Fort Denison Australian Cheese & Wine Experience

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Australia’s premier cheese & wine experience now on Cockatoo Island!

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Established in 2007 and previously hosted from Fort Denison, The Australian Artisan Cheese & Wine Experience is a short course showcasing the best of Australia’s cheese is now exclusively offered on Cockatoo Island.


The Australian Cheese & Wine Experience is a short course showcasing the best of Australia’s cheese making talents matched with some great Australian wines in the idyllic setting of Fort Denison, Sydney Harbour.

Australia’s premier cheese and wine experience is a fantastic introduction to the local and growing boutique cheese industry. Unbeknown to many, Sydney Harbour has a rich history of Australia’s milk and cheese industry being the location where cattle from England were offloaded from the First Fleet boats in 1788 onto the sandbank that is today famously known as Bennelong Point. Originally called Cattle Point, the cattle were held there in makeshift enclosures in the area now home to the Opera House. McIntosh & Bowman Cheesemongers & TE Catering are in association with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, bringing farmhouse Australian cheese back to Sydney Harbour.

Your tour guide and the experienced host will be cheese expert Claudia Bowman.

On the day of your experience, Claudia will meet you at 11.45am at the entry of Wharf 6, Circular Quay.

After a brief welcome and introductory presentation by Claudia Bowman, you will be issued your return boarding pass for the Captain Cook cruise for boarding on the 12 pm boat to the Fort Denison Island.

This 2-hour experience is valued at $180p/p and includes;

  • Transport to and from the island
  • Australian Sparking on arrival
  • 3 canapés
  • 10 Australian farmhouse cheeses
  • 3 Australian wines
  • Tasting notes
  • 2 hours with Cheese Expert Claudia Bowman

The master class experience will finish around 1.50pm.

At this time guests are free to explore the island and enjoy other features such as the tide gage room and museum before the first of 3 returning boat options to Circular quay arrives.

The 3 departure time options off the island for guests include: 2.20pm 3:20pm and 4.20pm being the last option when the island closes.

Guided tours of Fort Denison are offered and can be arrange on arrival to the island.

The 30-minute guided tours of Fort Denison are lead by NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service Guides, who take visitors around the island, exploring its colourful past, inside and up the distinctive Martello Tower to view cannons and the harbour view, museum containing colonial artefacts, and other fort facilities.

This tour commences at 2.45pm and is an additional $15 payable directly to the National Parks and Wildlife service via the cafe on the island.

At the end of the experience you will:

  • Have experienced 10 exceptional Australian Farmhouse cheeses
  • Be able to talk confidently about the different types and styles of cheese and the varieties experienced
  • Have an understanding as to the background of cheese in general as well as specific to Australia and how our local dairy industry has progressed over 220 years
  • Have a better understanding of your own personal preference to various cheeses
  • Understand basic pairing principals between cheese and wine
  • Enjoyed 4 premium, award winning Australian beverages as an accompaniment to the cheese; Sparkling on arrival with canapes, Bellwether wines, DeBortoli Botrytis Semilon and a family owned local beer.
  • Return transport to and from the island by way of a Captain Cook Cruises ‘Sydney Harbour Rocket Ferries’ with commentary.
  • Have been entertained, indulged and inspired by International Cheese Expert Claudia Bowman’s passion for and knowledge of all things cheese!

Martello Tower Tour – National Parks

Participants have the opportunity to experience the Martello Tower Tour on the island after their cheese experience.

Please call Cadman’s Cottage on (02) 9253 0888

Simply book yourself into the 2.30pm tour with National Parks. This tour is most popular with the general public and often books out by the time you get to the island. Additional $15 to the National Parks and Wildlife service.

This experience was interactive, inclusive and very enjoyable. The presentation was fantastic and Claudia who took us through the various delicious cheese and wine examples was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I would recommend this to anyone especially those who have not yet had the pleasure of appreciating cheese.
– Luke Taylor

The cheese tasting was excellent. Claudia is not only extremely knowledgable, but also so engaging in her delivery. I learnt new things, tasted new cheeses and really enjoyed matching the cheese with wine and chocolate (who knew cheese and chocolate could taste so good!).
– Kathryn O’Reilly

Claudia was FANTASTIC and I thought that we really got our money’s worth. Great day & I will definitely be recommending/purchasing for people I know.
– Katherine Maxwell

View our Cheese Event Cancellation Policy here.

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