Hyde Park Barracks

Hyde Park Barracks - a museum about itself

Front gate to the Hyde Park Barracks
Front gate to the Hyde Park Barracks cc licensed photo by Ben Garrett

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hyde Park Barracks has a fascinating history, having served numerous roles since opening in 1819. Located at adjacent to the northeast corner of Hyde Park this historical building was ironically designed by a convict (Francis Greenway) for convicts.

They barracks were designed to house up to 600 men, but the population of convicts housed there soon grew as high as 1400 men. From 1819 to 1848, it is estimated that up to 30,000 men and boys had been housed there.

In 1848 there was a huge need for women to be brought into the Colony due to a population imbalance and the need for more workers, servants and mothers. Due to this demand, Hyde Park Barracks became the processing centre for 1000s of immigrating women and even many children. In 1862 wards were added to the top floor for women with no means to support themselves.

In 1887 the Barracks were renamed Chancery Square and converted to Government offices and courtrooms where, over the years, thousands of public service employees worked out of cramped and run down offices.

In the late 1970s the Hyde Park Barracks were cleaned up and converted to a museum about their own amazing history. In 2019 the museum was closed to facilitate an $18 million upgrade to create an more contemporary and interactive visitor experience that includes over 4000 original artefacts.

A visit to the Hyde Park Barracks is well worth the nominal cost of admission.

Nearby attractions: Hyde Park, St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney Tower, and the Australian Museum.

Facts For Your Visit

Official Website: Hyde Park Barracks

Fee: Yes

Regular Hours:
May differ on holidays

  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Address: Queens Square, Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: (02) 8239 2311

Official Website: Hyde Park Barracks


Rated 4.6 out of 5Hyde Park Barracks Star Rating

5 Star Rating Need approximately 1.5h to go through the exhibits, more if you wish to spend more time looking at each in detail. This last entry is 1.5h prior to closing! Good collection of history of First Nation peoples, many whom were prisoners, and orphans. Some space dedicated to Sydney opera house too. Service: Self guided tour with audio guide. Audio guide has location tracking that will change narration based on which exhibit you’re looking at. Crowd: Not a lot of crowd in weekday just before close! Payment: Free entry, which is great.
Kelvin Wee - 3 months ago

5 Star Rating It was a very interesting experience. It puts a nice perspective on the challenges that surrounded how Australia was colonized. The staff are very pleasant and the tour was quite nice. If you like history this is a must to add to your list of places to visit
Frank - 3 months ago

5 Star Rating A really interesting and informative experience. I highly recommend it to anyone. My 14 year old thoroughly enjoyed it too. The audio tour has some great stories and information rolled in together. The staff are all so friendly and welcoming.
Helen Shepherd - 2 months ago

5 Star Rating Amazing family experience! The guided tours are great for kids and adults. It's interactive, educational and overall a great immersive experience to learn more about that time of Australia's history. We'll be back!
Karine T - 4 months ago

5 Star Rating Really great and quite assessable. We went with one wheelie and 2 younger kids 4 and 6, get the audio guide! It's absolutely fantastic, quite assessable, except the gravel outside but they have grates in place to make it manageable. Audio headphones kept the kids engaged through the entire thing (as well as the adults) very very fantastic experience.
Callam B - 2 months ago

Accommodations near Hyde Park Barracks:


Train Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Light Rail L2QVB8 minutes
T2, T3, or T8St. James 2 minutes

How to get to Hyde Park Barracks by Train

By Light Rail L2: Exit at the QVB Stop, proceed north on George Street, and right (east) on Market Street to Hyde Park. Follow the path northeast to the Macquarie Street Entrance and cross Prince Albert Road.

By Train: Take T2, T3, or T8 to James Station and proceed northeast through Hyde Park as above.

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