Bookings, now open
Garden Island became part of Australia’s naval history just 16 days after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, firstly as a ships’ garden. Its naval use further developed into a naval depot near the end of the 19th century, and ceased to be an island in 1945.
Garden Island is both the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Base East and a working dockyard. As a secure area, specific arrangements are required for Society arranged tours. Extensive modernisation of the Base is also underway limiting access in specific areas.
However, the Northern End of Garden Island (called The Hill) is accessible by special arrangement. The Hill, while integral in the development of Garden Island as a naval base, has its own unique history.
Frequency: On an availability basis subject to Defence security policy until Garden Island public ferry services are resumed. Contact the Society to discuss a possible Thursday morning tour.
Location: Garden Island Defence Precinct, Potts Point, NSW.
Security: The Garden Island Dockyard and the adjacent Fleet Base East are secure Defence areas.
- Each individual is required to obtain a visitor pass and be escorted on base. This is pre-arranged by the Society.
- Being a working dockyard and base, disability facilities limited.
- No cameras or smoking is allowed in the secure area.
- Visitors under the age of 12 years are not permitted.
Meeting Point: The tour starting location is the Defence security pass office located at the main gate to Garden Island, Cowper Wharf Road, Potts Point.
Time: The tour commences at 10.00am and concludes at 12.15 pm.
Group Size: from 15 to 25 maximum.
Individuals and small groups are also welcome but we need to coordinate your booking with larger groups. You will need to contact us.
Mobility: This walking tour includes staircases and uneven surfaces unsuitable for people with mobility issues.
Footwear: Sensible footwear is a must.
Hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and bottled water: The tour is outdoors. Come prepared, even if the weather is overcast.
Planning your trip: Access to the Dockyard is by public transport or the visitor’s own tour bus. For public transport catch the 311 bus from the QVB in York Street to Garden Island main gate, or the train to Kings Cross Station and walk to Garden Island (15 mins). On arrival at the main gate proceed to the pass office and wait for your tour guide.
Booking and Payment
Please call or e-mail us to discuss your booking.
The cost is $30 per head paid by bank transfer ahead of time or cheque on the day.
Cancellation Policy: Although it is possible for the tour to proceed rain, hail or shine, forecast inclement weather may determine cancellation or postponement of the tour. If this is necessary the Society will contact the tour organiser late on the previous day. A full refund will be made.
COVID Protocols: All group members must be fully vaccinated, not suffering flu like symptoms and observe all Defence requirements.
Tour Co-ordinator Contact
Phone: (02) 9537 0038 (Tuesday and Thursday only 0900 to 1500)