Australian Museum

Top choice museum in Surry Hills & Darlinghurst

Under ongoing modernisation, this museum, established just 40 years after the First Fleet dropped anchor, is brilliant. A standout is the section covering Aboriginal history and spirituality, from Dreaming stories to videos of the Freedom Rides of the 1960s. The elegant Long Gallery focuses on 100 objects (from a platypus-skin rug to an Egyptian death-boat to the 'Bone Ranger') and 100 key Australians. The excellent dinosaur gallery features enormous Jobaria as well as local bruisers like Muttaburrasaurus.

The stuffed-animal gallery of the natural history section manages to keep it relevant, while there are also interesting displays on extinct megafauna (giant wombats – simultaneously cuddly and terrifying) and current Australian creatures, a kids section and more. A new Oceania section is in the pipeline, which will rehouse the colourful Pacific Island collection.

Don't miss heading up to the cafe, which has terrific views of St Mary's Cathedral and down to Woolloomooloo.