When restoration on the building began in 1975, archeologists were able to pull thousands of personal items out of cracks and from beneath floorboards. This collection, together with displays and stories, now make up the museum and teach visitors about the living conditions of the thousands of men and women who once lived here. There’s a heavy use of audio technology to tell the space’s history. A number of private and small-group tours come here, and it's a stop on the hop-on hop-of bus operated by Big Bus.
Things to know before you go
- Self-guided audio tours start every half hour and last for about 90 minutes.
- Children under age five visit free, with discounted admission for kids ages five through 15.
- The museum is wheelchair- and stroller-accessible, with an elevator, an accessible toilet, and a family toilet with a changing table. iPads for hearing-impaired visitors are also available.
How to get there
The Hyde Park Barracks are located at the southern end of Macquarie Street, across from the northeastern edge of Hyde Park in the heart of the CBD. Bus number 200 stops right by the museum but only operates on weekdays. Alternatively, it’s about a five-minute walk to the museum from both the St. James train station and the Elizabeth Street bus station.
When to get there
The Hyde Park Barracks Museum is open daily throughout the year and is only closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day. Come first thing in the morning to avoid crowds; if you’re coming later in the day, arrive at least 90 minutes before closing to take full advantage of the audio tour.
Next to the Hyde Park Barracks Museum is The Mint, the city's oldest public building. If you come during the week, sit down to French-inspired fare at the Bullion Bar or take a free self-guided visit through the building. The Mint also houses the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, which features books on architecture, design, and gardens, as well as publications related to the Sydney Living Museums (including the Hyde Park Barracks).
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- St. Mary's Cathedral
- Royal Botanic Garden and The Domain
- Parliament House
- Hyde Park
- 360 Bar and Dining
- State Library of New South Wales
- Sydney Tower Buffet
- Sydney Tower Eye
- Pitt Street Mall
- Art Gallery of New South Wales
- Strand Arcade
- Australian Museum
- Sydney Central Business District
- Queen Victoria Building (QVB)
- Sydney Conservatorium of Music