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15 Free Museums in Sydney

Home > Sydney > Lists | Art | Exhibitions | Free | Galleries | Museums
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
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Published January 24th 2015
Learn, experience, interact and see with these free museums
Museums are a great way to learn, experience, see and interact. They are a great place for both adults and children alike; however, it can get costly when you want to take the whole family out.

The lists below are free museums around Sydney, that will suit everybody's interests without breaking the bank!

1. Museum of Contemporary Art
When: Friday- Wednesday: 10am-5pm & Thursday: 10am-9pm
Where: 140 George St, Circular Quay
Details: This stately art-deco museum has been raising the most open-minded Sydney eyebrows since 1991! It is constantly changing. There are often controversial exhibitions from Australia and internationally that are displayed, including works that are incredibly hip to in-your-face exhibits, sexually explicit, Aboriginal art... just to name a few. There is a cafe on site overlooking the scenic Circular Quay.

2. The Rocks Discovery Museum
When: Daily, 10am-5pm (Closed Christmas Day & Good Friday)
Where: 2-8 Kendall Lane, The Rocks, Sydney
Details: There are four chronological displays: Warrane (pre 1788), Colony (1788-1820), Port (1820-1900) & Transformations (1900 to present)- You can find out all about the history of The Rocks here as you are lead on to an artifact-rich tour.

3. Australian History Museum
When: Monday- Wednesday: 9am-4pm - Closed Thursday- Sunday
Where: Macquarie University, Balaclava Rd, North Ryde, Ground Floor - Building W6A (Faculty of Arts)
Details: The Australian History Museum offers the opportunity to engage with a range of objects and sources within the museum in a hands-on experience.

4. Australian National Maritime Museum
When: 1st Thursday of the month admission is free - except for school holidays & public holidays: 9:30am-5pm (closed Christmas Day)
Where: 2 Murray St, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Details: Built more than 20 years ago, the museum consists of many marine exhibits both permanent and temporary.

5. Australian Scouts Museum
When: 2nd & 4th Sunday of the Month: 10am-2pm
Where: Buildings 140 & 146, Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park
Details: Scouts have been a part of the Australian community for over one hundred years, and this museum is perfect for families, especially for parents who have been a scout themselves! There are activities to be enjoyed as well as learning the history of Scouts in Australia...

6. Australian Tennis Museum
When: Tuesday- Thursday: 9am-2pm or by arrangement.
Where: Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre, Rod Laver Dr, Sydney Olympic Park
Details: The museum strives to educate people about the history of Australian Tennis in a fun and enjoyable way. There is one exhibition a year on a variety of tennis subjects ranging from our great tennis heroes to the fashion of players throughout the 20th century. It is free entry but gold coin donations are welcome.

7. MacLeay Museum
When: Monday- Friday: 10am-4:30pm
Where: Sydney University, Gosper Lane (off Science Rd), Sydney
Details: This small museum is tucked away on top floor of the MacLeay Building (A12), it includes displays of selections from the universities of Scientific Instrument Collection, Invertebrate Collection (which is regarded as one of the oldest significant insect collections in Australia), Historic Photographs and plenty more exhibits...

8. The Museum of Australian Currency Notes
When: Monday- Friday : 10am-4pm (closed on Public Holidays & NSW Bank Holidays)
Where: Reserve Bank of Australia, Ground Floor, 65 Martin Place, Sydney
Details: The museum tells the story of our currency notes against the background of Australia's economic and social development through a number of stages from colonial settlement to the current era...

9. Museum of Freemasonry
When: Monday- Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm
Where: Level 3, 66 Goulburn St, Sydney
Details: There is a collection spanning over 200 years that include the Archives, Museum, Gallery and Library of the Freemason's of Australia...

10. The Nicholson Museum
When: Monday- Friday: 10am-4:30pm, Every 1st Saturday of the Month: 12pm-4pm
Where: The University of Sydney, Manning Rd, Sydney (located at the southern entrance of the Quadrangle)
Details: The Nicholson Museum is Australia's oldest University museum and home to the largest collection of antiquities in the Southern Hemisphere. There are nearly 30,000 artefacts of artistic and archaeological significance from Egypt, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, and the Near East...

11. The Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre
When: Monday- Friday: 9:30am-3:30pm (closed Australia Day, Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve & New Years Day)
Where: Garden Island, Sydney- located within the Public Access Precinct on the northern end of Garden Island.
Details: The Royal Australian Navy museum consists of exhibits of the physical history of Australia's Navy. There are displays that range from large weapon systems to personal momentos that represent the developments and events in Navy over more than 100 years.

Manly Art Gallery & Museum....

12. Sydney Jewish Museum
When: 1st Sunday of each Month is free admission: Sunday-Thursday: 10am-4pm & Friday: 10am-2pm (closed on Jewish Holiday Days)
Where: 148 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst
Details: There are eight permanent exhibition areas, where you will confront life-size sculptures and dioramas, examine original documents and newspapers, interact within multimedia displays, there are temporary exhibits, Memorials & collections...

13. The Mint
When: Monday- Friday: 10am-5pm (closed Public Holidays)
Where: 10 Macquarie St, Sydney
Details: There are plenty of things to do here from seeing the coining press shipped out of England in the peak of the gold rushes, take a break in their hidden courtyard, be inspired by rare pattern books, trade catalogues and sample books, enjoy a coffee on the verandah or have a bite at the bistro, observe the historic Coining Factory and plenty more things to see and do...

14. Sydney Observatory
When: Monday-Sunday: 10am-5pm (closed Public Holidays)
Where: 1003 Upper Fort St, Millers Point
Details: Free daytime admission for a self-guided visit to the gardens and Sydney Observatory this does not include visit to the telescope domes, viewings and 3D theatre

15. Manly Art Gallery & Museum
When: Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-5pm (Closed Mondays and Public Holidays)
Where: West Esplanade, Manly
Details: It was the first metropolitan regional gallery in NSW. The Museum is a hub of cultural activity and presents a creative program of changing visual arts and museum exhibitions. Temporary exhibitions include touring exhibitions, artist surveys and national group focus exhibitions.
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Why? Learn and experience new things with these free Sydney museums...
When: See above for all details
Where: See above for all address details
Cost: Free
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