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

Closed Now

Regular Hours:
Hours may be subject to change. Please verify on the official website.

  • Monday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Category: Landmarks & Historical Buildings Museums

Address: Queens Square
Macquarie Street
Sydney New South Wales 2000

Phone: +61 2 8239 2311


Yelp Rating:
4.5 out of 5 4.5 Star Rating
Based on 24 Reviews.

See all reviews on Yelp

5 Star Rating A key historical building to Sydney's and Australia's history. The Hyde Park Barracks, built between 1811-1819 has been many things. Originally designed... Read More

Donna B. Jan-07-2023

4 Star Rating Lots to learn about Australia's convict past, including incarceration of women. Interesting exhibits and posted information. Can proceed at your own pace. Read More

Barbara B. May-24-2023

3 Star Rating This is another one of Sydney's many colonial museums. In fact, it wasn't until I started coming here more often than not that I started to discover a... Read More

David S. Apr-14-2021

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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