Hyde Park Barracks
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The historic Hyde Park Barracks reopened on 21 February 2020 after a year-long transformation.
Hyde Park Barracks was the first convict barrack in the colony. In its 190-year history, the Barracks has housed convict men and boys, newly arrived female immigrants and destitute women and from 1887 until the late 1970’s, it was a hub of government departments. Today the Hyde Park Barracks is a museum about itself, displaying evidence of the thousands of men and women who lived and worked through oral history, pictures, documents, artefacts, objects, soundscapes and the fabric and rooms of the building itself.
You can now go on a self-guided immersive experience that will feel like stepping back in time. Using the groundbreaking interactive audio technology, you’ll follow in the footsteps of real people whose lives were touched by this place – male convicts, immigrants and women in need, as well as the Aboriginal nations that were impacted by colonial Australia.
The Barracks is a child-friendly destination that really strives to involve even young children in both their permanent and temporary exhibitions. Whether your visit includes catching a children’s theatre performance in the old convicts quarters, dress ups and a kids’ convict trail or wonderful school holiday ideas, there is plenty on offer for your pre-schoolers and school age kids.
Ellaslist opinion: Even very young children will love the idea that they are walking through a building that once housed convicts and pirates when they visit the Hyde Park Barracks. Kids (and grown-ups) can lie in a convict’s hammock, try on leg irons and look for distant relatives. This is a great place to spend and hour or so on a rainy day and the excellent and very child-friendly Hyde Park Barracks café is also well worth a visit. Fun school holiday activities are held at the Museum, often with a role playing element. Lots of fun.
Getting There: The Barracks are located at the north end of Hyde Park in central Sydney. It is less than a five-minute walk from St James train station (City Circle Line) or a ten-minute walk from Martin Place station (Eastern Suburbs Line).
There is no public parking at Hyde Park Barracks Museum. The Domain car park (St John Young Crescent, Woolloomooloo, Entry via St Mary’s Road) is a 10-minute walk from the Hyde Park Barracks Museum. Metered street parking in the Royal Botanic Gardens and Hyde Park surrounds are also available.
Cost: Adults: $24, Children: $16 (under 5 free). NSW residents can take advantage of a 20 per cent discount on tickets in the opening months.
Facilities: All areas of the Hyde Park Barracks are accessible with a pram and baby change facilities are available. The Museum’s café is very child-friendly and has a great kids menu.