Garden Island & Naval Museum
Garden Island became a part of Australia’s naval history as the garden of ships. It now provides tours through the island featuring two different aspects; the Dockyard Heritage showcasing buildings and historic events, and the Heritage Tour of the Hill, presenting the lookout, indigenous history and earliest marks of the European settlement.
Garden Island sits on the southern shore, and the Royal Navy used the island from February 1788. From Sydney’s Circular Quay, take the Watson Bay ferry to reach Garden Island. Featuring 360-degree views of Sydney from old signal station, witness views of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, city skyline and Fort Denison. There is only public access from the northern end of the island due to it being a military base. You’ll also be able to see Australia’s first grass tennis court, a heritage rose garden, trees that have been standing for 150 years, the First Fleet initials along with ample picnic tables and seatings to stop and enjoy a picnic.
For a small entrance fee, you’ll gain access to the wider Naval Museum set out over two floors. Featuring the Australian Navy history to see for yourself weapons, equipment, papers, ships and the stories of battles that Australia has been involved in. The centre is home to two heritage-listed buildings: the Boatshed and the Gun Mounting Workshop for you to learn about too.
Enjoy a short day trip to Garden Island and learn about the Royal Australia Navy at the museum along with Australia’s history.