Shot by Chris Shain
24 hours of the Museum of Sydney

Open Today

10AM - 5PM
  • Cafe
  • Free wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible


Adult $10

Child (under 15) / Concession $5

Family (two adults + two children) $20

Members free


Cnr Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney, NSW 2000


Museum: 02 9251 5988
The Governors Table: 02 9241 1788
Sydney Living Museums Image

For 57 years first Government House was the centre of the social, ceremonial and political life of the colony of NSW. Today the Museum of Sydney protects the fragile remains of this deeply significant and symbolic site, and tells ongoing stories of Sydney and its people.

Old watercolour showing the harbour, foreshore area and gardens in front of first Government House. Yachts and aborigines in canoes are depicted on the water. First Government House, Sydney by John Eyre.

A modern museum built over and around the remains of Australia’s first Government House, the Museum of Sydney celebrates the people and events that have shaped the character and soul of this city. In 1788 Governor Phillip chose this site for his official residence. It quickly became the centre of the colony’s administrative and social life, and an important focus of first contact between the Gadigal people and the colonisers. The next eight governors also lived here, and as banquets and balls, the business of government and family home merged, the public and private lives of the colony’s leading citizens played out. Today, through a diverse and changing program of exhibitions and events, the Museum of Sydney explores the stories of this city from its origins to today, while the remains of the original building can be glimpsed through glass openings in the museum forecourt and foyer.

Find out More About Museum of Sydney


Photo of Penelope Seidler standing boldly in her home


Archibald Win for SeidlerFriday 18 July 2014

A big congratulations from Sydney Living Museums to Penelope Seidler AM – such an inspiring individual, architect and generous patron to arts and heritage in Australia - following the news that the portrait of her by Fiona Lowry has won this year's Archibald Prize.

Exhibition view featuring objects in showcases and colourful Shanghai lanterns overhead


A designer's taskTuesday 8 July 2014

Ever wondered how an exhibition is put together? Come behind-the-scenes and meet Matthew Guzowski as he shares his experiences, influences and tells it like it is in the world of exhibition design.

Oil Painting of Arthur Phillip

Arthur Phillip

Arthur Phillip BicentenaryTuesday 8 July 2014

Rob Stokes MP, Minister for Heritage today announced a program of special events, led by the Historic Houses Trust of NSW, to mark the Bicentenary of the death of Governor Arthur Phillip on 31 August 1814.

Still from video showing Museum of Sydney viewing cube with new signage being installed.

Museum of Sydney

Museum of Sydney transformedMonday 30 June 2014

Recent visitors to Sydney’s CBD will have spotted stunning new signage at the Museum of Sydney.

What's on

Next 7 Days
Saturday 26 July 2014 - Saturday 02 August 2014
Next 30 Days

Stories from the Museum of Sydney

This is a photograph showing the edge of a knitted garment made from yarn in blue, orange, red, brown and pink

The Family Yarn

Vivian Chan Shaw has been a celebrated Australian fashion designer since the 1970s but her ancestral connection to Australia and creative flair crosses many generations.
Painting showing the exterior of a building with a dirt road

Painting the Rocks: The Loss of Old Sydney

A joint initiative of the Historic Houses Trust and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Painting the Rocks was an exhibition held at the Museum of Sydney from 7 August 2010 – 28 November 2010.
B/W photo of middle aged man looking directly into the camera

Sydney Visionaries

Cities are not just built. They are created by movers, shakers, dreamers and schemers. Sydney is no different. Drawing on the exhibition at Museum of Sydney, this article profiles eleven trail-blazers who, through intellect, determination and passion, influenced the shape, culture and identity of this harbour city.
Woman leaning over scale model at work adjusting section of verandah roof.


A beautifully crafted scale model shows, for the first time, the final form of Sydney's original government house, having grown from a basic six-room home to the rambling edifice, eventually demolished in 1845–1846.
Portrait of Elizabeth Macquarie wearing large white frilled collar and black dress. She is looking slightly sideways and has short curly reddish hair.


Historian Jane Kelso describes a busy schedule of social gatherings and official events at Sydney's Government House during the governorship of Lachlan Macquarie.
Colourised image of boys standing around with wheel borrows filled with bricks.

Skint! Making do in the great depression

On Tuesday 29 October 1929 the New York stock market collapsed. Twenty-six billion dollars vanished into thin air, leaving markets in ruin for the next 3 years. Australian exports fell overnight, leaving local industries at a standstill, driving up unemployment, misery and hardship. Australia's debts to overseas banks were impossible to meet. Wage cuts, shorter working hours and brakes on government expenditure hit hard. The great depression dug in...
Black and white image of a man dressed in white rowing a dinghy in calm water.

AN EDWARDIAN SUMMER: Sydney through the lens of Arthur Wigram Allen

In the heady and exciting years before World War I, Sydney lawyer and identity Arthur Wigram Allen, a tirelessly enthusiastic photographer, focused his attention on the myriad social and technological changes occurring around himself and his family. His talent for amateur photography produced extraordinary pictures that offer a fresh insight into Sydney's Edwardian years.
Black and white drawing of colinail house and front garden showing rows of fruit trees and other plants.

Lost gardens of Sydney

Curator and garden historian Colleen Morris takes us on a turn through a selection of long lost colonial gardens, discussing their lasting influence while throwing in a few tantalising clues to their former whereabouts.

Museum of Sydney on Instagram

#morning #winter #cold #freezing #sydney #skyline #circularquay #bridgestreet #australia #shaswatphotography #tree #sky #museumofsydney

#morning #winter #cold #freezing #sydney #skyline #circularquay #bridgestreet #australia #shaswatphotography #tree #sky #museumofsydney

19 hours 43 min
I recognise that art-meets-architecture style! @andywongplus @johnwardlearchitects

I recognise that art-meets-architecture style! @andywongplus @johnwardlearchitects

3 days 15 hours
I could just sail off into the sunset.... #museumofsydney #firstfleet #modelship

I could just sail off into the sunset.... #museumofsydney #firstfleet #modelship

5 days 14 hours
SKYFALL #museumofsydney  #sydney

SKYFALL #museumofsydney #sydney

1 week 4 hours
#museumofsydney первые китайцы в Австралии

#museumofsydney первые китайцы в Австралии

1 week 12 hours
Edge of the trees #janetlaurence #fionafoley #museumofsydney #sydney #city #edgeoftrees #sandstone #wood #pillars #sounds #history #memory #historical #culture

Edge of the trees #janetlaurence #fionafoley #museumofsydney #sydney #city #edgeoftrees #sandstone #wood #pillars #sounds #history #memory #historical #culture

1 week 13 hours
Celestial Sydney #museumofsydney #brightcolours #umbrellas #wheelbarrow #wateringcan #chinesemarketgarden

Celestial Sydney #museumofsydney #brightcolours #umbrellas #wheelbarrow #wateringcan #chinesemarketgarden

1 week 17 hours
Celestial Sydney MOS #museumofsydney #sydney #city #bridgest #chinesemarketgarden #umbrellas #brightcolours

Celestial Sydney MOS #museumofsydney #sydney #city #bridgest #chinesemarketgarden #umbrellas #brightcolours

1 week 17 hours
NUMBER THREE // #sydney #museum #museumofsydney

NUMBER THREE // #sydney #museum #museumofsydney

1 week 6 days