A draft masterplan for Cockatoo Island

A draft masterplan for Cockatoo Island has been unveiled, with the proposal seeking to attract more visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage listed site.

Planning documents propose a revitalisation of the island to increase its appeal to sightseers.

Cockatoo Island, known as Wareamah in Dharug language, was historically used as incarceration. The site was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010, yet according to the Harbour Trust, visitation rates have remained low.

Feedback collated during the consultation phase identified a desire for better accommodation including the construction of a hotel and improved camping facilities. The draft plan states hotel accommodation ‘…remains a long-term aspiration’ for the trust. Master planning has recommended assessment of the land and current buildings on site for conversion purposes, in line with this long-term goal.

A campground, suitable for tents currently operates on the island, however, plans suggest the camping area relocated to the west of its current location, enabling the northern apron to be transformed into communal parkland. Initial plans have also recommended broadening camping options through the addition of cabin-style accommodation. Boutique accommodation is available to island visitors, however the trust has proposed more houses be restored so additional boutique offerings can be made available.

In addition to the expansion of current accommodation services, high-end food and beverage outlets have been suggested.

Feedback on the draft proposal will be accepted until 13 December, 2023. The Harbour Trust has advised it anticipates the finalized masterplan will be published in 2024.

Learn more of Cockatoo Island and its future at cockatooisland.gov.au.

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