The Sydney Living Museums is a group of 12 museums, houses and gardens that aim to take you on a journey through time and place to experience life as it would have been in earlier years.
We have visited 5 of the 12 sites so far and thoroughly enjoyed them all! So next time you are looking for something cultural, educational and fun to do with the whole family, visit one of these places below.
The Sydney museum is located on the location of Australia’s first Government House. The museum has changing exhibitions and a couple of permanent ones. The museum tells stories of the city’s history from then to now. Click here for more information.
Address: Cnr Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney
Phone: +61 2 9251 5988
Susannah Place Museum
Susannah Place Museum is located in the heart of The Rocks in Sydney. Susannah Place is a terrace of 4 houses built in 1844, preserved in their original state. The tour takes you through each terraced house where you get a glimpse into the lives of previous occupants and the hardships that they faced. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and would highly recommend it. The only way to see the museum is by guided tour, these tours happen every day from 2-5pm (it is highly recommended that you book beforehand). Click here for more information.
Address: 58–64 Gloucester Street, The Rocks, Sydney
Phone: +61 2 9241 1893
Hyde Park Barracks Museum
Located opposite Hyde Park, Hyde Park Barracks was originally built to house men and boy convicts and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The museum takes you through the stages of use of the building and illustrates how it was used in the past. The Barracks was initially built to house convicts, then it became a female immigration depot, later it became a courthouse and government offices and finally today it is a museum.
They offer you a free audio guide which gives some extra information about each room and area. The museum has loads of interactive pieces, from lying in the beds and hammocks to dressing up in convict outfits and being shackled. We had lots of fun here and found it very informative and well put together.
If you are feeling hungry, the Bakehouse located in the courtyard serves delicious pies! Click here for more information.
Address: Queens Square, Macquarie Street, Sydney
Phone: +61 2 8239 2311
Elizabeth Bay House
Located in the Eastern Suburbs, Elizabeth Bay House was once known as “the finest house in the colony”. It was originally surrounded by 22 hectares of gardens, but it is now situated in a densely populated city suburb. The house has beautiful views of the Sydney Harbour and is elegantly furnished and decorated as it was when the Macleays (the original owner) lived there.
There is an introductory video where you will hear about the Macleays ambition, narcissism and ruin, as well as some information about the house itself. We then did a self-guided tour through all the rooms and read all the interesting facts about each room on the information sheet provided at reception.
For more information about the house, opening times and tours, click here.
Address: 7 Onslow Ave, Elizabeth Bay
Phone: +61 2 9356 3022
Justice and Police Museum
Located in the city centre near Circular Quay, the Justice and Police Museum is an interactive museum that explores Sydney’s criminal and forensic past. With a large collection of photo evidence, weapons, death masks and stories of the most notorious criminals of the time.
Dress up as a criminal and take your mug shot. Lie on the wooden “beds” in the cells, crack a safe lock and sit in the judge’s seat in the courtroom. A fun engaging museum with interesting stories and videos.
For more information about the museum, opening times and tours, click here.
Address: Corner Albert and Phillip Streets, Circular Quay, Sydney
Phone: +61 2 2 9252 1144