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Published May 12th 2012
If you are looking for something to do on a rainy day, why not visit the Hyde Park Barracks - Australia's first government-built convict barracks, and the only remaining barracks building and complex from the Macquarie era of convict administration.
Located on Macquarie Street, Sydney - across the road from Hyde Park, the museum is a popular attraction for the whole family. It is not only educational but also interactive and allows its visitors to experience what convict life was like. Get spooked by the SoundScape, lie in a convict hammock and discover the daily lives of other occupants or explore an archaeological display.
Designed by convict architect Francis Greenway, the Hyde Park Barracks housed 15,000 male convicts in government employment between 1819 and 1848. Later it became a female immigration depot and a government asylum for infirm, destitute women, an orphanage and a courthouse. The museum is open daily 9.30am - 5pm.
For breakfast, order home-made granola with natural yoghurt, eggs benedict with freshly shaved ham, or smoked salmon, sweet ricotta hot cakes with camp maple syrup, mascapone, and strawberries or the popular ham, tomato and vintage cheddar cheese omelette.
At lunchtime the café serves delicious pan seared Australian scallops, chicken breast marinated in lemon and thyme, with creamed corn, grilled zucchini and carrots; lightly beer battered perch fillets, with potato chips, side salad and homemade tartare sauce or if you prefer a vegetarian meal, you'll love roast vegetable timbale - roast vegetables layered with ricotta, drizzled with basil and pine nut pesto or Tuscan salad- salad leaf with marinated and char-grilled capsicum, eggplant, zucchini, artichoke, kalamata olives, provolone cheese and parmesan crouton.
The café also caters for children with its own kids meals which include toasted sandwich with double smoked ham, cheese and tomato; lightly battered fish served with hand cut chips and tomato sauce; home made fettuccine or potato gnocchi, tossed in a fresh tomato napolitana sauce and so much more.
On a sunny day, you can enjoy a picnic at Hyde Park or venture into one of city's many cafes and restaurants. Parking in the city can be difficult and expensive, so public transport is a good option. You can either catch a bus or train, which stops at Hyde Park.