Built in 1819, Sydney’s Hyde Park Barracks is a UNESCO world heritage site, preserving a significant piece of Australian history.  The barracks were originally built to house convicts; but later went on to serve as an immigration depot and asylum for women and was then used for various courts and government buildings. Today, the museum provides a tangible connection to the history of the city; the interactive displays and exhibits will educated and entertain the whole family.

I have a bit of a fascination with historical buildings and am slowing ticking of all the Sydney Living Museum locations. We ventured into the city for bit of shopping and were able to spend an hour or so exploring the Hyde Park Barracks. While it's set up perfectly for school aged children to explore and learn, it's still worth a look with an inquisitive toddler.

Older children would enjoy the audio tour and scavenger hunt style 'Rat Trail' booklet - Farley liked spotting the numbered rats hidden throughout the museum and scribbling on the booklet. The opportunity to lay in one of the hammock or try on a pair of shackles is irresistible to anyone, regardless of age. We were happy to let Farley have a wander around, there wasn't too much for toddler to damage or injury themselves on; it wasn't very crowded and she wasn't too disruptive for other guests. Outside, the Bakehouse cafe is the perfect space to enjoy a quick bite to eat, with enough room for littles ones to explore the outdoor courtyard. 

There was so much to read and see, I feel I only caught a glimpse - our visit coincided with a bit of fussiness from Hallie so I was slightly distracted for part of it. Never the less,  I would highly recommended the Hyde Park Barracks to families visiting from overseas or interstate, or even Sydney based families looking for a hands on way to explore Australian history.



  • Address: Queens Square, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
  • Getting there: The Hyde Park Barracks are located in the heart of Sydney city, with no onsite parking. Public transport or one of the city car parks would be your best bet. More information can be found by clicking through to the Sydney Living Museums website.
  • Hours and Admission: Open daily from 10am - 5pm. Adult  | $12, Concession  | $8, Family  | $30, Members  | Free of charge, Children under 5 years& | Free of charge
  • Pram Friendly? The museum is three levels with the top two level only accessible by stairs. We were able to leave our pram in the foyer behind the desk and Farley was happy to walk around. (Hallie was in the baby sling). 
  • So much for information can be found on the Sydney Living Museums website.