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. 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....

  2. Susannah Place Museum

    Built in 1844, Susannah Place Museum is a terrace of four houses that incorporates a recreated 1915 corner store. Rare in the city of Sydney, it has a continuous history of domestic occupancy by working class families...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  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. Nicholson Museum

    Australia's first University Museum, and the largest public collection of archaeological artefacts in the country, featuring objects from ancient Egypt, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, the Middle East and northern Europe;...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Mary MacKillop Place Museum

    Since opening in 1995, the Museum has been engaging visitors with the remarkable story of Mary MacKillop [1842-1909], Australia's first saint. Mary's extraordinary work comes to life where innovative technology takes...

  10. 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...

  11. Sydney Tramway Museum

    Sydney Tramway Museum provides a nostalgic and educational insight into the lifestyle of Sydneysiders during the 100 year period of tramway operation from 1861 to 1961, with trams running, plus restoration works-in...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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,...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  21. 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,...

  22. Brett Whiteley Studio

    Explore one of Sydney's best kept secrets: the Brett Whiteley Studio, where one of Australia's most celebrated artists of the 20th century lived and worked from 1988 to 1992.The Studio exhibits a...

  23. Macleay Museum

    Experience a true museum at the Macleay with its exhibits of cultural and scientific history dating from the 1750s. A perfect introduction to Australia from colonisation, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander...

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