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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
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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.
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