Museums by Category: Social History | Science & Technology | Transport | Historic Buildings | Sport

Popular Sydney Museums

The Australian Museum

The Australian Museum is a place of exploration and discovery, inspiring responsibility for our world by promoting knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of science, nature and culture. Australia's oldest museum, its collection focuses on natural history. Colonial architect Mortimer Lewis designed this impressive sandstone building.

Museum of Sydney

Situated on the site of the colony of New South Wales' first government house, this fascinating museum brings alive the history of the city of Sydney and the steps it went through to become the world city it is today. Bridge Street, Sydney.

Powerhouse Museum

Traditional and interactive displays covering a wide range of subjects relating to science and social history. The museum is housed in a former power station, built in 1902 to give power to Sydney's cable trams. 500 Harris Street, Ultimo. Open daily 10.00 am - 5.00 pm

Aust. Nat. Maritime Museum

Contains an extensive collection of indoor and outdoor displays featuring Australia's maritime history including a lightship and an ex-Royal Australian Navy submarine. 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour. 2000. Phone (02) 9552 7777. Recorded information: 0055 62002. Open daily 9.30 - 5.00 pm.

The Army Museum

The Army Museum of New South Wales is housed in the original 25-cell District Military Prison which was constructed in 1847. The construction of Victoria Barracks as a home for the 11th Regiment was the catalyst that opened up Paddington as a residential area. Victoria Barracks, Oxford Street, Paddington. Open Thurs. and alternate Sun 10.00 am - 3.00 pm.

La Perouse Museum

Documents the French voyages of exploration along the Australian coastline in the 18th and 19th centuries. Maritime history. Old Cable Station, Anzac Parade, La Perouse. Open daily 9.30 am - 4.00 pm. Phone (02) 9311 3379.

Macleay Museum

A natural history collection, mainly covering the Sydney region, which includes stuffed animals, insects and lice from James Cook's Endeavour. Natural history. University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW 2006. Phone (02) 9351 2274.

Manly Art Gallery and Museum

Permanent collection of paintings and a display on local history. Social history. West Esplanade, Manly. Open Tues - Fri 10.00 am - 4.00 pm; Sat & Sun 12.00 noon - 5.00 pm.

Sydney Observatory

Tours conducted periodically throughout the open times. Includes exhibitions, films, talks and night viewings. Watson Road, Observatory Hill, Sydney. Phone (02) 9217 0485. Open Mon - Fri 10.00 am - 4.00 pm; weekends and public hols. 10.00 am - 5.00 pm. Night viewings (bookings essential).

Lancer Barracks

Lancer Barracks (1818) is Australia's oldest continuously used military establishment. Built by Gov. Macquarie, two of the three original buildings remain - the two storey sandstone brick accommodation block which housed 100 British redcoats until they were recalled in the 1860s, and the single storey officers quarters;The other buildings on site chart the history of the Barracks since the formation of a troop of Lancers at the site by George Burns (founder of Burns Philp) in 1891 to the present day. Smith Street, Parramatta.

Balmain Watch House

This museum comprises of a photographic collection telling the history of the development of the Balmain peninsula, housed in Sydney's oldest extant lock-up. 179 Darling Street, Balmain. Open Sat. 12.00 - 3.00 pm or by appointment.

Brett Whiteley Studio Museum

Located in his former studio, the museum and art gallery celebrates the life and work of Sydney artist Brett Whiteley (1939 92). Since 1995 it has been managed as a museum by the Art Gallery of NSW.. 2 Raper Street, Surry Hills.. Phone (02) 9225 1881. Open Sat & Sun 10.00 am - 4.00 pm.

Kurnell Discovery Centre

Celebrates the discovery of the east coast of Australia by Captain Cook and the exploits of Cook and Sir Joseph Banks at Botany Bay in 1770, as well as focusing on the natural history of Botany Bay's wetlands area. Nearby is the beach where Captain James Cook and the crew of HMS Endeavour landed on 29 April 1770.

Fort Denison

Once a rocky outcrop in the middle of Sydney Harbour, seven decades saw it change into the island fortress we see today. Used by the early colonial governors as a place of solitary confinement for particularly unruly convicts, it became part of Sydney's defences when in 1855 it was razed to sea level and its gun batteries, and a barracks and a Martello tower were built.

Mary MacKillop Place

Interactive museum devoted to telling the story of Australia's first saint. Social history. 7 Mount Street, North Sydney NSW 2060. Phone (02) 9954 9900. Open daily 10.00 - 4.00 pm, except sat. 12.00 noon - 4.00 pm

Museum of Contemporary Art

Australia's only museum dedicated to collecting and presenting contemporary art from across Australia and around the world. The Museum has a continually changing exhibition program. 140 George Street, The Rocks.

National Herbarium of NSW

Includes Botanical Information and Garden Advisory service. Natural history. Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney. Phone (02) 9231 8000. Open Mon - Fri 9.30 am - 4.00 pm

Sydney Jewish Museum

The story of Jewish settlement in Sydney, as well as a memorial to the survivors of the Holocaust. 148 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst NSW 2010. Phone (02) 9360 7999. Open Mon - Thurs 10.00 am - 4.00 pm; Fri 10.00 am - 2.00 pm; Sun 11.00 am - 5.00 pm.

Garrison Church Museum

The church operates a small museum, dedicated to the military, located in the Garrison Church grounds. The Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm and from 12 noon to 4.00 pm on Sundays. 60 Lower Fort Street, Millers Point. Phone: (02) 9241 1390.

Government House

Somewhat less lavish than first planned, Government House was designed by Edward Blore, a special architect to King William IV, and later to Queen Victoria. Royal Botanical Gardens, Macquarie Street, Sydney. Phone (02) 9931 5222.

Hyde Park Barracks

this Georgian style building was designed by Colonial Architect Francis Greenway. It was constructed in 1818 to house the 800 convicts who built it. Historical displays tell the story of the building and its convict occupants. Queen's Square, Sydney. Open daily 10.00 am - 5.00 pm

Susannah Place Museum

A visit to Susannah Place is like opening a family album - the stories inside could belong to anyone, in any part of the world. They are ordinary lives, yet lives that have left an extraordinary legacy in modern Sydney's oldest neighbourhood. Location: The Rocks, Sydney.

Justice and Police Museum

The museum is housed in a collection of historic buildings associated with justice and the police. The complex of buildings housed the people put in charge of maintaining law and order quayside. Sections dating from 1856. Documents the history of policing in New South Wales. Cnr Albert and Phillip Sts., Sydney. Phone (02) 9252 1144. Open Sun - Thurs 10.00 - 5.00 pm

SH Ervin Gallery

Located at the National Trust Centre on Observatory Hill, The S.H. Ervin Gallery presents an engaging program of exhibitions of the work of Australian artists, both historical and contemporary. Observatory Hill, Sydney. Phone (02) 9258 0173.

NSW School House Museum

A special school room prepared by Dept of Education where students re-enact parts of the school day from 120 years ago. They use primary source material to investigate what it was like. Cox Road, North Ryde.

Harbour Bridge Pylon Museum

Housed in the Harbour Bridge's south east pylon, its exhibits tell the story of the building of the bridge. Sydney Harbour Bridge, via Argyle Steps, The Rocks. Open daily 10.00 am - 5.00 pm.

Nicholson Museum

Displays the University's collection of antiques, which includes Egyptian artefacts such as a mummy, amulets and jewellery, Classical Greek and Mediterranean artefacts. Southern Wing, Main Quadrangle, University of Sydney. Open Tues - Fri 10.00 am - 4.30 pm.

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