St Helena Island Colonial Cruise and Walking Tour, Brisbane

5.0 rating
  • Duration: 5 hours (approx.)
  • Meeting point: Manly

Overview

Brisbane’s St Helena Island colonial cruise and walking tour will transport you across Moreton Bay and back in time. Once you reach the island, a costumed theatre performer will lead you on a tour of the ruins of the 19th century prison settlement. You’ll also enjoy a delicious picnic lunch, before boarding your return cruise to the mainland.

  • Spend a day immersing yourself in Brisbane’s early history
  • Cruise to St Helena Island in Moreton Bay on the Cat-o’-Nine Tails launch
  • Explore the island on a guided walking tour with a costumed guide
  • See remnants and artefacts relating to the island’s past as a quarantine station and prison
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch.
St Helena Island Cruise and Walking Tour
5

Harry V (via TripAdvisor)

‘This experience is historical and very interesting. We took the boat from Manly and enjoyed the trip and the island activites. Lunch was fresh and well organised. There is a short drama scene while you have lunch, which is done very well. Its obvious that this has been well rehearesd over the years. The boat is getting a little old, but it really just adds to the character of the day out.’

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Featured guest review

'This experience is historical and very interesting. We took the boat from Manly and enjoyed the trip and the island activites. Lunch was fresh and well organised. There is a short drama scene while you have lunch, which is done very well. Its obvious that this has been well rehearesd over the years. The boat is getting a little old, but it really just adds to the character of the day out.'- Harry V (via TripAdvisor)
  • Return cruise to St Helena Island
  • Guided group walking tour
  • Services of a knowledgeable guide
  • Informative commentary
  • Picnic lunch.
  1. Numptyheid (via Tripadvisor)

    We took the Cat O Nine Tails tour which lasts about five hours in all. A leisurely cruise over to St Helena takes about 25 mins during which you get some of the history of the island and the Moreton Bay Area. The walking tour of the island is very interesting, plenty of information and humour involved! Lunch was good (we preordered vegan lunches which were very good). You get plenty of time to take photos and ask questions. Do note that the island is very exposed so it will get hot. Wear sunblock and bring plenty of water. Highly recommended.

  2. Webster F (via Tripadvisor)

    Thoroughly entertaining day out for the family with lots to see and do. Our thanks to the excellent guides who kept us laughing and well informed about Brisbane’s early penal history.

  3. Harry V (via Tripadvisor)

    This experience is historical and very interesting. We took the boat from Manly and enjoyed the trip and the island activites. Lunch was fresh and well organised. There is a short drama scene while you have lunch, which is done very well. Its obvious that this has been well rehearesd over the years. The boat is getting a little old, but it really just adds to the character of the day out.

  4. Dawn283 (via Tripadvisor)

    Great little tour for the history buffs. All done very well, the staff were very friendly & helpful. The knowledge of the theatrical group was in depth, delivered in a very functional way. Very hot day, brolly a good idea for those that feel the heat. No shade on the tour once you leave amenities from the jetty to the top of the hill. A little bit of walking involved to the different sites but not exhausting. Light lunch. Take water & snacks.

  5. Katharine L (via Tripadvisor)

    This is the Alcatraz of Brisbane! How come it’s not more well known?!! It’s such an interesting walking tour of an incredibly historic place. The guides are excellent, & their “comedy show” was obviously designed to not traumatise kids, but we all got the message about the horrific experience that prisoners went through. The ferry over to the island was comfortable & they provided a simple, though totally adquate lunch. I’d highly recommend this as a “must do” in Brisbane

Situated just a few kilometres off the coast from the Port of Brisbane and Brisbane Airport, St Helena Island is an intriguing time capsule of remnants from the Queensland capital’s early years. This fabulous St Helena Island Cruise and Walking Tour will introduce you the island’s intriguing history as a prison and quarantine station in the late 1800s, narrated by a costumed colonial character. The experience includes a return cruise to the island from Manly, a guided walking tour of the island’s heritage sites, and a relaxed picnic lunch.

Departing the William Gunn Jetty in Manly, the cruise to St Helena Island Cruise on board the Cat-o’-Nine Tails takes around 30 minutes. The calmness of the crossing belies the island’s tumultuous backstory, and all will be revealed as you set off on a guided walking tour of the prison’s ageing remnants.

The island’s 415 acres were originally cleared by prison inmates. St Helena Island was deemed a ‘silent prison’ and any communication between prisoners was severely punished. You’ll see many of the prison’s original structures, along with two white-fenced cemeteries where prisoners and warders’ families were buried.

Today the island has a green and tranquil feel, and makes a lovely escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. An individual picnic lunch is included in the cost of the experience, and rugs are provided. Relax and enjoy your lunch under the poinciana trees that once graced the lawns of the prison Superintendent’s garden.

You’ll also have time to explore the small museum in the restored home of the Superintendent. It gives a more complete picture of what life was like on the island for inmates.

This St Helena Island Cruise and Walking Tour ends with your return transfer by launch to the mainland.

  • Once your booking has been completed, an order confirmation will be sent automatically to your email address. You will also receive a booking confirmation with pick-up details and operator contact information for the day. Please print the confirmation or have it available on your smart phone.
  • The cruise departs from the William Gunn Jetty in Manly. Guests must make their own way to and from Manly. Please be waiting at the jetty 15 minutes prior to the departure time. Boarding will begin early.
  • The itinerary provided is a guide only and may change due to operational requirements.
  • Child pricing applies to 4 to 14-year-olds. Concessions must hold a valid concession card. Infants travel free of charge.
  • Please wear suitable footwear for walking, and bring a hat and sunscreen.
  • To purchase a gift voucher, please click here.
  • Do you have a group enquiry? Please contact us.
  • View our booking terms and conditions here.
  • Duration: 5 hours (approx.)
  • Meeting point: Manly

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$90.00

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