MUSEUMS
OF SYDNEY

MUSEUMS OF SYDNEY

CHAU CHAK WING MUSEUM UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY Photo © Nick-D

Sydney has an amazing collection of museums in the CBD and across the city. Here is a selection:


AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM

William St CBD
australian.museum
Australian Museum has something for everyone and General Admission is now free. Plan and book your visit to the Australian Museum, and discover the extraordinary exhibitions on display.”


AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM

Darling Harbour CBD

www.sea.museum
“The Australian National Maritime Museum is Australia’s national centre for maritime collections, exhibitions, research and archaeology. The museum presents a changing program of stimulating exhibitions and events to share Australia’s maritime history and connect the stories, objects, people and places that are part of our country’s narrative. We welcome over 850,000 visitors annually including families, interstate and international tourists. Over 13,000 members support the museum and regularly enjoy special events and activities.”


AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MUSEUM

Olympic Park

www.tennis.com.au/museum/
“The Australian Tennis Museum is temporarily closed while it undertakes a major consolidation of the collection.  The collection holds over 7,000 items including a nationally significant clothing collection with items designed by Ted Tinling.”


BARE ISLAND

Bare Island Fort guided tour

La Perouse

www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/guided-tours/bare-island-fort-guided-tour

Join this guided tour to hear about the unpredictable history of Bare Island Fort at La Perouse. We’ll cross a 130-year-old wooden bridge and enter a world of fine engineering and great deception.”


BUTTERFLY MUSEUM

Wilberforce

www.butterflyfarm.com.au/museum.html
“Come and see the unique World Butterfly Collection. The collection also includes a variety of Moths, Beetles, Spiders, Scorpions and insects from South East Asia. A collection for the enthusiast and curious alike.”


CAMDEN MUSEUM

Camden

www.camdenhistory.org.au/
“The Camden Historical Society’s aim for this web site is to promote the local history and heritage of Camden, and its district. The Society manages the Camden Museum which is conducted entirely by volunteers, but receives substantial and continuing assistance from Camden Council. The Council has created an exciting cultural and heritage centre located in the heart of Camden’s historic precinct.”


CARSS PARK MUSEUM

Carrs Park

kogarah.historicalsociety.com.au/carss-park-museum/
“Carss Cottage houses the Kogarah Historical Society’s collection of historical artefacts and photographs.”


CHAU CHAK WING MUSEUM

University Place, University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW 2006

www.sydney.edu.au/museum/
The museum has free entry and brings together the University of Sydney’s collections of antiquities, natural history, historic photographs, cultural artefacts and art. With 2,000 square metres of exhibition space spread across four levels, the museum triples the space previously available for the University’s collections, which began with the opening of the Nicholson Museum in 1860.
This new museum draws on the Nicholson, Macleay and University Art collections. The
Nicholson Collection is the largest collection of antiquities in the southern hemisphere. The Macleay Collections include some of Australia’s most significant natural history objects. The University Art Collection comprises more than 8,000 historical and contemporary works spanning a millennia.”

Screenshot of sydneyvisitorguide.com.au

CHAU CHAK WING MUSEUM


COBHAM HALL MUSEUM

Wisemans Ferry

www.wisemansinnhotel.com.au/#COBHAMHALLMUSEUM
“Convict hand huened Sydney basin sandstone built in 1826 was the original grand old residence of Solomon Wiseman. The sandstone walls are still intact put together with mortar made from cooked oysters shells, the hand huened rafters are all exposed with some of the original shingles and plaster lining. It is one of the few buildings left standing in Australia of this age. Kate Grenfell’s novel the secret river is based on this home.”


DREDGES COTTAGE

Campbelltown

visitcampbelltown.com.au/listing/dredges-cottage/
“Come and visit Dredge’s Cottage. A Veterans Recreation Centre, and the only one of its kind in Australia, Dredge’s Cottage features and displays memorabilia covering all theatres of conflict from the Boer War in 1902 to Vietnam.”


ELIZABETH BAY HOUSE

Elizabeth Bay

sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/elizabeth-bay-house
“With commanding views over Sydney Harbour, Elizabeth Bay House gleams like a Greek temple. Once surrounded by famous landscaped gardens, it is one of the most splendid private houses ever built in Australia and still arouses our delight and astonishment. Its elegant rooms and fine proportions, sweeping staircase and lavish furnishings reveal the tastes and aspirations of its original owner, Alexander Macleay, after the governor, the most important public official in colonial Sydney.”


EXPERIMENT FARM COTTAGE

Parramatta

www.nationaltrust.org.au/places/experiment-farm-cottage
“The site of the first land grant, where James Ruse proved self-sufficiency was possible. He was followed by Surgeon John Harris, who built the cottage in 1835. Today it is furnished to provide an authentic insight into that time.”


FAIRFIELD CITY MUSEUM & GALLERY

Fairfield

www.fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au/Services/Fairfield-City-Museum-Gallery
“Fairfield City Museum & Gallery is known for its strong commitment to community engagement and is the largest exhibition space in Fairfield City. We are one of the City’s greatest resources, at the forefront of creating and presenting events and exhibitions about our past, heritage, visual arts and of our culturally diverse communities.”


FORT DENISON

Sydney Harbour

www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/historic-buildings-places/fort-denison-muddawahnyuh
“Fort Denison is a heritage fort on a Sydney Harbour island, once called Pinchgut. This former military site is the most complete Martello Tower in the world and a popular Sydney attraction.”

Fort Denison, Sydney Harbour. Photo © Andy Mitchell

GOVERNMENT HOUSE SYDNEY

CBD

www.governor.nsw.gov.au/
“In 1788, soon after a British settlement was established at Sydney Cove, the first Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Governor Arthur Phillip, laid the foundations of Sydney’s first Government House.  This building was located in Bridge Street (on the site of the Museum of Sydney). After nearly 50 years of serving as the colony’s political, ceremonial and social centre, the building had become worn and dilapidated and many submissions were made to the British government for permission and funding to construct a new building.”


JOHN MACARTHUR’S HAMBLEDON COTTAGE MUSEUM

Parramatta

www.parramattahistorical.org.au/
“Hambledon Cottage is a colonial Georgian cottage built for John Macarthur in 1824. It is now a house museum where visitors, young and old, can experience the 19th century lifestyle and see original furniture of the period. It is set in 2 acres of land with heritage trees (c1817). All tours of our museum are conducted by our experienced volunteer guides.”


JUSTICE & POLICE MUSEUM

Circular Quay CBD

sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/justice-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 and the innocent have all left their stories here. With its 1890s holding cells, offices, charge room and courts, the museum draws you into a world of crime, punishment and policing, from bushrangers, sly grog and razor gangs to forensics. A vast archive of crime scene photography and mug shots reveal more than a century of underworld Sydney.”


HARRY DALY MUSEUM – HISTORY OF ANAESTHESIA

North Sydney
​​
asa.org.au/harry-daly-museum/
“The Harry Daly Museum houses a collection of both historical and more recent artefacts related to the development and practice of anaesthesia. It belongs to, is cared for and treasured by the Australian Society of Anaesthetists at the Society’s headquarters in Sydney, Australia.”


HAWKESBURY REGIONAL MUSEUM

Windsor

www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/museum
“The Hawkesbury Regional Museum houses the collection of the Hawkesbury Historical Society. Between 1956 and 2007, the Society collected more than 6,000 items of material culture. The collection has a rich and diverse range of historic artefacts which are of local, state and national significance.”


HURSTVILLE MUSEUM AND GALLERY

​​Hurstville

www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au/HMG
“Hurstville Museum & Gallery is home to high quality exhibitions, a diverse range of public programs and a collection of approximately 6,000 objects and artworks from the local area.”


HYDE PARK BARRACKS MUSEUM

CBD

hydeparkbarracks.sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/
“A UNESCO World Heritage-listed site in the heart of historic Sydney, the Hyde Park Barracks is an extraordinary living record of early colonial Australia. Originally built to house convicts, the Barracks has also served as an immigration depot, asylum, law courts and government offices. Today it is a cutting-edge museum.”


KALKARI DISCOVERY CENTRE

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/visitor-centres/kalkari-discovery-centre
“Immerse yourself in the knowledge Kalkari Discovery Centre has to offer. At Kalkari, you’ll be inspired to learn more about the park’s plants, animals and Aboriginal history, under the guidance of Kalkari’s knowledgeable volunteers. Find out more about the Discovery trail and the range of educational activities for adults and children on offer. You may find yourself making a model wombat and burrow, sipping morning tea with visitors from around the world, or playing Aboriginal games.”


KURRAJONG RADIO MUSEUM

Kurrajong Heights

www.kurrajongradiomuseum.com.au/
“The museum is a privately funded operation displaying many aspects of radio and is run by Ian O’Toole VK2ZIO. It contains many operational radios and other equipment ready to be demonstrated. Visitors will be given a guided tour. With 250m2 of floor space, large groups can be accommodated. Kurrajong is about 50km to the north west of Sydney, Australia with limited public transport facilities so that visitors are advised to make their own travel arrangements.”


LA PEROUSE MUSEUM

La Perouse

www.randwick.nsw.gov.au/facilities-and-recreation/buildings/la-perouse-museum
“Housed in a heritage building at La Perouse in the south of our city, the La Perouse Museum is a multi-disciplinary museum that tells many stories up to the present day.”


LEURALLA TOY AND RAILWAY MUSEUM

Leura

www.toyandrailwaymuseum.com.au/
“Leuralla Toy & Railway Museum is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest collection of toys, trains and associated memorabilia. Whether you’re a family or a serious collector, the world class displays of 20th century toys, from Barbie, Popeye, Tintin and Alice in Wonderland will captivate and entertain.”


LINDESAY

Darling Point

www.nationaltrust.org.au/places/lindesay/
“A harbourside mansion that has witnessed 180 years of progress yet remains untouched. It’s this timelessness, and the beautiful gardens, that have made it so popular for weddings and other events. Come and experience nearly two centuries of gracious living.”


LIVERPOOL REGIONAL MUSEUM

Liverpool

sydneyvisitorguide.com.au/south-west-sydney/liverpool/liverpool-regional-museum
“The Liverpool Regional Museum was established in 1989 with the aim of preserving and promoting Liverpool’s cultural heritage, history and stories through heritage collections, exhibitions and public programs.”


LUCY OSBURN – NIGHTINGALE FOUNDATION MUSEUM

CBD

sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/sydneyopen/2019/lucy-osburn-nightingale-museum
“Sydney Hospital celebrates a continuous history since 1788 as the first hospital in Australia. The central building of Governor Macquarie’s new three-winged General ‘Rum’ Hospital was constructed on this site from 1811 to 1816, in return for a monopoly on the importation of rum, hence its name. However, packed with convict patients, the hospital was overcrowded and rife with dysentery, and quickly became known as ‘the Sidney Slaughter House’.”


MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY HISTORY MUSEUM

Macquarie University

www.mq.edu.au/faculty-of-arts/departments-and-schools/macquarie-university-history-museum
“By merging Australian history and ancient culture collections under one roof, we have created a cultural hub that is exciting and unique. With more than 18,000 objects, we trace world history from early settlement in Australia around 65,000 BCE through ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome to the 20th and 21st Centuries. Located within Macquarie University’s new purpose-built Arts Precinct, we are deeply embedded in the academic research and teaching of our leading historians.”


MANLY ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM

Manly

www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/arts-and-culture/manly-art-gallery-museum/about-magam
“Located in the heart of Manly Cove, Manly Art Gallery & Museum presents innovative, distinctive and creative cultural programs alongside its extensive collections of Australian visual art and beach ephemera. Established in 1930, MAG&M is the oldest metropolitan regional gallery in NSW and the centre for the visual arts on the Northern Beaches.”


MAY GIBBS NUTCOTE

Neutral Bay

www.maygibbs.com.au/
“Nutcote is the beautiful harbourside home of May Gibbs (1877-1969), Australia’s foremost children’s author and illustrator and best known today for her iconic story, The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot & Cuddlepie.”


MUSEUM FOR CAPTAIN COOK MEMORABILIA

State Library of NSW CBD

www.sl.nsw.gov.au/learning/captain-james-cook
“The State Library of NSW has an amazing collection of artefacts and images of Captain James Cook.”


MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIAN CURRENCY NOTES

RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA MUSEUM CBD

museum.rba.gov.au/
“The Museum tells the story of Australia’s banknotes against the background of the nation’s economic and social development, from before Federation through to the current era.”


MUSEUM OF FIRE

Penrith

www.museumoffire.net
“The Museum’s collection is of national importance as it celebrates the heroic history of the Firefighters and Fire services in Australia.”


MUSEUM OF FREEMASONRY

CBD

www.mof.org.au
“Discover a hidden universe. The hidden mysteries and secrets of Ancient Freemasonry. A collection spanning over 200 years and including the Archives, Museum, Gallery, and Library of the Freemasons of Australia. All housed in a building considered the finest example of Brutalist Architecture in the Southern Hemisphere.”


MUSEUM OF HUMAN DISEASE

UNSW, Kensington

www.diseasemuseum.med.unsw.edu.au
“The Museum of Human Disease contains over 2,500 disease human tissue specimens. Our comprehensive collection demonstrates hundreds of diseases and their complications including HIV/AIDs, cancer, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, genetic diseases and the effects of drugs.”


MUSEUM OF SYDNEY

Circular Quay

sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/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 Governor Phillip chose this site for his official residence. It quickly became the centre of the colony’s administrative and social life, and an important focus of first contact between the Gadigal people and the colonisers.”


NSW LANCERS MEMORIAL MUSEUM

Parrramatta

www.lancers.org.au/
“Lancer Barracks were built in Parramatta, now a suburb of Sydney between 1818 and 1820 to house the British troops who garrisoned the then colony of New South Wales.  The Governor, Lachlan Macquarie recognised he was building the infrastructure for a future nation and had them built to last, eventually they were occupied by the New South Wales Lancers, becoming an integral part of Australia’s Military history, and the history of the Parramatta Community.”


OLD GOVERNMENT HOUSE PARRAMATTA

Parramatta

oldgovernmenthouse.com.au/
“The Old Government House is located in Parramatta Park, and for 70 years, it served as the country home for the first ten Governors of the colony. It was the official residence of Governor Macquarie and his wife who lived there from 1810 to 1821 and preferred the clean space and air that the rural Parramatta had to the crime-ridden and unsanitary streets of Sydney.”


PARRAMATTA FEMALE FACTORY INSTITUTIONS PRECINCT

Parramatta

www.parragirls.org.au/
“Located on the traditional lands of the Burramatta clan of the Darug people, Parramatta Female Factory Institutions Precinct is where you will find the historic convict Female Factory, Parramatta Lunatic Asylum, Roman Catholic Orphanage and Parramatta Girls Home. This historic precinct offers a unique insight into Australia’s colonial past and the era of institutional confinement of vulnerable women and children.”


PENRITH MUSEUM OF PRINTING

Penrith

sydneyvisitorguide.com.au/western-sydney/penrith-museum-of-printing
Museum of Printing is designed to provide visitors with knowledge and understanding of how the printed word used to be produced before the advent of the computer.”

Screenshot of sydneyvisitorguide.com.au

POWERHOUSE MUSEUM

Ultimo Darling Harbour

www.maas.museum/powerhouse-museum
Powerhouse Ultimo is a contemporary museum in the heart of Sydney with a focus on arts, science, innovation and design.”


ROUSE HILL ESTATE

Rouse Hill

sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/rouse-hill-estate
“Looking out over the paddocks and across to the mountains, this house and farm have been owned by six generations of one family. Through the good times and the bad, each generation has added another layer of belongings, improvements and memories, and today, every object and addition, every tear, stain and repair has a story to tell.”


ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY HERITAGE CENTRE

Garden Island

www.navy.gov.au/ran-heritage-centre
“Since the Naval Heritage Centre opened in 2005 over 100,000 visitors, including school groups and private tours have enjoyed and experienced the displays. As well as sampling the fine fare offered by the Salthorse Café, with its magnificent Sydney Harbour view as a backdrop, visitors have enjoyed the hidden gem that is the quiet gardens and grassed areas behind the Heritage Centre for picnics and BBQs. I have appreciated greatly all the kind remarks on the exhibition and surrounding grounds offered by the Heritage Centre visitors.”


SCHOOLHOUSE MUSEUM

North Ryde

www.schoolhousemuseum.org.au
“The brick buildings of the NSW Schoolhouse Museum are the first school buildings of North Ryde Public School, dating back to 1877. Following lobbying by the local community, the school started as a single schoolroom with separate teacher’s residence built on one acre of land donated by Richard Wicks in 1877. The school, named City View Public School, opened on the 25th January 1878 to 45 pupils taught by teacher, Charles Crew. Its name changed to North Ryde Public School in 1879”


SUSANNAH PLACE MUSEUM

The Rocks

sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/susannah-place
“Located in the heart of The Rocks, Susannah Place is a terrace of four houses built by Irish immigrants in 1844. For nearly 150 years these small houses with tiny backyards, basement kitchens and outside wash houses were home to more than 100 families.”


SYDNEY HERITAGE FLEET

Pyrmont

www.shf.org.au/
“The Sydney Heritage Fleet was formed by enthusiastic volunteers  during 1965-1966 and has operated since then, under a variety of names, including for many years, as the Sydney Maritime Museum.”


SYDNEY JEWISH MUSEUM

Darlinghurst

sydneyjewishmuseum.com.au/
“The Sydney Jewish Museum was established in 1992 by the generation of Holocaust survivors who came to Australia. They envisioned the Museum as a place which could hold their stories and personal objects, memorialise those who were murdered during the Holocaust, and within which the lessons from the past would be taught.”


SYDNEY LIVING MUSEUMS

sydneylivingmuseums.com.au
“Sydney Living Museums cares for a group of 12 of the most important historic houses, gardens and museums in NSW on behalf of the people of NSW.”


SYDNEY MINT

CBD

sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/the-mint
“Open for business in 1855, the Sydney Royal Mint was the first overseas branch of London’s Royal Mint where 1200 tonnes of colonial gold were minted into 150 million sovereigns.”


SYDNEY MUSEUMS AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM OF MAGICAL ARTS

Darlinghurst

sydneymuseums.com.au/
“Tucked away in Darlinghurst and just minutes from Sydney CBD and behind the Australian Museum, the Australian Museum of Magical Arts is a museum that stores and exhibits historical, artistic and cultural artefacts of the art of magic.”


SYDNEY TRAMWAY MUSEUM

Loftus

www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/
“The Museum’s operational fleet not only includes an extensive collection of Sydney trams from 1896 to 1997, but also trams from Brisbane, Melbourne, Ballarat, Adelaide, San Francisco, Nagasaki, Berlin, Munich and Milan, enabling comparisons between the different tramcar designs. A double-deck tram from Hobart and a Brill-built bogie car of 1902 from the Western Australian gold-mining city of Kalgoorlie still have yet to be restored.”


THE ARMS OF AUSTRALIA INN MUSEUM

Penrith

www.armsofaustraliainn.org.au/
“The Inn was once a staging post for travellers making the trip from Sydney over the Blue Mountains to Bathurst and on to the goldfields. Built it two sections, the first in 1826, it is one of the oldest buildings in Penrith, if not the oldest.”


THE DAIRY AND RANGERS COTTAGES

Parramatta

www.parrapark.com.au/places-to-go/the-dairy-and-rangers-cottages/
“The Dairy Precinct is one of Australia’s oldest colonial sites – and one of the 11 Australian Convict Sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Register. Bound by timber fencing, the precinct features the historic Dairy and Rangers Cottages and grounds. The Dairy Cottage was constructed between 1796 and 1805 by ex-convict George Salter. The adjacent Rangers Cottage was built around 1870.”


THE ROCKS DISCOVERY MUSEUM

The Rocks

www.therocks.com/shop/the-rocks-discovery-museum
“You’ll love The Rocks Discovery Museum; packed with thousands of years of history! Housed in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse, the museum is home to a unique collection of images and archaeological artefacts found in The Rocks – some of which you can even hold.”


VINE COTTAGE TOOL MUSEUM

Castlereagh 

www.vinecottage.com.au/
“Vine Cottage Tool Museum exhibits a wide and varied range of tradesman tools dating back from Australia’s early colonial era. On display are the most complete sets of authentic tools in Australia, dating back from the turn of the 19th Century that cover:”


WOLLONDILLY HERITAGE CENTRE AND MUSEUM

The Oaks

www.wollondillymuseum.org.au/
“The Wollondilly Heritage Centre and Museum is a repository for archives, records and objects relating to the early development of the villages in Wollondilly Shire. Exhibitions on display incorporate these objects and include the stories of our early pioneers and how they shaped life in our local area.”


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