Top Museums to See in Sydney
Sydney is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia, and is home to some of the country’s most fascinating museums. From convict history to indigenous culture, and some of the most exotic and unique wildlife in the world, Australian museums are anything but boring.
The following are four of Sydney’s best.
Australia is infamous for the fierce and fearsome creatures which call the country home, and the Australian Museum where you can learn all about these deadly creatures. This museum is a fantastic dedication to the natural history of Australia. It is home to the most important collections of animals, fossils, minerals and aboriginal artefacts.
Australia is home to the planet’s oldest indigenous cultures, and the museum does great justice to Aboriginal culture and beliefs. There is an extensive artifact collection, and educational displays which cover contentious issues such as the “stolen generation,” and issues which face indigenous people today.
It is at 6 College St, open 7 days a week from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum also houses 16 million artifacts which are not on display. You can take a behind-the-scenes tour to view these.
Australian National Maritime Museum
Image via Flickr by Andy Mitchell
The Australian National Maritime museum is on Darling Harbour, and is a unique museum with tours which allow entrance to Australian warships and submarine vessels.
Visitors can talk with people who actually crewed these vessels, and view a variety of maritime treasures and collections themed to exploration, defence, trade, and adventure. This is a great insight into Australia’s naval history. On the first Thursday of every month, the museum offers free admission.
Hyde Park Barracks Museum
This museum, constructed in 1819, originally housed British convicts. Before it morphed into a museum, it also served as an immigration depot, a courthouse, and a women’s asylum for the impoverished. This place has seen it all!
Hyde Park Barracks Museum provides a fascinating insight into Australia’s sandstone/convict heritage. Learn about the convicts who built the city, explore a recreation of their living quarters, or lie down in a prisoner’s hammock. Though make sure you find a Sydney hotel so you don’t get stuck in prison overnight!
The museum is at Queens Square, Macquarie St, and costs $5 to $10 entry.
Museum of Sydney
Museum of Sydney is for those interested in the history of the city. This is a small museum compared to those listed above, but by far the best one about Sydney.
Learn about the founding of Sydney and the lives of the first settlers. Watch videos, read poetry, and view storylines and panoramas which map the city’s physical development. Located on the site of the first Government House, this is one of the most historic spots in the city, and the first point of contact between indigenous Australians and the First Fleet (the first British colonizers of Australia).
This museum is on the corner of Phillip and Bridge Streets.
Other top museums throughout Sydney include Powerhouse Museum, Police and Justice Museum, and for sports fans, Rugby League Museum for those who enjoy the business of Rugby League.