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Powerhouse Museum | Entry Fees & Hours to Sydney’s Family Fun Center

Powerhouse Museum-Featured photo (1200x350) Powerhouse Museum

The Powerhouse Museum is a top Sydney attraction for families. It is one of the branches of the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, the others being the Museums Discovery Centre and the Sydney Observatory. Located just south of Darling Harbour, the Powerhouse Museum is not far from other major Sydney attractions like SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Harbourside Shopping Centre. It makes a fantastic addition to any itinerary and houses a diverse collection that spans many areas of science and technology. Complete a fun day out on the town with a visit to this unique museum.

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An Introduction to the Powerhouse Museum

The Powerhouse Museum has been around in one form or another for over 125 years, though it has occupied different sites and operated under various names during this time. It has its origins in the 1879 Sydney International Exhibition and the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition, both of which contributed exhibits to the museum’s original collection. Today, the Powerhouse Museum has an extensive collection of around 400,000 artifacts, many of which are displayed in exhibitions on transport, computer technology, space technology, communications, media, steam engines, decorative art, and more. The museum is a testament to the technological and scientific wonders of the world around us.

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Powerhouse Museum Opening Hours, Tickets & Access

If you are driving to the Powerhouse Museum, then you may be able to find limited metered street parking along the adjacent roads. Discounted parking is also available at Wilson Parking along Thomas Street and Wilson Parking Darling Square on Zollner Circuit. Alternatively, the museum is only a quick walk away from Central Station along a pedestrian route known as The Goods Line.

  • The Powerhouse Museum is open every day of the year, except for Christmas Day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are just $15 for adults, and children 16 years of age or under get in free.

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Powerhouse Museum Permanent Exhibitions

The Powerhouse Museum hosts both permanent and temporary exhibitions. The temporary exhibitions ensure that there is something new to see and do every time, while the permanent exhibitions ensure that the most well-loved and iconic attractions are always available for all visitors. There are currently 14 permanent exhibitions for visitors to explore.

Locomotive No. 1

The gem of the Powerhouse Museum‘s collection, Locomotive No. 1 was the very locomotive that hauled the first train through New South Wales. Visitors can climb aboard for a recreation of the 1863 train journey. Explore the first-, second-, and third-class carriages while an informative and entertaining audiovisual recounts the history of Locomotive No. 1.

Transport

The galleries of the Transport exhibition feature fascinating displays of all sorts of vehicles that have shaped our lives and history. Discover different types of boats, bicycles, automobiles, planes, and more. Among the most popular pieces in the collection include a sectioned 1987 Toyota Supra, a 1951 Catalina flying boat, and an 1891 railway carriage.

The Wiggles Exhibition

Originally meant to be temporary, The Wiggles Exhibition proved to be so popular that it was renewed as permanent. The exhibition features information on the original and current members of The Wiggles, as well as play spaces for children. Wiggles merchandise, memorabilia, costumes, and props are also on display.

Boulton and Watt Engine

One of the most important technological artifacts in Australia, the Boulton and Watt Engine was built during the Industrial Revolution in England. It is the oldest rotative steam engine in existence, and it was used for over 100 years to power equipment in Whitbread’s London brewery. It was eventually taken out of service and transported to Sydney in 1888.

Ecologic

The Ecologic Exhibit explores the science behind global warming and the different ways that climate change is impacting the world. It provides information on what individuals can do to make a difference, as well as how Sydney is managing its freshwater resources.

Space

Get a sneak peek into the life of an astronaut on the International Space Station with a visit to the Space exhibition. Learn all about how astronauts work, as well as how they live when they are not working. Guests can even experience an illusion of weightlessness in the Zero Gravity Space Lab!

What’s in store?

A journey through Australia’s retail history, What’s in store? explores the development of retail advertising and technological advances in money handling. One section of the exhibit focuses on the rise of the department store while the other takes an in-depth look at a family-owned general store.

The Lab

Jump into the future in The Lab, a multimedia space that provides immersive, hands-on experiences where you can play, create, and imagine. Parents are sure to have just as much fun trying out the cutting-edge digital technologies in The Lab as their children.

Strasburg Clock

The Strasburg Clock has been a central exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum for more than a century. It was built between 1887 and 1889 by a young clockmaker from Sydney and is a small-scale replica of the famous clock in Strasbourg, France. The clock puts on a show 6 minutes before every hour throughout the day.

Steam Revolution

Steam was a major source of power throughout society for over 200 years, impacting the lives of millions of people. The Steam Revolution exhibition and its twelve working steam engines will show you how steam drove factories, propelled ships across the sea, pumped water, and much more.

Kings Cinema

Pretend that you’re spending a stylish night on the town and catching a show at a glitzy, 1930s art deco cinema in the Kings Cinema exhibition. The exhibition features real interior fittings from the famous Kings cinema chain, as well as a theater where you can watch a range of films.

The Mars Lab

Easily one of the Powerhouse Museum‘s coolest exhibitions, The Mars Lab allows you to step into a simulated and scientifically accurate Martian landscape. During special events, visitors can also meet one of the museum’s robotic Mars rovers! The lab is part of a university research project that also allows high school students to take part.

Lace Study Centre

The Lace Study Centre holds one of the most comprehensive collections of lace in all of Australia. Come and see hundreds of examples of handmade lace from around the world. Some of the beautiful pieces date as far back as the late 1500s!

Experimentations

Play around with sound, light, and all sorts of interesting machines in the Experimentations zone. Here, you get to be the scientist and the inventor. Find out how everyday technology works and how scientific breakthroughs have changed our view of the world.

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Planning a Visit to Powerhouse Museum

Have you decided to add the Powerhouse Museum as a stop on your itinerary? Here are some tips to help ensure that you and your family have a great time.

Visit Duration

How long you should stay at the Powerhouse Museum will depend on what you want to see. It’s very easy to spend a whole day exploring all of the exhibitions. If you don’t have an entire day to set aside, then make sure you take at least a couple of hours to see the exhibitions that interest you and your family the most.

Accessibility

The Powerhouse Museum is designed to be enjoyed by all visitors. The building and all of the exhibits are accessible via ramps and an elevator, and wheelchairs can be borrowed from the cloaking desk at the main entrance free of charge.

Tour Options

Quickly get acquainted with the Powerhouse Museum‘s collection by taking a 30-minute tour led by a volunteer. Tours depart every day at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m from the Information Desk on Level 3. Alternatively, you can download the Powerhouse Museum Walking Tours app for a choice of self-guided tours related to different aspects of the museum.

Food & Drink

If you work up an appetite while exploring the Powerhouse Museum, then you can stop for a meal at the MAAS Cafe located on Level 3. It’s also a great way to start or end a full day of fun and exploration. The cafe serves breakfast, lunch, dessert, coffee, and even wine. It is open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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