Back to previous page

Goat Island

Sydney Harbour National Park

Open, check current alerts 


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

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.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Tours and events at this location

  • A group of people on a Sydney Harbour Tall Ships guided tour, with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background. Photo: © Sydney Harbour Tall Ships

    Goat Island convicts, castles and champagne tour

    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.

  • The Queens magazine, built on Goat Island in the 1830s. Photo: Natasha Webb/OEH

    Goat Island heritage tour

    Take a fascinating tour of Goat Island, an iconic Sydney landmark in Sydney Harbour National Park.

  • A man and woman paddle a double kayak on Sydney Harbour with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background. Photo credit: Matt Bezzina © Paddle Pirates

    Sydney Harbour kayak adventures to Goat Island

    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.

Also see:

  • A couple enjoy a picnic on Shark Island – Boowambillee, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: John Spencer/OEH

    Shark Island – Boowambillee

    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.

  • View across the harbour from Clark Island. Photo: Kevin McGrath © DPIE

    Clark Island

    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.

  • Rodd Island, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: Kevin McGrath/NSW Government

    Rodd Island

    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, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo credit: John Yurasek © DPIE

    Fort Denison – Muddawahnyuh

    Fort Denison – Muddawahnyuh (mud-uh-'wahn-yuh) is closed for maintenance and conservation works until early 2022. Fort Denison is a heritage fort on a Sydney Harbour island, once called Pinchgut. This former military site is the most complete Martello Tower in the world and a popular Sydney attraction.


Google Street View Trekker

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.

Google Trekker at Cape Byron State Conservation Area. Photo: J Spencer/OEH.

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

General enquiries

Operated by

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.

  • 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.

    Other fees:

    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
See more visitor info