Being Australia’s oldest city means Sydney is packed with lore and legends of ghosts, spirits, magic and more. So it’s hardly surprising that ghost tours in the city are a sought-after commodity for those with a love for the supernatural. If it’s atmosphere and storytelling you’re after, there’s plenty on offer to get your chills and thrills around town. Expect haunted stations, ghostly goals and sinister islands teeming with stories that promise to give you goosebumps. If that sounds like your ideal weekend, check out some of Sydney’s best ghost tours this spooky season and ahead of Friday the 13th.
1. Quarantine Station Ghost Tours
Sydney’s Quarantine Station on North Head is infamous for being not just Sydney’s but one of Australia’s most haunted sites, so naturally it makes for an excellent place for a ghost tour. Q Station was established in 1832 to quarantine immigrants affected by disease. Around 600 people are said to have died and been buried at Q Station, many of whom, it is believed, continue residing on site in their ghostly forms. You can book short tours for 45 minutes or even stay overnight to get a true taste of the haunted site. Read more about its history here and book your preferred tour here. This year they are also hosting a special Halloween-themed ghost tour.
2. The Rocks Ghost Tours
The Rocks is home to some of Australia’s oldest buildings, many of which are believed to be haunted to this day. From one of Sydney’s oldest buildings from the first 30 years of the colony — Cadman’s Cottage to the infamously haunted Russell Hotel, there’s so much to explore in every corner of the legend-seeped neighbourhood. The Rocks Ghost Tours will take you through all the well-known landmarks with tales of macabre happenings peppered throughout the tour. There are heaps to choose from including nightly ghost tours, history tours, team-building tours and more. You can even book a special Halloween ghost tour here to mark the spooky season. Take your pick and book a spot here.
3. Parramatta Gaol Ghost Tours
If you take ghost hunting seriously, Parramatta Gaol is the place you need to go to. This eerie ghost tour takes you to the heart of the historical landmark bringing you up close to its ancient walls as you learn creepy facts and stories from the guides. Parramatta Gaol closed in 2011, making it the longest-serving goal in all of Australia so there are many stories waiting to be told at the correctional centre. Book your ghost tour here.
This popular ghost tour takes you through the shadowy lanes and cobblestoned streets of The Rocks with stories of ghosts, ghouls, mass burials and so much more. Learn about the history and secrets of this historic part of town with a knowledgeable guide as you hop from street to street. You’ll see the charming neighbourhood in a whole new light after a night out with the Haunted Sydney Ghost Tour. Book your spot here.
5. Haunted History Night Tours Cockatoo Island
Cockatoo Island is just a 10-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay and a lovely little getaway from the city. The UNESCO World Heritage Site offers stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with waterfront glamping tents and outdoor cafes. But it’s a different story when the day turns to night. Between the years of 1839 to 1869, it served as a penal establishment where convicts were sent away and made to work under punishing circumstances. Ghostly sightings, inexplicable shivers and feelings of being watched have been reported on site. Learn more about the historic spot on their Guided Night Tours. Book a spot here.
The Ghostly Garden Tours at the Royal Botanic Garden are only held a limited number of times every month so you’ll need to be quick to secure tickets. The spooky tour of the botanical gardens is perfect for date night, an after-hours activity or a Halloween adventure. Hear stories of the garden’s rich past as you stroll through its creepy grottos and dark ponds. The tour lasts for 1.5 hours and offers a closer look at one of Sydney’s favourite gardens. Make a booking here.
The ghost tour at Old Government House features spooky storytelling by candlelight at one of Australia’s oldest public buildings. Hear stories from staff, volunteers and past guests and learn more about its creepy past. You’ll also be taken through part of the Parramatta Park and treated to a light supper after the event where you can share stories of your experience with the group. Spots are limited, get more information and make a booking here.