If there is one activity that is both educational and fun for every member of the family, it’s going to museums! Luckily, there are plenty of museums to explore that are within a few train or bus stops away from your Double Bay Sydney accommodation.
8 museums in NSW that are worth visiting
Museums allow you to explore and get to know a culture, its history, and its treasures. It’s a perfect opportunity to bond with the kids, but at the same time, you get to teach them about a country’s past and where it’s going in the future.
If you are in Sydney for a few days, make sure to drop by in any one of the following museums. Both children and grown-ups will definitely enjoy the trips to these amazing places.
The Australian Museum
1 William Street, Darlinghurst
Australia’s first public museum, the Australian Museum, was established in Sydney in 1827 and is located at 1 William Street in Darlinghurst. It aimed to collect “many rare and curious specimens of Natural History”. With its history and more than 175 years’ worth of collecting, it is a museum that you should not miss when you visit NSW.
Enjoy more than 18 million objects and specimens in the collections of the museum, which are divided into two groups: Natural Science Collections and Cultural Collections.
Natural Science Collections
Nature lovers will surely love what The Australian Museum’s Natural Science Collection has to offer. From spiders, scorpions, creepy crawlies, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians to minerals and fossils, the Natural Science Collection will definitely awe and amaze the curious child in you. It contains the:
- Arachnology Collection
- Entomology Collection
- Fossil Collection
- Herpetology Collection
- Ichthyology Collection
- Malacology Collection
- Mammalogy Collection
- Marine Invertebrate Collection
- Mineral Collection
- Ornithology Collection
Culture is the soul of the people, and what better way to know them than to understand how they live. The Cultural Collection contains the:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection
- Pacific Collection
- International Collection
Museum Archives and Research Library
If you are the type who loves libraries, and old photographs and documents, then the Museum Archives and Library will excite you. It has a collection of rare books, journals, scientific publications, historical artefacts, and expedition photographs.
Note: The museum is currently closed for its major renovation, Project Discover, and will re-open in the Spring of 2020.
Art Gallery Of New South Wales
Address: Art Gallery Rd, The Domain
Art is the lifeblood of the culture. It gives you a glimpse of the inner thoughts, dreams, and fears of the artist. Art appreciation helps open up the mind to different viewpoints and perspectives.
If you love to have a thoughtful discussion with friends and family, a visit to the Art Gallery of NSW should be in your itinerary. The art gallery, established in 1871 and located along Art Gallery Road in Sydney, houses international and Australian art. It has a rich and varied collection which reflects a wide range of social, cultural, and political values. Their collections include:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art
- Asian Art
- Australian Art
- Contemporary Art
- Pacific Art
- Western Art
You can enjoy lectures, films, performances, and concerts at the Art Gallery. It also has a cafe where you can enjoy great coffee and delicious food after your gallery tour.
The MAAS Powerhouse Museum
500 Harris Street, Ultimo
The Powerhouse Museum is a branch of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and is a contemporary museum that showcases innovations in technology and engineering. Explore different types of transportations that span centuries, from flying boats, railway carriages, and supercars that will make the geek in you drool.
If you ever dreamed of becoming an astronaut as a kid, you will love the museum’s Space exhibition. It boasts the Zero Gravity Space Lab where you can experience how astronauts live in a weightless environment. It is an immersive experience where you begin your tour in a space shuttle, then to the habitation module, and then to the Zero Gravity Space Lab.
The Powerhouse Museum is located at 500 Harris St., Ultimo, near Darling Harbour in Chinatown. It has a shop where you can buy souvenirs and cafés where you can grab something to eat or have some wine.
The Australian National Maritime Museum
Address: 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour
The Australian National Maritime Museum, located on Darling Harbour, is the country’s national centre for maritime collections and exhibitions. It has one of the largest floating historical vessel collections worldwide. The museum boasts a replica of Captain Cook’s HMB Endeavour and many former Navy patrol boats and submarines, including a Harding Safety lifeboat.
Get on board and experience what it’s like to be on board the following historical vessels:
- HMB Endeavour
- HMAS Vampire
- HMAS Onslow
- John Louis
Museum of Sydney
Address: Bridge Street and Phillip Street, Sydney
Get to know more of Sydney and its people. The Museum of Sydney, located on the corner of Phillip and Bridge Streets, is built on the site of Australia’s first Government House. Early Governors took residence in Government House. The museum tells of the city’s origins and its stories. You can also see some of the remains of the original building in the museum foyer.
Learn about how the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge came to be. Get to know some of the greatest composers from the First Nations. A must-see is the museum’s First Fleet display, boasting of the mini-replicas of the eleven ships that journeyed to Botany Bay.
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Address: 140 George Street, The Rocks
The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is a museum for the artist. The collections and displays aim to stimulate the senses and imagination. The MCA, as the name suggests, aims to make contemporary art more accessible to the public.
The MCA collection proudly holds over 4,000 artworks by Australian artists. It collects art in every form: painting, sculpture, photography, moving image, and works on paper. The building itself is a work of art with its distinctive and modern form.
Manly Art Gallery and Museum
Address: West Esplanade, Manly
The Manly Art Gallery and Museum, located at 1 West Esplanade, boasts vast collections of early modern paintings and studio ceramics. Enjoy distinctive and creative cultural programs, a wide range of Australian visual art, and beach memorabilia. You can support local artists in their Design Shop that sells high-quality homewares, ceramics, jewellery, and art journals. Take home some amazing work by local artists as a memento of your visit.
Bradman Museum International Cricket Hall of Fame
Address: St. Jude Street, Bowral
Cricket fans should never miss a chance to take a trip to the Bradman Museum. Located on St. Jude Street, Bowral, you can reach the museum by taking a train ride to Bowral Train Station. The museum is approximately a 20-minute walk from the station.
Bowral is the hometown of Sir Donald Bradman, an Australian cricketer, who is considered as the greatest batsman of all time. Perfect for the whole family, the museum makes use of interactive displays to engage visitors. Some of the displays that fans should not miss include:
- The Bradman Gallery
- The Game of Cricket Interactive Exhibit
- Cricket and the Media
- The World of Cricket
- The Science of Cricket
- Greats of the Game
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