Specialty Museums in Sydney

Top Specialty Museums in Sydney, Australia

Specialty Museums in Sydney

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Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

What travelers are saying

  • trainbloke
    Stanthorpe, Australia25 contributions
    We visited this excellent museum on one of the few days that it is currently open (due to Covid restrictions) and I was very impressed indeed! I took my three year old grandson and he had an absolute ball! Kids are encouraged to get into the driver's seat of some of the buses and this totally made his day! The volunteer staff were all very friendly and welcoming. As a died-in-the-wool transport fanatic I loved seeing all the different well-restored buses and the huge collection of relevant memorabilia, and I would have spent longer there if that had been possible. The gift shop is also really excellent, it's probably a good thing that I didn't have more time there!

    After about an hour in the museum we were welcomed onto one of the two well-restored double-decker buses for a really interesting ride to the other side of the Parramatta river, and my grandson loved this too, sitting at the front of the top deck.

    We had a fantastic time and I highly recommend a visit to this museum. I am looking forward to returning one day when I can spend more time there. The highlights were the friendly volunteers and the kid-friendliness of it all!
    Written May 16, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • blackeldo
    Kiama, Australia2,171 contributions
    Listen up – I’m no museum nerd – my idea of a good time is to laze at a warm beach or in a scenic cafe/bar, beer in hand watching the passing parade But somehow time got stolen in my visit to the Maritime Museum - like the nearby ROCKS historical area I originally allocated and hour or so on my dance card for this attraction – despite limiting myself to the FREE displays in the museum building itself (an Olympic-class cheapskate**, I didn’t spend any time on the PAID ship visits), I ended up staying over thrice that.

    The distinctive modernist building at the north west end of the pedestrianised PYRMONT BRIDGE (look for the warships alongside piers outside) is divided into half a dozen or so large galleries. Each has a different Australian nautical theme like EARLY EUROPEAN NAVIGATORS to the region and SETTLEMENT BY SEA, even earlier INDIGENOUS SEAFARERS (both Australian native and nearby Pacific islanders), SEABOARD LEISURE, the NAVAL DEFENCE OF THE NATION etc. A separate gallery during our visit displayed entries in a sea-themed photography contest – this was excellent. Displays are renewed in this gallery.

    Paid ship displays outside included a retired Australian navy destroyer and submarine, a replica of Cook’s ENDEAVOUR and several smaller craft not open for touring.

    TIPS – we found extensive ticket lines on entry, most of these people wanting paid tickets for the ships on display outside. An usher told us to see the gentleman seated around the corner of the counter furthest from the door who apparently caters for those wanting a free entry permit – museum only. He had no lines. Apparently it is a good idea to pre-book free visits. We didn’t know and had little trouble getting in on a busy holiday weekend.
    - for a quick ferry trip back to CIRCULAR QUAY, the PYRMONT BAY stop is only 200m north of the exit. Nearest LIGHT RAIL is at the CONVENTION CENTRE TRAM STOP a short distance south on the other dide of the bridge, nearest heavy rail is at the TOWN HALL CITY CIRCLE RAIL STATION back across the pedestrianised PYRMONT BRIDGE a little over 1km east. There are plenty of nearby PARKING GARAGES although these could get crowded at peak times – DARLING HARBOUR is a popular place.
    - this western DARLING HARBOUR precinct has a lot of attractions including the HARBOURSIDE SHOPPING MALL, the CONVENTION CENTRE, the STAR CITY CASINO, lotsa restaurants/cafes/fast food, lotsa hotels and much more.
    It’s a quick walk across the PYRMONT BRIDGE to the waterside cafes, bars and all the visitor attractions like the AQUARIUM of EASTERN DARLING HARBOUR.

    **My mate WADDO down the pub, when he throws the lever to INTELLECTUAL, reckons there are few things better than a maritime museum. I think his judgment might be swayed by 20 years spent as a stoker on one of our coastal colliers, itself an historical museum piece. One thing better in his humble opinion is a FREE maritime museum. I tend to agree but I would put lap dancers in the “few things better” category too, although I think a search for “FREE LAP DANCERS” on TRIPADVISOR would probably yield nada.
    Written May 20, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Solveig51
    6 contributions
    This museum is by far one of the best I have visited. The audio guided tour is informative and clear, the displays visual and inventive. The fact that you don't need to read poster after poster makes the experience so much more enjoyable. Highly recommended.
    Written June 20, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • beanandeasy
    Falls Creek, Australia186 contributions
    Definitely worth a visit, the wax figures are incredible. Some were more real looking than others but amazing.
    Written February 18, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • 400lynn
    Brighton, UK47 contributions
    Excellent guide gave us an interesting insight into years gone by in Sydney. Although there are many houses like this in the UK, I was surprised how many Victorian buildings still exist in Sydney. My great great grandfather came here in the 1880s, and this tour brought to life what he must have experienced.
    Written September 3, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Ferdi
    Sydney, Australia95 contributions
    Saturday Market that start at 8am-13 pm weekly.
    You can find fresh produce from fresh seasonal vegetables like variety of mushrooms to potatoes, small goods, Pepe saya butter, Sonoma bread, artisan pie, honey, pasta stall and off course coffee roster.
    You might indulge your appetite of foods around this area.
    Written August 7, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Emanpee
    Sydney, Australia2,703 contributions
    Sydney Living Museums are opening several of their museums over February and March 2020 on a Thursday evening. Outside of this, since Covid, this museum has been closed. Has some wonderful police and criminal history very well displayed. Couple this with old court room and police station public counter, plus a few jail cells, and there is plenty to see and fill in 2 hours. Plenty of interesting stories plus pictures and videos from 1900 to recent years. You are also in a very historic Sydney colonial sandstone building.
    Written February 27, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • arabianjanx
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates24 contributions
    So much potential. Its on the site of the first governors house.....but I left disappointed 😞
    The films were informative and interesting. But some of the exhibits I found confusing and lacking in substance....especially the aboriginal, digital display. It was pretty but I left feeling I had missed the message.
    The best part was when I asked about guides / maps (but not available since covid) A lovely gentleman on reception gave me a wonderful 5 mins of his time to explain the history, the markings on the floor, the archaeological finds. Without him, I would have missed this information. So thank you.
    I'm hoping other museums in the city can give me more insight.
    Written May 12, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Jack B
    1 contribution
    I booked a tour with my two young daughters (8 and 12) on a recent trip to Sydney. I loved it! James (the guide) was fantastic. He has a great personal history with magic and shares his love for this art and the history behind it.

    What I didn't realize is how much I personally would love it since I haven't been very excited about magic since I was my kids' age. But I loved hearing the secrets behind some of the most iconic acts performed... seeing the props and how they work... touching the props... standing on stage, etc.

    At the end of our tour, James showed my daughters how to do a great card trick.

    His stories were fascinating and funny.

    Here's what could have been a little bit better:

    - Even though the minimum amount of lighting properly set the mood, it did make some of the tour hard to fully appreciate. And my daughters kept looking at me as if to say "Is this OK or is my anxiety justified?". There's nothing scary about James or the setting... but they're young girls in a new place, with low lighting, and someone they just met.

    - My daughters had not previously seen a stage show. If I'd known what kind of magic tricks were going to be revealed I would have made sure to show them a YouTube clip or two of stage magic such as a woman getting sawed in half or an assistant transforming into a tiger and then reappearing in the audience. But without that context, their young minds weren't as "blown" as mine was. They still enjoyed it... but if you see the secret before you've seen the trick, you don't have the same WOW moment.

    - I found the location a bit hard to find, even with Google maps, but maybe that's because I'm new to Sydney.

    But even with those slight negatives... I give this five starts.

    If you were ever fascinated by magic (even as a child) or if you would like to see behind the scenes and know how some of the magic is really done then you'll love this tour.
    Written October 24, 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Izzy v
    5 contributions
    Take a final opportunity to see this 'historic' museum before the exhibitions are relocated to the new Chau Chak Wing museum upon its completion. There are only 2 more weeks left before the old museum closes its doors forever :(
    Written February 12, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Peter M
    Melbourne, Australia954 contributions
    This museum is in the Reserve Bank Building and has the history of Australian currency since the first settlement was established in 1788 through to the present day. Notes and coins are displayed. It is free to visit. The Reserve Bank Building was bult 1961-1964 and is on the State Heritage Register.
    Written May 2, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • AndyJohn74
    Sans Souci, Australia2,006 contributions
    Originally known as the Rum Hospital, the Mint was used to turn all gold found in New South Wales into bullion or coins. The building was refurbished in 1982 and now houses some offices, a shop and restaurant.
    Written January 24, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Neville F
    3 contributions
    I was at the museum yesterday, there were signs on the door saying that this museum is closing down PERMANENTLY. The last day that it will be open is 31st January, 2020. This is a shame as there is nothing like it in Sydney, with the spectacular views of the runaways at Mascot. It's a real shame...
    Written January 30, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • cg2792
    England, UK2,578 contributions
    Only stopped here for a few minutes. The building is absolutely stunning and definitely worth stopping to take a photo of. Loved the history of the building with it starting life with the aim of being a horse stable. Glad they decided against it as it must be a stunning location for students attending.
    Written June 2, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • GrandTour11275000236
    2 contributions
    Interesting. Short narrative on geologic history and formation of opals. Lot of opals jewelry for sale. Short on information, long on sales
    Written March 5, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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