September school holidays are here and I am heading overseas very soon. Over the next month this blog will be taking a little slow down whilst I spend some time with my family. The next few blogs are written with holidays in mind!
Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO world-heritage listed island just a short ferry ride from Sydney. It is actually a short ferry ride from my house and is one of those places that I have been meaning to visit for years! Miss 8 and I recently went to Cockatoo Island and had a great day exploring! It is a perfect place to explore these school holidays.
Cockatoo Island has played a significant part in NSW history including a prison for convicts, an important ship building dock and a reform school for girls. It is now a fantastic museum as well as a venue for various special events throughout the year. It is well worth checking theCockatoo Island events calendar to see what is on when you visit.
Free entry to the island.
Exploring Cockatoo Island is easy on your own using a self-guided tour or audio tour ($5) from the visitor's centre. You may prefer to join an organised tour. Most of the island is accessible for wheelchair users and those with mobility difficulties. However, there are some steep sections from the lower island to the upper island. As former industrial site some building are not accessible in the doorways and some surfaces are uneven. There are wheelchair accessible toilets on the island.
Besides the stunning view in every direction you look, there are so many things to see on the island. There are massive warehouse buildings, the old dock, tunnels, prison cells, cranes, historical homes and much more.
Kids are well catered for on the island with a "convict clues challenge" and a "ship shape challenge". Kids are given a booklet and are asked to collect clues from around the island. The booklets are suitable for children aged 7-12 years old. What a wonderful way to read and learn about the history of the island. Miss 8 enjoyed listening to the audio tour, however, parents should be mindful of the island's sordid past and perhaps listen to the audio segments before letting your kids listen to it. I unexpectantly had to explain "prostitution" that day! Educational resources are also available for school groups.
In recent years Cockatoo Island has become known as the perfect "glamping" experience. Glamping allows access to the island with a tent, camp beds, linen, towels, sun lounges, lanterns and a cool box provided. There is a communal toilet/shower block as well as a communal cooking area. There is a wheelchair accessible toilet and shower and the campground is flat. The tents are mounted on top of a timber platform which is a small step off the ground. Therefore the "glamping experience" is not fully accessible, however the small step may be managed by some wheelchair users or those who have a carer to help. Fees apply and further information may be foundhere.
For those who prefer not to camp, the island also offers access to heritage houses and apartments for rent. The heritage houses were once home to Cockatoo Island's medical officer and engineering manager. The heritage house and apartments are beautiful appointed with views of Sydney Harbour. They are fully self-contained, however, they are unfortunately not wheelchair accessible due to their location on the upper plateau of the island and the heritage nature of the buildings themselves.
There are a few options for food on the island, however we found the "weekday" menu quite limited. It would be a much better idea to bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful view of Sydney from any vantage point on the island. There are public barbeques available for use as well.
Cockatoo Island is a wonderful place to visit. As most of the island is accessible, your children might like to bring their scooters along to cover the distance of the island.
Have you visited Cockatoo Island?
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Hi, I'm Cindy and I am an Occupational Therapist. I enjoy working creatively with children to see them reach their potential. Read more about me here.
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Disclaimer: The information on this site is general in nature and should be used for educational and entertainment purposes. The activities are safe for most children, however, you should consult an Occupational Therapist or health professional to address specific movement, sensory or other medical conditions. This blog does not replace formal therapeutic professional advice given by a health professional or medical practitioner. Reviews and endorsements of products will only be made based on my expertise and personal opinion; and deemed worthy of such endorsement. The opinions shared in sponsored content will always be my own and not that of the advertising company or brand. Content, advertising space or posts will be clearly identified if paid, affiliated or sponsored. Affiliate links may be found throughout this website in advertising. This means that if you follow through with a purchase from these links, Your Kids OT will receive a percentage of the sale. Your Kids OT undertakes to meet the requirements of the "Social Media Policy" as published by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Further information about this policy can be found here.
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