun lounges. You are provided with a torch, and esky(water coolers) too in this camping package.
3.2. Deluxe Waterfront Two-Bedroom Camping Package:
Cockatoo islands gifts you deluxe camping dome tents, which are situated directly on the waterfront site. Your deluxe waterfront two-bedroom camping packages come with pre-erected tents.
There are covered sitting areas with tables and benches and other basic facilities. Hence, you get ultra comfort and a hassle-free experience.
- Deluxe Camping Package: Cockatoo Island gifts you a wonderful experience in this package which comes with a pre-erected dome tent, two single camping beds, all bedding materials and towels, and two chairs.
- Camping Package Cockatoo Island: This package gives you an authentic experience of a camp with a pre-erected dome tent. This package has sleeping mats in place of beds and camping chairs.
These are quite spacious. You can also bring your own sleeping bags or buy/ rent them at cockatoo island. You can bring your own camping gear.
- Camping Site Package Cockatoo Island: This camping package is especially for those people who want to experience a do-it-yourself experience. Seasoned Campers, who are well-trained in erecting tents can choose this Cockatoo Island Camping Package.
In this package, you get a booked spot on the campgrounds. The spots are given on a first-come first served basis. The only thing to remember is that these are unpowered sites i.e., no electricity is provided for a genuine outdoor camping feel.
You can bring your own camping gear, and eat at the communal camp kitchens.
Though you do have the facility of clean toilets with hot showers so you do not miss your home. Eat in the camping kitchen, and tell stories near the campfire.
Camping at the waterfront campsite provides a common set of basic services for all the packages, so you don’t need to worry about it. You can stay updated regarding full details of new camping packages from the official website of Cockatoo Island.
- School Group Camping Trips: Cockatoo Island gives some additional reductions for school groups. All staff can sleep for free You can pre-plan school trips for holidays.
The Cockatoo Island camping trip is best for school groups. There is a lot to learn from historical buildings and architecture. You get to choose from many outdoor activities, there are games like corn hole, and students can go site seeing to learn the history of the island.
Students can learn the minute details of how to camp, or maybe erect a camping tent. There is a campground cinema with kid movies in the early evening hours for entertainment.
You get a lot of things to do for a school holiday trip, which makes Cockatoo Island camping an ideal choice for school trips.
3.3. Places you can stay besides living in Tents
If camping in tents is not your preferred choice or you have varying group sizes. You have several other options available at Cockatoo Island that are provided by Harbour trust Holiday Homes. Since there is only one building on the island, we recommend booking at least one month before your arrival to secure your place.
- Heritage Holiday Homes(Harbour trust): Heritage Holiday homes accommodates a facility of 12-12 sleeping guests per week (extra cost will be applied here), the home also features two heritage homes. It was built around 1913 and medical officers and Engineer Managers on the Island are housed there.
- Fire Station Studio Apartment: It has been recently renovated by harbour trust from an island’s fire station apartment into a plush studio apartment. It gives a scenic view of Parramatta River, consisting largest decks, with the dining and kitchen facilities ideal to entertain couples and families. Charges here are on a per-month basis.
4. Cockatoo Island Camping: Best Place to munch on Tasty Delicacies
Cockatoo Island boasts two luxury, family-friendly cafés. Societé Overboard and Marina Café & Bar. These bars have a legal license to serve alcohol on the Island, they have exclusive areas for it.
4.1. Societé Overboard is a short distance from the ferry wharf. They serve you breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Besides these hot, cold, and alcoholic beverages are also available.
4.2. Marina Café & Bar is situated near the Camber Wharf. It has an authentic country-style pub charm. Let your hair down with a beverage or a nice cup of coffee in the landscaped garden. There is a huge variety on the menu. Your platter will also include gluten-free and vegan options.
5. Why Cockatoo Island is ideal for all types of Visitors?
Cockatoo Island is suitable for all types of visitors.
- For families, it has a huge open campground that is kids-friendly and safe.
- Seasoned campers who want to do everything themselves, can erect their own tents in a booked spot at the campground.
- For groups, there are spacious tents for more than two people, common sitting areas, etc.
- Experience genuine Camping at the campground All the tents are located on the northern side of Cockatoo Island. Cockatoo Island camping has various options for different budgets. There are camping packages suitable for all types of pockets, for different group sizes.
It varies from a Deluxe waterfront camping package to a byo tent package. The deluxe waterfront camping package is on the more expensive side whereas bringing your tent is the cheapest option. All camping packages are well-equipped and come with great facilities.
6. Nearby Attractions & Things to do there!
There are a lot of places to enjoy, have fun, and let your hair down at Cockatoo Island. Whether you are on your family vacation, with a friend group, or a seasoned camper on a solo trip, Cockatoo Island has it all sorted for you.
6.1. Step up at the Convict Precinct, to dive into the historical past: Convict precinct is added to the list of 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is a strangely eerie place that tells the story of the fascinating Australian Precinct. There are ghost tours at night for adults which are fairly spooky enough.
6.2. Spend a night under the stars at the campground fire pit: The Campground with a fire pit, under the open sky, and the amazing views of Sydney harbor at the dusk time is an unmissable one-of-a-kind experience. You can choose these amazing picnic spots during family vacations. Since there are numerous cafes and BBQ facilities, it makes it an ideal hang-out spot.
6.3. Hop on a beautiful ferry ride: These ferry rides are more commonly known as F8 Cockatoo services. Cockatoo ferry rides take a route that passes through the Sydney Harbour bridge’s old iron structure. It is a short but spectacular ride to beautiful Cockatoo island. There are different options for ferry rides and the timetable can be checked on the transport NSW website
6.4. Plan a self-walking tour exploration: If you are thinking of planning your own tour, try to reach out to the top of the island for scenic views of Sydney Harbour. While you are exploring, for your convenience, there are a lot of signs up, each telling you about the history of different areas. You can scan QR codes for text commentaries about each historic place. Just monitor the small children in your group while climbing steep cliffs or hillsides.
6.5. Enjoy a movie night at the campground cinema: For your under-the-sky movie experience, you should visit the cinema campground. The campground is a spot covered with sheds and some cozy beanbags. They show movies for kids in the early evenings and adults later at night. Note: You are advised to bring your own snacks. Take the help of Vending Machine for small snacks and cold drinks.
6.6. Enjoy a good game of Corn Hole: Corn Hole is the most fun game, especially for small children. Kids love this game which requires eye, hand, and mental coordination. Adults also love playing this game.
This is a simple game, where players take turns in trying to put bean bags, made of corn kernels, into a raised hole. If you are successful you score three points or if it lands on the table, you get one point.
It is one of the best outdoor activities for kids on family vacations or students on school camping trips.
6.7. Join in on the Celebration of some amazing events: Besides camping Cockatoo Island also keeps hosting many interesting events from time to time. You can visit during these events for an extra dose of rocking parties and celebrations.
Cockatoo Island is famous for its Biennale of Sydney, a contemporary arts festival hosted around March to June. It is loved by visitors to this festival.
6.8. New Year’s Eve events/party: Cockatoo Island also comes up with some mind-blowing new year’s eve events almost every year. There is some amazing, rocking event you can look forward to.
You can check out different websites for upcoming new years eve events. You can visit here to celebrate your countdowns for a fresh new year.
7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Are you allowed to bring alcohol to Cockatoo Island?
Ans. No, you are not allowed to bring your own alcohol to the Cockatoo Island Camping Trip. You can purchase it from bars on Cockatoo Island that has a legal license to serve alcohol.
Q2. Is Cockatoo Island worth visiting?
Ans: Yes, definitely, Cockatoo Island Camping is an immersive once in lifetime experience.
Q3. Are Pets allowed on Cockatoo Island?
Ans: No, pets are not allowed except for guide dogs for disabled access.
Before traveling to the Cockatoo Island Camping make sure to check on the timing updates on the ‘Visit the Cockatoo Island’ official website.
You can read some amazing honest reviews by visitors who have been there to know more.
Cockatoo Island is indeed a fascinating place, with amazing locations. This place is definitely worth a visit, with infinite scenic spots. It is a place you would never wish to leave. The enjoyment and happy memories will last with you forever.
There is a huge chance that you will be visiting Cockatoo Island again for another camping very soon.