A short walk from Darling Harbour, this cavernous science and design museum whirs away inside the former power station for Sydney’s defunct, original tram network. The exhibitions cover everything from robots to steam trains to fashion and avant-garde furniture.

In a controversial move, the Powerhouse will close its Ultimo site in June 2021 to make a $1 billion relocation to an enormous new riverside premises in Parramatta, due to open in 2023. The permanent exhibitions here will begin closing from July 2020.

The museum has great options for kids of all ages but it's equally intriguing for adults. Grab a map of the museum once you're inside. Disabled access is good.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Newtown & the Inner West attractions

1. Chinese Garden of Friendship

0.18 MILES

Built according to Taoist principles, the Chinese Garden of Friendship is usually an oasis of tranquillity – although one increasingly dwarfed by…

2. Dr Chau Chak Wing Building

0.19 MILES

Opened in 2015, this university business school was donated by the father of an alumnus and designed by Frank Gehry. It's a striking sight, all windows…

3. Tumbalong Park

0.22 MILES

Flanked by the modern Darling Walk development, this grassy circle on Darling Harbour’s southern rump is set up for family fun. Sunbakers and frisbee…

4. Chinatown

0.25 MILES

Dixon St is the heart of Chinatown: a narrow, shady pedestrian mall with a string of restaurants and insistent spruikers. The ornate dragon gates (paifang…

5. Darling Walk


The environmentally conscious Darling Walk development is one of Darling Harbour's newer blocks of restaurants and offices, all wrapped up in a curvy…

6. Golden Water Mouth

0.31 MILES

On Chinatown's Hay St, the surreal Golden Water Mouth sculpture drips with gilt and water. Formed from a eucalyptus trunk from Condobolin, the destination…

7. Ribbon

0.35 MILES

Due to open in 2020, this striking building will incorporate the current Western Distributor flyover and add office space, a sizeable business hotel and…

8. Christ Church St Laurence

0.37 MILES

Step off Sydney’s main drag into this calming 1845 sandstone church. The rather charming neo-Gothic interior is atmospheric, with dark wooden fittings and…