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Museums in Sydney

Highlights

Uncover Sydney's history, culture and artistic past at one of several quality museums around the city. For pioneering colonial history, visit Elizabeth Farm and Old Government House, learn about the city's railway heritage at The Rocks Discovery Museum or make your way to Trainworks in Thirlmere.

Must Do

Visiting Sydney Museums

Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney

Established in 1827, the Australian Museum was the country’s first museum featuring extensive collections of natural science and cultural artefacts. It has an international reputation for natural history and indigenous research, community programmes and exhibitions.

Located in Ultimo, the Powerhouse Museum is one of Australia’s largest and most diverse museums. More than 250 interactive exhibits bring it to life with holographic images, touch screen computers, science experiments and virtual-reality space.

The Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour, a distinctive indoor and outdoor attraction provides a great day’s entertainment for kids and parents alike. The museum also hosts an ever-changing programme of temporary exhibitions and a fleet of historic craft at its wharves.

The Museum of Sydney is a modern museum located on the historic site of the first Government House, built for Governor Phillip in 1788. It takes visitors on a journey exploring Sydney from the Dreamtime to the modern day. 

In addition to Government House, other significant buildings are available to view thanks to the Historic Houses Trust, which opens fine colonial homes spread around Sydney, giving you a taste of early colonial life and architecture.

Historical items on display at the SCG Museum. Photo: Hamilton Lund, courtesy SC&SG Trust

Sports museums in Sydney

Museums often have a reputation for being academic but with a city as dynamic as Sydney this isn’t always the case – even sports fans can find museums to their liking. The two biggest of note are the Rugby League Museum and the SCG Museum, both in Moore Park, which highlight the best of rugby and cricket from years gone by.

Historical items on display at the Aboriginal Heritage Museum. Image: Aboriginal Heritage Museum

Aboriginal Heritage Museum

Aboriginal heritage is a significant part of the cultural landscape of Sydney. The Aboriginal Heritage Museum in Northbridge is a great place to begin your Aboriginal educational journey. It houses a multitude of Aboriginal artefacts, including tools and weapons, and interactive models. Book ahead of time to enjoy a free guided tour of the museum with an Aboriginal Heritage Officer.

Queen Victoria Building – Sydney. Image Credit City of Sydney

Sydney heritage attractions

The heritage buildings in Sydney are beautiful and have a rich history. Take a self-guided walk or an organised tour and explore Sydney's most recognised landmarks, including the Sydney Opera House, Queen Victoria Building and Hyde Park Barracks.

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