Skip to content

Goat Island

“The guided tour was fantastic – I never knew the island had such a long and varied history. And the view of the harbour was awesome.”

Goat Island has long been a significant place in Port Jackson. The island, known as Me-mel by the local Cadigal people, was once inhabited by Bennelong and Barangaroo.

Since European settlement, Goat Island played an important and fascinating role in the development of Sydney’s cityscape. In the 1800s, the island was used as a home for convict work gangs and as a gunpowder storage depot.

The Queen's Magazine, which stands on Goat Island, was built in the 1830s by convicts using sandstone quarried from the eastern side of the island. It was used to store explosives, and beside it there's a barracks, cooperage and kitchen.

Later, Goat Island was the site of the first water police station and harbour fire brigade. Following this, the island served as a shipyard, and in more recent years it has been a location for filming and concerts, including the television series Water Rats.

The best way to explore Goat Island and its rich history is on a guided tour with us or with one of our partners.

Take a virtual tour of Goat Island on Google Street View.


Getting there

Getting there:

Goat Island can be visited as part of a guided tour – please see our What's On section for more information.


Private vessels are not permitted to moor at Goat Island.

Important info


  • Drinking water
  • Flush toilets

You should know:

  • Food and beverage facilities are not available on the island, so it’s a good idea to bring your own supplies.
  • Rubbish bins are not available on the island, please remember to take your rubbish with you
  • Please supervise children at all times, particularly around rocky ledges and on uneven pathways

Wheelchair access:


Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty

Share with friends

Goat Island, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: David Finnegan