Cockatoo Island is Australia's most unusual urban park. Where else can you pitch a tent and camp so close to the city of Sydney, or get such a magnificent view of the harbour bridge, the city skyline and the wonderful juxtaposition of headlands, suburbs and water?
Fort Denison is situated on Pinchgut, one of the most visited and photographed islands on Sydney Harbour. In 1788 a convict named Thomas Hill was sentenced to a week on bread and water on the island. It later was turned into a military fort to protect the colony at Sydney Cove.
Located in the middle of Port Jackson to the east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Goat Island has a long history of human habitation. During the colonial days, Goat Island served as a quarry, convict stockade and boatyard and more recently an explosives store, police station, fire station and film set. Today the island forms part of the Sydney Harbour National Park.
This small island off Darling Point is named after a First Fleet Lieutenant of the Marines, Ralph Clark, who in November 1789, planted a private garden of corn, potatoes and onions there. The island has remained pretty much as Clark had left it, being declared a public reserve in 1879.
Located between Bradleys Head and Rose Bay with views up the Harbour to the Bridge and down to the heads, Shark Island is crowned by a large Gazebo on the hill. The island has picnic tables scattered under the trees and man-made grottos providing nooks with wonderful harbour views.
Spectacle Island has been used as a Naval Armament Supply Depot since 1884. It is the oldest official naval stores complex in Australia. Originally named Dawes Island, after First Fleeter William Dawes, its named was changed to Spectacle Island in the 1850s because of its shape at the time it was being considered as a gunpowder magazine.
One of the smaller islands of Sydney Harbour, it was here that a biological research station was established by French scientist Louis Pasteur in the 1880s. Today its romantic image, beautiful scenery, distinctive pavilions and peaceful ambience makes it an attractive place to visit.
Except at high tide, Rocky Point is connected to the mainland by the beach sands of Balmoral. With the opening of the Balmoral tram line in 1922, the beach became a major recreational destination. Being an actual island, a bridge linking it to the mainland is part of the Balmoral promenade.
One of the smaller, lesser known and less frequented islands of Sydney Harbour,, Snapper Island is part of the series of drowned knolls along the ridges between the flooded river valleys. The island has been flattened and formed into a rectangular shape with longer sides oriented to the north west and south east.