Sydney For All
 

Fort Denison

Aerial view of Fort Denison, a small island on Sydney Harbour with sandstone fortifications and a small circular tower, with the Sydney Opera House and city skyline in the background

Photo: Hamilton Lund / Destination NSW

Why go there

Fort Denison, a rocky island in the middle of Sydney Harbour, is one of the most famous historic landmarks in Sydney. Originally used as a place of punishment for convicts in colonial Sydney, it was later transformed into a fort in the mid-1800s to protect the city from potential invasion.

Fort Denison became part of Sydney Harbour National Park in 1992.Today you can enjoy stunning harbour views and tour the historic Martello Tower and other colonial buildings. A café serves brunch and other meals in a premier harbourside location.

Sydney Harbour National Park's guided heritage tours are offered daily departing from Circular Quay. A regular ferry service from Circular Quay and Darling Harbour is available to visitors not on a tour.

Display of historic cannons inside Fort Denison - two cannons pointing out of the tower windows, and a pyramid-shaped stack of cannon balls on the floor

Don't miss

  • The firing of the fort's cannon. The One O'clock Gun was traditionally fired daily to help sailors set their ship's chronometers.
  • The Martello Tower, the only one of its kind in Australia.
  • Brunch or lunch at the café on the island or your own picnic.

A group of people seated under shade umbrellas outside a long sandstone building close to the island's small wharf

Access for all

Access Summary

Closed captions

Getting around

Fort Denison is not wheelchair accessible - it has a fixed wharf with rough ground and stone steps, and a steep, narrow staircase in the Martello Tower.

Other accessibility features

Closed captions

Fort Denison offers a range of sensory experiences and interpretive displays.

The 15-minute video at the start of the Heritage Tour is captioned.

How to get there

Book a guided heritage tour at Sydney Harbour National Park Information Centre at Cadman's Cottage in The Rocks.

Cadman's Cottage in The Rocks - a small, two-storey white-painted Georgian cottage

Buy Matilda Cruises tickets at Circular Quay and Darling Harbour.

Map

Download The Rocks access map (PDF, 2.06MB)

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Aerial view of Fort Denison, a small island on Sydney Harbour with sandstone fortifications and a small circular tower, with the Sydney Opera House and city skyline in the background

Photo: Hamilton Lund / Destination NSW

Access Summary

Closed captions

Contact Details

Phone: + 61 2 9247 5033 (heritage tour bookings)

Websites:

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
(www.environment.nsw
.gov.au/NationalParks)

Matilda Cruises
(www.matilda.com.au)

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