Museums, Science and Culture

Step back in time, look to the future or go behind the scenes of an icon at one of Sydney’s fascinating museums. You’ll discover ancient cultures, incredible creatures and modern heroes at the city’s world-class cultural institutions.

Dinosaur skeletons on display at Australian Museum in Sydney City

Museums in The Rocks and Circular Quay

Near Circular Quay you’ll find the Museum of Sydney, which is built on the site of the official residence of Governor Arthur Phillip. You can see the remains of this first Government House and other archaeological relics through glass openings in the foyer and forecourt.

A short walk away is the Justice and Police Museum. Housed in a building that was at different times the Water Police Station and the Police Court, you can explore the holding cells, charge room and courts and inspect forensic evidence from notorious crimes.

Interior exhibition space, Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour - Pyrmont - Sydney City

Museums in the city and Darling Harbour

Discover interactive technology and gain unique insights into modern Australian culture at the Powerhouse Museum near Darling Harbour, then climb aboard a warship or submarine at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

The Australian Museum, established in 1827, is the nation's oldest museum and has more than 21 million items in its collection, including dinosaur skeletons, rare animals and indigenous artefacts. The museum is currently closed while undergoing a $57.5 million refurbishment and expansion, and will reopen in mid 2020.

Also undergoing renovation is the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, which will reopen in early 2020. One of the most significant convict sites in the world, the World Heritage listed Barracks will be transformed into a world-leading cultural destination, with new innovative visitor experiences and education programs.

Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Darlinghurst and Potts Points

The Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre is housed in two heritage buildings: The Gun Mounting Workshop (1922) and the Boatshed (1890). Here you’ll find over 3000 artefacts from the history of the Navy.

Sydney Jewish Museum is dedicated to documenting and teaching the history and lessons of the Holocaust, established in 1992 by the generation of Holocaust survivors who came to Australia.

The museum has a number of permanent exhibitions including The Holocaust and Human Rights, which uses digital technologies to outline human rights achievements and challenges.

Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) Tour at Moore Park, Sydney East

Other Museums in Sydney

Sports fans will want to plan a visit to the Sydney Cricket Ground Museum and the Rugby League Museum, both in Moore Park. The SCG Museum is part of the SCG Experience Tour, a behind-the-scenes tour that includes a walk out onto the legendary oval.

In Western Sydney, the Camden Museum houses thousands of artefacts representing the area's Aboriginal, colonial and agricultural past. Visit the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney for the largest collection of antiquities in the southern hemisphere.