Australia’s first public museum is dedicated to exploring and understanding the world. Their exhibitions are a joy for adults and kids alike. Collections not to be missed include First Australians and Wild Planet.
1 William Street, Sydney. Daily 9.30am–5pm. 9320 6000. australianmuseum.net.au
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM
Australia’s dedicated maritime museum is located right on the water’s edge at Darling Harbour. Their core exhibitions explore maritime aspects of Indigenous culture, European exploration, immigration, sport and leisure, defence and Australia’s maritime links with the USA. Climb aboard the HMAS Vampire, Australia’s largest museum vessel and the last of the country’s big gun ships.
2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour. Daily 9.30am–5pm. 9298 3777. anmm.gov.au
MUSEUM OF SYDNEY
The Museum of Sydney is on the site of Australia’s first Government House, built in 1788 by NSW’S first Governor, Captain Arthur Phillip. The buildings’ foundations were successfully excavated by archaeologists in the 1980s and are now a centrepiece of the museum. The museum extends over three floors, exhibiting colonial history, documents, furniture and art, and indigenous culture.
Corner of Bridge and Phillip Streets, Sydney. 9251 5988. sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/ museum-of-sydney
The Powerhouse Museum contains a unique and diverse collection that spans history, science, technology, design, industry, decorative arts, music, transport and space exploration. Their programs have a strong focus on the ideas and technologies that have changed our world, and the people who created them.
500 Harris Street, Ultimo. 9217 0111. maas.museum
THE ROCKS DISCOVERY MUSEUM
This family-friendly museum tells the story of The Rocks area of Sydney from pre-european days to the present. Housed in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse, the museum is home to a unique collection of images and archaeological artefacts found in The Rocks. The exhibits are filled with interactive fun, using touch screens to bring the history of the area alive.
Kendall Lane (enter via Argyle Street), The Rocks. Daily 10am–5pm. 9240 8680. therocks.com
SUSANNAH PLACE MUSEUM
Susannah Place has been home to more than 100 families throughout history. Learn their stories in this original terrace of four houses that has survived modern development. Don’t forget to pick up a unique souvenir at the delightfully re-created 1915 corner shop.
58–64 Gloucester Street, The Rocks. Daily 2pm–5pm. 9241 1893. sydneylivingmuseums.com. au/susannah-place-museum
SYDNEY JEWISH MUSEUM
The Sydney Jewish Museum, located in the inner-city suburb of Darlinghurst, documents and examines the history of the Holocaust. It stands as a memorial to the six million murdered Jews and the millions of non-jewish victims. It also tells the history of the Jews in Australia and illustrates the richness of Jewish life by showing its traditions. The Sydney Jewish Museum provides an eye-opening experience for all visitors through its permanent and temporary exhibitions.
148 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst. Sun 10am–4pm, Mon–thu 10am–4.30pm, Fri 10am– 3pm (closed Sat). 9360 7999. sydneyjewishmuseum.com.au
AUBURN BOTANIC GARDENS
These sprawling urban gardens cover 9.2 hectares and feature a range of unique plant and animal life. The gardens are popular for picnics, and every August Auburn Botanic Gardens hosts its annual Cherry Blossom Festival.
Corner Chisholm and Chiswick Roads, Auburn. cumberland.nsw.gov.au/ auburn-botanic-gardens
AUSTRALIAN BOTANIC GARDEN, MOUNT ANNAN
The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan is Australia’s largest botanic garden with more than 416 hectares for visitors to discover. The Garden features themed areas such as the Wattle and Banksia gardens, 7 kilometres of mountain bike trails and more than 20 kilometres of walking tracks.
Narellan Road, Mount Annan. Daily 8am–5pm (until 7pm during summer). 4634 7900. australianbotanicgarden.com.au
Barangaroo Reserve offers spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, ANZAC Bridge and surrounds. The six-hectare headland has been planted
with over 75,000 trees and shrubs. Stroll around the foreshore on the Wulugul Walk, lie back on the Stargazer Lawn or bask in the vast multipurpose space of The Cutaway.
Enter via Argyle Place or Towns Place, Walsh Bay. 9255 1700. barangaroo.sydney
BLUE MOUNTAINS BOTANIC GARDEN, MOUNT TOMAH
Stroll through 78 acres of magnificent landscaped gardens housing Australia’s most extensive cool-climate collection. Themed displays include the Plant Explorer’s Walk, the ancient Gondwana Forest with prehistoric Wollemi Pines and the southern hemisphere’s largest rock garden.
Bells Line of Road, Mount Tomah. Mon–fri 9am–5.30pm, Sat–sun 9.30am–5.30pm. 4567 3000. bluemountainsbotanicgarden.com.au
Centennial Parklands is a beautiful recreation area in the middle of Sydney’s iconic Eastern Suburbs. Home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, Centennial Parklands is a playground for both adults and children alike. It is one of the few inner-city parks with horseriding facilities as well.
Entry via Oxford Street, Paddington. 9339 6699. centennialparklands.com.au
A gift from China’s Guangdong province in 1988 to celebrate Australia’s Bicentenary, the Chinese Garden of Friendship is one of the few traditional gardens of its type in existence outside mainland China.
Pier Street, Darling Harbour. Daily 9.30am–5pm (Apr–sep), 9.30am–5.30pm (Oct–mar). 9240 8888. chinesegardens.com.au
Hyde Park is Australia’s oldest park, and one of its most well-known. Located in Central Sydney, it is the perfect spot for a picnic or if you just want a break from the bustling city streets. You’ll also find that Hyde Park is home to numerous special events throughout the year.
Elizabeth Street, Sydney.
PADDINGTON RESERVOIR GARDENS
Housed below street level, the Paddington Reservoir Gardens are a secret hidden treasure of the city. The reservoir was a vital source of water for residents in the 19th century, today it has state heritage listing status. Stroll through the gardens, which are reminiscent of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and enjoy a sense of peace from the bustling city streets above.
251 Oxford Street, Paddington. cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN SYDNEY
Come into the gardens and discover hidden botanic treasures set against one of the most magnificent vistas in the world. Offering arguably the best views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour, a visit to Sydney isn’t complete without a walk through the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney. Daily from 7am, check website for seasonal closing times. 9231 8111. rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
WENDY’S SECRET GARDEN
Loved by locals and garden enthusiasts, Wendy’s Secret Garden is a secret no more. Hidden away in beautiful Lavender Bay, the garden was created by Wendy Whiteley, wife of the late Australian painter Brett Whiteley. In the aftermath of her husband’s passing, Wendy put all her effort and grief into clearing the overgrown land near her home. She then began creating the garden, in a very painterly way driven by colour and aesthetics. Today, the garden is a spectacular testament to Wendy with its lush greenery and beautiful views offering a sense of peace and tranquillity.
Lavender Street, Lavender Bay. wendyssecretgarden.org.au