Australian Museum

Top choice in Surry Hills & Darlinghurst

Closed for renovation at the time of research, this wonderful institution plans to reopen in mid-2020. Australia's first museum was established just 40 years after the First Fleet dropped anchor and behind its sandstone facade are modernised halls showcasing a 21-million-piece collection. Standouts include exhibits on Aboriginal history and spirituality, a new Pacific Spirit Gallery to rehouse the colourful Pacific Island collection and a showcase of Australian dinosaurs such as the Muttaburrasaurus.

The redevelopment will also expand the touring exhibitions halls for global blockbusters such as Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, which will arrive in early 2021 for a six-month run.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Surry Hills & Darlinghurst attractions

1. Hyde Park


Formal but much-loved Hyde Park has manicured gardens and a tree-formed tunnel running down its spine, which looks particularly pretty at night,…

2. Anzac Memorial

0.16 MILES

This dignified art deco memorial commemorates WWI soldiers of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs). The interior dome is studded with 120,000…

3. St Mary’s Cathedral

0.21 MILES

Sydney has traditionally been quite a Catholic city, and this is the hub of the faith. Built to last, this 106m-long sandstone Gothic Revival–style…

4. Great Synagogue

0.23 MILES

The heritage-listed Great Synagogue (1878) is the spiritual home of Sydney’s oldest Jewish congregation, established in 1831. It’s considered the Mother…

5. Australian Design Centre

0.24 MILES

The non-profit Australian Design Centre has a gallery, Object, that presents innovative exhibitions of new craft and design from Australia and overseas…

6. Archibald Memorial Fountain

0.24 MILES

Hyde Park’s northern end is crowned by this richly symbolic art-deco fountain, featuring Greek mythological figures.

7. Hyde Park Barracks Museum

0.32 MILES

This noble brick building was designed by the convict architect Francis Greenway to house prisoners arriving in the colony. Now a flagship museum, the…

8. Australian Centre for Photography

0.34 MILES

The nonprofit ACP exhibits photographic gems from renowned Sydney and international photographers. It’s particularly passionate about photomedia, video…