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

The 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 for convicts.

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.

Finally, in the late 1970s the Hyde Park Barracks were cleaned up and converted to a museum about their own amazing history - well worth the nominal cost of admission. If you are hungry before or after your visit, you can enjoy a delicious breakfast, brunch or lunch in the elegant Hyde Park Barracks Cafe.

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

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes

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

Phone: (02) 8239 2288

Official Website: Hyde Park Barracks


Train Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Light RailCapitol Square10 minutes
T2 or T3St. James 1 minute

How to get to Hyde Park Barracks by Train

By Light Rail: Exit at Capital Square and proceed east on Hay Street then left (north) on Elizabeth Street to the park. Angle northeast into the park and up the centre past the fountain to the northern end and cross Prince Albert Road.

By Train: Take a T2 or T3 to James Station and walk north across Prince Albert Road.

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Rated 4.4 out of 5Hyde Park Barracks Museum Star Rating

5 Star Rating We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Hyde Park Barracks Museum. It is well laid out— very educational without being overwhelming or boring. The audio guide is quality and really tells the story well. Would recommend a visit to anyone interested in learning about the history of Sydney.

Anna Powell - 5 days ago

3 Star Rating Redone and quite nice, especially with the audio guides. However, the history and audio explanations take on a slanted view and do not clearly recognize the wrong doings and horrific nature of the actions committed against the aborigines during the initial settlement. At times it was almost laughable as some story based explanations spoke of how the aboriginals would integrate well and had a great relationship with the settlers. Besides that the museum is nice. Just be aware that a lot of the historical story based retelling is slanted to glorify the British settlers.

Kat Kind - 26 days ago

5 Star Rating Full of interesting artifacts. It will be even better after renovations. Be aware it will be closed from end of January 2019 for about a year.

Donna Spillane - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating The tour guide was extremely well informed about convicts and Australian history. He made the tour very interesting. I definitely learnt a lot and enjoyed my time here. There are lots of stairs and so it might be tough for some people (people with prams or disabilities and the such) to visit this place. However, it is recommended.

M S - 2 months ago

5 Star Rating Amazing museum. Highly recommend the 2pm guided tour, it tells you a lot about the stories behind the architectural work behind. I really enjoyed it. 20% of the Australian population is said to have convict ancestors from England and Ireland. You can even search your family history in the museum’s convict database! It is good to see that the country has now come to treat its history with pride and value the architectural legacy that recorded its past.

Cheng Guo - 4 months ago

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