School holidays are hurtling towards us like the Hogwarts Express and you’re probably already wracking your brains for ideas to keep the kids entertained. Mums and dads, save your energy! We’ve found the perfect excursion for you and your family that is inexpensive, educational AND you don’t even have to leave Sydney… welcome to Cockatoo Island!
Not only is Cockatoo Island a UNESCO World Heritage-listed tourist hotspot, the destination flaunts a host of engaging and exciting activities for kids of all ages! Just a short ferry ride from Circular Quay, this urban island is jam-packed with adventures. Whether you’re hoping to entertain little history-buffs or scare the heebie-jeebies out of the little rascals with a paranormal tour, Cockatoo Island is the place to be these holidays.
Convict History Guided Tour
11am, 1.30pm and 3pm on the 1st, 6th, 8th, 13th and 15th July
Cockatoo island has a rich history, playing host to a convict prison in the mid 1800’s. Take the kids on a guided tour and learn about the fascinating history of the barracks. Tickets for parents are only $10, while kids go free! You never know, learning about the early convicts could work in your favour as a convincing threat next time the little ones won’t eat their vegies!
Haunted History Night Tours
6pm and 6.30pm on 5th, 7th, 8th, 12th and 14th July
What gets the adrenaline pumping more than a spooky nocturnal excursion of a former convict island? The tour runs for 90-minutes is an exciting way to discover the early history of the island: from its origins as a prison, to a reformatory for orphans and ‘wayward’ children…. Eerie! And great value at only $25 for adults and $15 for children.
Crooked Characters of Cockatoo Island
2pm and 4pm on 1st, 5th, 8th and 15th July
Roll up, roll up! This FREE, family-friendly tour takes you on a hilarious guided journey of Australia’s colonial and recent history. The tour goes for an hour, but you’ll be begging for it to go longer as the two guides provide a fascinating and entertaining journey into the seedy underbelly of Cockatoo Island.
Camping on Cockatoo
Need a new camping destination? With tents, mattresses and camping chairs provided (and already set up!), Cockatoo Island is the perfect destination for families with the camping bug – minus all the hard work! Camping is available every night, check the website for rates.
3rd – 15th July
For only $12 a child (not including the short ferry ride), why not treat your Vacation Care group to a fascinating and educational adventure on Cockatoo Island?
These July holidays, treat the kids to an exciting and fulfilling day trip to Sydney’s largest urban island. Only a short ferry trip from Circular Quay, affordable exciting tours and lunch options available – what’s not to love? Even if you’re only toting a new-born; strap in your bub and stretch your legs, spend a day or two soaking up some knowledge or simply bask in the gorgeous Sydney sun! Cockatoo Island has all bases covered these school holidays.
Article published on Parenting Social 101.