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Goat Island

Sydney Harbour National Park

Overview

Known as Me-mel by the local Cadigal people, Goat Island was once inhabited by Bennelong and Barangaroo. Guided tours are available to explore the rich history of Goat Island.

Type
Historic buildings/places
Where
Sydney Harbour National Park
Accessibility
Hard
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Please note
  • 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

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.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Tours and events at this location

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Google Trekker

We've captured Google Street View across a range of NSW national parks and attractions. Get a bird's eye view of these incredible landscapes before setting off on your own adventure.

Google Trekker, Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Conservation program:

Fort Denison heritage collection project

Fort Denison is home to a wealth of historic heritage. The Fort Denison heritage collection project invited volunteers to locate, identify, document, conserve, interpret and make accessible the heritage collections in Sydney Harbour National Park. This allowed NPWS to engage with the community and ensure our collections are protected.

 Fort Denison, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

Park info

  • in Sydney Harbour National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
  • Sydney Harbour National Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • Vehicle entry fees:

    Bradleys Head carpark: $7 per vehicle per day. North Head carpark: $4 per vehicle per day. There are pay and display machines that accept cards and coins - no change given.   

    Chowder Bay carpark: Monday-Friday: $3 per hour, to a maximum of $16 per day. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: $4 per hour, to a maximum of $20 per day. If you hold an NPWS All Parks or Multi Parks Pass, you can park free for up to four hours per calendar day - additional time can be purchased.

    Other fees:

    Landing fee or tour fee applies to visit Sydney Harbour Islands. Fort Denison can only be visited on a tour. To visit Shark, Clark or Rodd islands, you'll need to book and pay landing fees beforehand. To arrange, please contact 13000 PARKS (13000 72757).

    Buy an annual pass.
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See more visitor info
Goat Island, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: David Finnegan