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National Parks & Wildlife Services Tours

Sydney Harbour National Park protects a series of foreshore lands and islands in and around one of the worlds most beautiful harbours including: North Head, Manly to the Spit, Middle Head, Bradleys Head, the Harbour Islands, Neilsen Park, and South Head. The National Parks & Wildlife Service offer guided activities in and around many of the Sydney National Parks. These activities are developed and led by specialist guides. They show you the secrets and unexpected pleasures of national parks – from Aboriginal culture, history to nocturnal wildlife. Bookings are essential for these tours.

For information on these tours, you can visit Cadmans Cottage. Cadmans Cottage is one of Sydney’s oldest surviving buildings. Constructed in 1816 as part of the Government Dockyard, it was build to accommodate the Government Coxswain – the officer responsible for government boats, their operations and crews. Over the years Cadmans Cottage has been the home of the Sydney Water Police, a sailors home and is now the Sydney Harbour National Park Information Centre.

Open 7 days a week between 9.30am and 4.30pm (Mon – Fri) and 10am – 4.30pm (weekends) Cadmans Cottage features an historical exhibition looking at the cottage’s history, its relationship to Sydney Cove and life in early Sydney. Entry is free.

Information is available on tours, education programs, activities, island visits, special event venue hire and walks withing national parks in the Sydney Region.

Touring Options

Cattai Homestead

In 1799 Thomas Arndell, assistant surgeon on the First Feet, was granted land on the eastern side of the Hawkesbury River. By 1810 a house was constructed on a hill near the junction of Cattai Creek and the Hawkesbury. It was replaced in 1821 by a Georgian cottage, which still stands. The property displays the life of one family group spanning the first 180 years of European occupation of Australia.

Guided tours run on Sundays at 11am-3pm

Convicts, Cannons and Critters

Get marooned and learn stories of convicts, cannons and critters on ‘Pinchgut’ Island, also known as Fort Denison. Children will enjoy an active role play with some colourful characters as they are transported back in time where they meet a thief who has stolen a loaf of bread – and is now Bound for Botany Bay! Convict Kids will be given their ‘Ticket of Leave’ before being released back into the community.

Ages 4 and up and children must be accompanied by an adult.

Mon, Wed, Fri in School Holidays only. 9am-12pm

Quarantine Station Kids Ghost Walk

Calling all Ghostbusters! Learn tales of our resident ghosts and be spooked by creatures that go bump in the night. We request 1 adult per 4 children. (Recommended age 6-12 years)

Bookings essential.

Meet at least 15 minutes prior to departure. Tours depart Friday nights at 6pm (EST), 7pm (daylight saving).

Shipwreaks at Sunset

** Tour only available for pre-arranged groups of at least 20**

You know the fate of the ‘Titanic’ – but do you know the fate of the ‘Dunbar’, the ‘Rosa’, or the ‘Greycliffe’? Over 2000 ships have come to grief in the waters of NSW since the arrival of Captain Cook and many lives were lost in our unpredictable waters. You will walk the spectacular cliff tops of South Head with your NPWS guide and hear some of the little known tales of the sea. As the sun sinks in the west we will enjoy views from the Hornby Lighthouse across the waters of Sydney Harbour. Bring a torch and wear sturdy walking shoes, you may wish bring a ‘snack’ and something to drink whilst we enjoy the sunset. Bookings are essential.

Fort Denison Heritage Tour

Join a half-hour tour of Australia’s only Martello Tower with a NPWS guide and enjoy a magnificent 360 degree view of Sydney and its harbour. Explore other areas of the Fort yourself and discover more of its fascinating history from the audio-visual presentation in the museum. Have lunch at the cafe or take your own picnic to enjoy.

Price includes ferry transfers to and from Fort Denison. Bookings essential.

Tours run Mon-Fri 11.45-3pm Sat/Sun 11.30-3pm, 2.30-5.15pm (Wed-Sun during winter). Closed Christmas Day, Good Friday & New Years Day.

Bound for Botany Bay

Be transported back in time to 1820. Become a convict working in the Macquarie Watchtower Construction Gang. Participate in role-plays, candle-lit stories, games and an absolutely wild convict "escape" that takes you into a strange and new environment. The early settler’s lack of bush survival skills will be highlighted and contrasted to the excellent bush skills of Sydney’s Aboriginal people. Finally, the group will be transported back to the present to enjoy wattle seed cookies and cordial. Convicts will be presented with a National Parks Certificate of Attendance.

Only available Tuesdays in School Holidays. 10.30-12.30pm.

Bare Island Fort Tour

In 1885, the Fort was built to protect Sydney’s back door – Botany Bay. Enter a world of military pride, shocking scandals and hidden secrets. We will bring out the big guns to impress you on this tour! You may recognise Bare Island as the location for some thrilling action sequences in a well-known movie…. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II.

Bookings are not required and tours are available on Sundays only, 1.30 & 2.30pm.

Twilight Tour Bare Island – Botany Bay

** Tour only available for pre-arranged groups of at least 20 people.**

Enjoy sunset views across Botany Bay while learning of local landmarks and little known historical facts about the’Bay’. Discover the secret history of the old fort while touring the tunnels by lantern light. A light supper is served in the Barracks afterwards. Bookings are essential.

Fort Brunch

The perfect way to start the day. Watch Sydney wake while enjoying breakfast on magnificent Fort Denison. Join a NPWS guide for a tour of the unique Martello Tower and wander through the museum at your leisure.

Breakfast is included and consists of orange juice, sliced fresh seasonal fruit, scrambled eggs on sourdough toast, oven dried tomatoes, crispy bacon, hash potatoes, freshly brewed Bellaroma Coffee and Twinings Tea.

Price also includes ferry transfers to and from Fort Denison. Bookings essential.

Available Saturdays and Sundays only 9am-11.45am. Closed Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

Military Madness

Get carried away with military madness. Become a marching soldier at Bare Island Fort, La Perouse. Re-enact cannon firing and have fun with our blockbuster quiz. Rations are provided for hungry soldiers and a certificate of merit will be presented. Ages 5 and up and children must be accompanied by an adult.

Available on Wednesdays during school holidays only. 10.30am- 12.30pm.

Bradley’s Head Bush Food Tour

** Only available for pre-arranged groups of 20 or more**

Discover native foods and medicines on this fascinating bush walk. Hear how the local Aboriginal people and early settlers made use of their natural environment. Tastings included! Bookings are essential.

Junior Ranger Patrol

Join in a day in the life of a NPWS officer. Learn about the things that don’t belong and why our National Parks are very special places. Children will learn about the challenges the bush, its animals and National Parks Rangers face every day. Kids will enjoy fun games and educational activities led by a National Parks guide. Meet at Arabanoo Lookout, Dobroyd Head. End of Dobroyd Scenic Drive off Condamine Street Balgowlah Heights. Ages 5 – 12 and must be accompanied by an adult. School Holidays only and bookings essential.

Middle Head Forts Tour

Fear of invasion led to the construction of a network of military forts around Sydney. Explore underground tunnels, sandstone gun pits and the thrilling ‘Tiger Cages’ while enjoying amazing Views of Sydney. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a torch.
Bookings essential and the tour operates on the 4th Sunday of each month, 10.30am-12.30pm.

Goat Island Heritage Tour

** Goat Island is currently closed for maintenance**

Stroll around one of Sydney’s largest and most unique islands and discover its fascinating history. Discover the Aboriginal, colonial and maritime history of one of Sydney’s finest treasures.

Quarantine Station Heritage Tour

Founded in 1832, the Quarantine Station protected Sydney’s residents against epidemic diseases. Today visitors can experience the lonely isolation of the burial grounds, the haunting shower blocks, the disinfecting rooms and autoclaves and the old hospital wards. Magnificent old rock engravings tell the story of some of the Quarantine Station’s residents.
Bookings essential.

Tours run every Thursday and Sunday 1.15pm-3pm.

Goat Gruesome

** Goat Island is currently closed for Maitenance**

Prowl around historic buildings with lanterns at nightfall and hear tales of the island’s gruesome and oppressive past. A light supper is served against the spectacular backdrop of Sydney by night.

Quarantine Station Ghost Tour

Perhaps the world’s most renown haunted site! Visit the Quarantine Station at night where strange things happen. Explore the hospitals, cemeteries and mortuary by eerie lantern light. Hear of bizarre tales and fascinating history whilst walking around this unique area. A light supper is served following the tour to calm your nerves. Not recommended for children under 12.

Bookings essential.
Tours run every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Meet 15 minutes prior to departure. Tour lasts 3 hours including supper. Tour starts at 7.30pm (EST) and 8pm (daylight saving

Picnic Day – Goat Island

** Goat Island is currently closed for maitenance**

The perfect chance to enjoy a Goat Island tour and have a picnic with the family at this special historic site. Bring your own picnic and blanket and after lunch enjoy a guided tour of the island.


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