The history of Cockatoo Island

Don Napper who has worked as a tour guide on Cockatoo Island entertained us with a highly engaging historical story of Cockatoo Island. Composed of two sequential segments: first, its use for 70 years as a prison and followed by its operation for the next 80 years as a naval dockyard. The Island’s use as a prison began in 1839 when Governor Gipps settled 60 transported convicts onto the Island to quarry grain silos from of its sandstone. Although the nature of the prison changed over the years, it only closed when Long Bay jail was fully opened in 1909. Since being decommissioned in 1991, the Island has been successfully transformed by the Sydney Harbour Trust into a major cultural precinct.


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