Garden Island
Garden Island

Garden Island

Free admission
Potts Point, Sydney, New South Wales, 2011

The basics

Stroll through the gardens and grounds to find a perfect spot for a picnic, complete with tables and seating. From the elevated viewing platform, take in 360-degree views of the Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Look out for initials dated 1788, that are carved into the sandstone near the tennis courts; they’re believed to be the initials of crew members of the First Fleet from England that founded the first European colony in New South Wales. Most Sydney Harbour cruises pass by Garden Island.

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Things to know before you go

  • Access to Garden Island is restricted because it’s a military base.

  • In 1788, sailors used the island to grow vegetables, hence the name.

  • Group tours with the Naval Historical Society of Australia are available for booking and include visits to heritage sites such as the Naval Chapel and the HMAS Kuttabul Memorial.

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How to get there

Although access is restricted, there is a public access area on the northern end of Garden Island, which is accessible by ferry from multiple points across Sydney. The most popular route heads toward Watson’s Bay, departing from Circular Quay; Garden Island is the first stop after leaving the downtown docks.

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When to get there

Due to ongoing construction, ferries currently only run to Garden Island on Sundays. Keep in mind that the months between March through June are the wettest, in case you plan to spend lots of time outdoors. You’ll experience the warmest weather during peak tourist season, which falls between December and February, attracting travelers from the Northern Hemisphere.

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Where to get the best views of Sydney Opera House

From Garden Island, you’ll be able to get a good view of this famous performing arts venue and iconic Australian landmark. With its distinctive Jorn Utzon design, the Sydney Opera House features a white ceramic–tiled exterior shaped to resemble the sails of a yacht, making it a distinct point of interest on tours and cruises.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Garden Island?
A:
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Sydney?
A:
As well as visiting the Garden Island, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: