Sydney Harbour National Park
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.
- Historic buildings/places
- Sydney Harbour National Park in Sydney and surrounds
Guided tour fees apply
- Entry fees
- Park entry fees apply
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.
Goat Island is not open to the general public. The best way to explore the rich history of Goat Island is on a guided tour with NPWS or with one of our partners.
Take a virtual tour of Goat Island captured with Google Street View Trekker.
Tours and events at this location
Discover Sydney’s colourful convict past on a unique tour with Sydney Harbour Tall Ships. Visit historic sites on Goat Island and take in beautiful views as you cruise around Sydney Harbour.
Take a fascinating tour of Goat Island, an iconic Sydney landmark in Sydney Harbour National Park.
Ring in the new year on Goat Island – Me-mel, located between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Balmain. You'll enjoy uninterrupted views of the Sydney fireworks from this outstanding vantage point.
Explore Sydney Harbour by sea kayak on this guided tour with Paddle Pirates. You'll experience marine life and discover the fascinating history of Goat Island, in Sydney Harbour National Park.
Positioned in Sydney Harbour, 1km from the mouth of Rose Bay, Shark Island – Boowambillee (booh-uhm-'bil-ee) is a picnic spot with a difference. Explore the island's foreshore, go swimming or relax in front of amazing Sydney Harbour views.
With views of Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, historic Clark Island is a picnic spot like no other, near Double Bay in the eastern suburbs.
Historic Rodd Island, in Iron Cove, offers scenic harbour views, picnicking, fishing, and venue hire for weddings and functions in Sydney Harbour National Park.
Fort Denison – Muddawahnyuh (mud-uh-'wahn-yuh) is closed for maintenance and conservation works until late 2022.
Using Google Street View Trekker, we've captured imagery 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.
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.
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- Nielsen Park office
- Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
- 02 9337 5511
- Greycliffe House, Nielsen Park, 6 Steele Point Road, Vaucluse NSW 2030
- 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.
Park entry fees:
Bradleys Head carpark: $8 per vehicle per day. North Head carpark: $5 per vehicle per day. There are pay and display machines that accept cards and coins - no change given. Chowder Bay Road parking: 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 day - additional time can be purchased. Car parks operated by Sydney Harbour Federation Trust or Mosman Council are not covered by your pass. Please check signs carefully. You can also pay for your visit via the Park’nPay app.
Landing fees or tour fees apply to visit Sydney Harbour islands. All public visitors to Shark, Clark or Rodd Island, need to pay a $7 per person landing fee. To arrange, please contact 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS). Annual NSW Parks Passes do not cover landing fees.Buy annual pass