Museums, Science and Culture

Highlights

Uncover the intriguing past at Sydney's amazing museums. You'll discover everything from dinosaurs and giant marsupials at the Australian Museum to colonial history at World Heritage-listed sites Old Government House and Hyde Park Barracks. You can even climb aboard a tall ship and a submarine.

  • Australian Museum
  • Fort Denison, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo David Finnegan

Explore museums in Sydney

Discover intriguing, extraordinary and wonderful things in Sydney’s museums, among the most popular attractions in the harbour city. You’ll find everything from dinosaurs and ancient artefacts to colonial and indigenous history, tall ships and warships, and even one of Don Bradman's cricket bats.

The Australian Museum, established in 1827, is the nation's oldest museum and contains one of the biggest collections. Near Hyde Park and city centre shops, the museum is home to 10 complete dinosaur skeletons, interactive displays for youngsters, and hosts regular blockbuster exhibitions.

Nearby is the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, one of Australia's 11 World Heritage-listed convict sites. Near Circular Quay is the Museum of Sydney, which is built on the site of the first Government House. You'll see remains of Governor Arthur Phillip's official residence in the forecourt and foyer. 

Museum of Sydney during Vivid Sydney 2015

The Rocks Discovery Museum tells the story of The Rocks, from pre-European days to today. The Powerhouse Museum, near Darling Harbour, is great for interactive technology displays. Always popular is the Australian National Maritime Museum, where you can climb aboard a submarine.

Board the Watsons Bay-bound ferry or a Captain Cook hop-on hop-off service at Circular Quay and alight at Garden Island for the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre, housed in heritage buildings. You’ll see the conning tower of a Japanese midget submarine that attacked Sydney Harbour in 1942.

Top sports museums are theSydney Cricket Ground Museum and the Rugby League Museum, both in Moore Park, a quick bus ride from near Museum Station in Hyde Park. The SCG Museum is part of the SCG Experience Tour and includes the Members Pavilion and a walk on the legendary oval.

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  1. Hawkesbury Regional Museum

    Hawkesbury Regional Museum in Windsor has a long history including a rich indigenous cultural heritage established by the Darug people, as well as a distinctive built environment dating back to the earliest days of...

  2. Elizabeth Farm

    Commenced in 1793, Elizabeth Farm contains the oldest surviving European building in Australia. Once home to Elizabeth and John Macarthur, pioneers of the Australian wool industry, it is a rare example of an early...

  3. Customs House

    Customs House is built on the land of the traditional Indigenous owners, the Eora people, and is the site of the First Fleet landing. It is one of the most significant buildings in the history of European settlement...

  4. Museum of Sydney

    A modern museum built over and around the remains of Australia’s first Government House, the Museum of Sydney celebrates the people and events that have shaped the character and soul of this city. In 1788...

  5. Rouse Hill House and Farm

    Rouse Hill House and Farm is one of Australia's most culturally important historic properties, not only for its artefacts, furnishings, buildings and gardens, but also because it is the most complete document of...

  6. La Perouse Museum

    La Perouse Museum is located on Kamay Botany Bay National Park’s northern headland. The museum is housed within the historic Cable Station building, once Australia’s only link to the rest of the world. The La Perouse...

  7. Dredges Cottage

    Come and visit Dredges Cottage. A Veterans Recreation Centre, and the only one of its kind in Australia, Dredges Cottage features and displays memorabilia covering all theatres of conflict from the Boer War in 1902 to...

  8. Kurrajong Radio Museum

    Kurrajong Radio Museum takes visitors on a nostalgic trip through The Golden Years of Radio. There are hundreds of radios on display covering the domestic, armed services, professional, commercial...

  9. Sydney Jewish Museum

    Since its opening in 1992 the Sydney Jewish Museum has become an integral part of the cultural life of Sydney. The Museum is dedicated to documenting and teaching the history and lessons of the Holocaust. They...

  10. The Rocks Discovery Museum

    The Rocks Discovery Museum, housed in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse, tells the story of The Rocks from pre-European days to the present. Home to a unique collection of images and...

  11. Carss Cottage Museum

    Carss Cottage is a sandstone cottage built in 1865 for William Carss and family. It is the oldest building still standing in the Kogarah area and houses a Museum focusing on local history, run by Kogarah Historical...

  12. Elizabeth Bay House

    Built between 1835 and 1839, Elizabeth Bay House was known as 'the finest house in the colony'. Designed by the most fashionable and accomplished architect of the day, John Verge, for the Colonial Secretary,...

  13. Museum of Fire

    There is nothing boring about the Museum of Fire!With engines dating back to the early 1800's the Museum of Fire stands as a fitting monument to our heroic firefighters and guards the heritage and history of...

  14. Justice and Police Museum

    Step into the dark side of Sydney’s past with a visit to the Water Police station and courts that once made up one of the city’s busiest legal hubs. Crooks and cops, thugs and judges, locals and drifters, the guilty...

  15. Hyde Park Barracks Museum

    The World Heritage listed Hyde Park Barracks is one of the most significant convict sites in the world. A crossroads for tens of thousands of people, it played a central role in the world’s largest and longest-running...

  16. Vaucluse House

    Vaucluse House survives as one of Sydney's only nineteenth century harbourside estates with house, kitchen wing, stables and outbuildings and is still surrounded by ten hectares of formal gardens and grounds....

  17. Rose Seidler House

    Rose Seidler House, built between 1948 and 1950, is one of the most uncompromising modernist houses in Australia. Nestled in natural bushland, the house has panoramic views of Ku-ring-gai National Park from its glass...

  18. Old Government House Parramatta

    Standing in 200 acres of parkland overlooking historic Parramatta, Old Government House is Australia's oldest public building. For seven decades, it was the 'country' residence of 12 early governors of the colony,...

  19. Powerhouse Museum

    Located in the old Ultimo Power Station building adjacent to Darling Harbour, the Powerhouse Museum is the flagship venue of Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS). Its unique and diverse collection spans science,...

  20. Experiment Farm Cottage

    Experiment Farm Cottage stands on the site of the first land grant in Australia, made in 1789 by Governor Phillip to the former convict, James Ruse. By 1791 Ruse had successfully farmed the 30 acre site as an...

  21. City of Canada Bay Museum

    Ever wondered where the iconic Aussie rotary mower, Victa, originated? Mervyn Victor Richardson took 'borrowing your neighbours lawn mower' to a whole new level when he laid eyes on the petrol-driven rotary mower...

  22. NSW Lancers Memorial Museum

    The museum of Australia's oldest, most decorated Regiment in the mainland's oldest (1820), heritage listed barracks. Trace the evolution of the weaponry, uniforms and equipment of the NSW Cavalry and famed Light Horse...

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