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Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island
The largest and most storied of the Sydney Harbour islands, Cockatoo was once an Aboriginal fishing ground, a naval shipyard, a girls' reform school, and a gruesome prison. Today, it offers fascinating walking tours, a casual café, and a number of events from the Biennale of Sydney to the Underbelly Arts Festival. When most visitors line up in the evening to catch the ferry home, those staying on the island are just setting off on a leisurely sunset stroll. They can watch the city light up from what feels like another world and then retreat to their campsite, canvas "glamping" tent, heritage home, or modern apartment until they wake up to birds and boats the next morning.
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Cockatoo Island (Sydney Harbour)
Between 1839 and 1869, Cockatoo Island housed convicts. Later, it became one of Australia's biggest shipyards, operating between 1857 and 1991. Much of the original shipyard features are still present; rusting cranes dominate the outside, and huge turbines and other machinery can be found throughout the sheds of the island. The buildings have been minimally restored, which is great, because so little of the original rawness of the place has been lost. The photo was taken during the 18th Biennale of Sydney, so there was an abundance of art installations everywhere.
Cockatoo Island (Sydney Harbour) Sydney  Australia

Australia's Checkered Past
Cockatoo Island is a World Heritage Site that's only a 20-minute ferry ride from Sydney Harbour. This island was a former prisoner camp, turned ship making station, littered with relics of its past. Roam its decaying buildings for hours, you can even stay the night in a tent!
Australia's Checkered Past Sydney  Australia

Sydney Biennale
The Sydney Biennial is on! All over the city, art is on display, but nowhere better showcased than on Cockatoo Island. This historic and weathered island turned art gallery for the month is an ideal venue for concept art in a variety of forms: multi-media, film, sculpture, and more. Its history of being a convict work camp adds to its spooky energy. Explore for hours and look in each nook and cranny. Buy $7 ferry tickets in Sydney Harbour, the event is free.
Sydney Biennale Sydney  Australia

A Room of Paper Rainbows
Wonderful art exhibit on former-prison Cockatoo Island: http://bos18.com/
A Room of Paper Rainbows Sydney  Australia

Harbour St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
+61 2 8484 8700