Powerhouse Museum

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Location: 500 Harris Street, Ultimo

No visit should be completed without a visit to the Powerhouse Museum located along Harris Street. The museum is a great place for children as well as adults to learn about the changing face of technology and society.

In 1879, Australia held its first international exhibition with displays from around the world at in the Royal Botanic Garden. The Garden Palace as it was known then took 8 months to build. The government was so pleased with the success of the exhibition that it bought the building.

Unfortunately, the Garden Palace took a turn for the worst when fire broke up in its halls in 1882. Only a handful of exhibits could be salvaged from the fire. In order to preserve the remaining exhibits, the Technological, Industrial and Sanitary Museum took over and decided to move in Sydney's Domain.

The site proved unhygienic and unsuitable and in 1893, the Technological Museum moved one block away from Harris Street. Since then the museum began its collection in earnest. It was not until 1979, that the government decided to move the museum to its current base.

The name "powerhouse" was taken from the building it now occupies. In the past, the building provided power for Sydney's electric tram system. The building was left untouched ever since the last tram was stopped in 1963 to make way for new roads and buildings. (See also Sydney Lightrail.)

Today the Powerhouse Museum holds over a thousand exhibitions from the past, present and future. It is the largest and most popular museum, exploring every aspects of human creativity. For the history buff in you, the museum also offers a great selection on Australian social history. There are also a fascinating range of vehicles through the ages, ranging from a full size steam locomotive to a huge Catalina flying boat.

For more information, visit the Powerhouse Museum Homepage

(02) 9217-0111

Find CityTM takes no responsibility for the owners' change in phone or fax number, postal address and website information.

TIPS: Getting to the museum is easy. It is located close to Darling Harbour near the Entertainment Centre. To access the museum via bus, take the bus number 501 from Town Hall Station. Parking is available at the Entertainment Centre and you can validate your ticket at the museum.

Check List:

  1. Guided Tours: Free orientation tours run every 15 minutes from Monday to Friday between 10am and 1pm. Highlight tours around 1.30pm. Tours can be booked on level 4 of the museum.
  2. Opening hours: 10am to 5pm, seven days a week but close on Christmas Day.
  3. Special services available to the hearing, physical and visually impaired.
  4. Bilingual guided tours available for group visits but must be booked in advance to avoid disappointment. Call (612) 9217-0495 or fax (602) 9217 0462.
  5. The Garden Restaurant offers morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.
  6. Entrance fees: Adults ($8), Children ($2), Concession ($3), Family ($18) and you will have to pay extra for special exhibitions.

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