Wheelchair access: hard
Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty.
Rodd Island, located in the sheltered waters of Iron Cove, just off Birkenhead Point, has a colourful history and boasts some of the best views west of the bridge. This perfect picnic spot is in the farthest west of the harbour islands within Sydney Harbour National Park.
Pack the hamper for a family picnic once you’ve booked ahead and planned your route there. You can walk through the expansive gardens, gaze at the spectacular scenic harbour views, and explore the historic buildings, including a dance hall and two summer houses. In 1879, it became the first public recreation reserve in Sydney Harbour. It was also used as a biological laboratory and US army training ground during the Second World War.
A unique venue with an impressive backdrop for weddings and special functions, Rodd Island is available for hire, so you can add your own special event to its history. Choose your own transport style and book ahead for this popular site.
You can also hire the island for weddings and other functions - see a venue map (PDF 226 KB).
Other purpose of venue: picnic area
shown on park map
Getting there: Access to the island must be arranged through a NPWS-licensed transport operator. Private vessels may be used for pick-up and drop-off with permission only. Please contact the Customer Experience Team on 13000 PARKS (13000 72757) for further information.
When this venue is available
You can book this venue for your exclusive use. Availability is from 8am to 8pm during daylight saving, and from 8am to 5pm at other times, seven days a week. The island can be hired exclusively.
Events this venue is suitable for
- Wedding ceremonies (max 100 people)
- Wedding receptions (max 100 people)
- Private/corporate lunches (max 100 people)
- Picnics and barbecues (max 100 people, but if the event is for over 50 people the island must be booked exclusively.)
General facilities: picnic tables, flush toilets, drinking water, venue
Venue facilities: electric power
Electric power: 6x 240 volt 10 amp
Other facilities: The island features two picnic tables, a gazebo (capacity 8 people) and two summerhouses (22 people each). The hall is 17.0m long by 5.6m wide and features polished floorboards, a small 2.2m x 2.5m stage and fixed bench seating along three walls.
- Exclusive hire, per day: $1250
- Non-exclusive hire, per person, per day (max 50, children under 5 free): $7
- Wedding ceremony consent fee (not applicable if the island is hired exclusively): $550
- Note that both the wedding ceremony consent fee and the landing fee are applicable to wedding ceremony bookings.
- Tents/marquees. For exclusive hire only. They must be weighted, not pegged and conditions apply. Additional fees will apply should access to the island be for marquee erection and bumpout be required outside the period of hire.
- Commercial catering. Conditions apply.
- Alcohol. No kegs.
- Non-amplified music. Must comply with noise pollution laws.
- Commercial photography.
- Personal public address system (for celebrant).
Not permitted here:
- Amplified/loud music and/or public address systems.
- Candles or other open flames.
- Confetti, rice, petals or similar.
- Domestic animals.
- Vines and other exotic plant material.
- Roping off areas or signs re exclusive event. Only when using the site on a non-exclusive basis.
- Butterfly releases.
- Pegging or staking items into the ground.
- Depositing ice or iced water on grassed areas.
Other conditions: The following are also permitted: use of the Hall (exclusive use only); barbecues - outside only. Barbecues must be fitted with a fat drip tray and be located away from structures; chairs used in the hall must be compatible with use on wooden floors.
Also NOT permitted: signs or promotional/advertising material which can be seen from the water; mooring at the wharf - access if for passenger drop-off and pickup only.
When in force, total fire bans apply.
All rubbish must be removed at the conclusion of the event.
The residence on the island is strictly out of bounds. Visitors to the island are expected to be self-sufficient and not rely on residents for equipment or assistance.
All corporate or commercial clients must provide a Public Liability Insurance Policy of not less than $10 000 000 indemnifying NPWS (OEH). Evidence of this policy must be provided with the return of the signed application form.
The HIRER shall not transfer, assign, sub-let or sub-hire this site.
Bookings, payments and refunds
Booking is essential. A completed application form and non-refundable deposit of 50% of the venue hire fee is required within 14 days of making a tentative reservation otherwise the booking will be automatically cancelled. A consent requiring the signature of the Hirer will be issued. The signed consent is to be returned no later than six (6) weeks prior to the date of the event. The balance of the hire fee is due eight (8) weeks prior to the date of the event. Fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Non–exclusive hire (e.g. wedding ceremony for less than 50 people)
Booking is essential. A completed application form and payment of the $550 consent fee is required within 14 days of making a tentative reservation otherwise the booking will be automatically cancelled. A consent requiring the signature of the Hirer will be issued. The signed consent is to be returned no later than six (6) weeks prior to the date of the event. The landing fee is due eight (8) weeks prior to the date of the event. Fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
In lieu of a security deposit, the NPWS reserves the right to charge hirers post event for any damage caused to the venue or failure to comply with consent conditions.
- cheque or money order – payable to the Office of Environment and Heritage
- credit card.
greater than six (6) weeks prior to the date of the booking, 50% of the consent fee and 100% of landing fees OR 50% of the venue hire fee will be refunded
less than six (6) weeks prior to the date of the booking, no refund for the consent fee or venue hire fee, but 100% refund is given on landing fees (if applicable).
Wet weather cancellation
50% of the consent fee and 100% of the landing fees OR 50% of the exclusive venue hire fee applies if wet weather cancellation is received as follows:
for all Exclusive Hire bookings and Non Exclusive Hire bookings commencing before 1pm, cancellation must be received no later than 4pm the day prior to the event
for Non Exclusive Hire bookings commencing after 1pm, cancellation must be received between 10am and 11am on the day of the event.
It is the responsibility of the HIRER to advise of cancellation. All cancellations other than wet weather also require the HIRER to submit written advice. This may be in the form of fax, email or letter. Refunds may take up to six weeks to process.
Frequently asked questionsAre there any shade structures on Rodd Island?
There are two summerhouses, a gazebo and trees providing shade.
Can I use the hall on Rodd Island?
You must hire the island exclusively to access the hall.
Will there be other weddings on the island at the same time?
No. Only one wedding will be held on the island per day.
Can I have my reception on the island as well?
Yes - but you must hire the island exclusively.
Interested in this venue?
National Parks Contact Centre, Phone: (02) 9253 0880 within Sydney, or 13000 PARKS (1300 072 757) for the cost of a local call within Australia (mobiles excluded)
Mosman (venue information and bookings), Phone: 02 9337 7016 venues; other inquiries 02 9960 6266