Convict sleepover

Key Information

This program is offered only to remote and regional schools in NSW, on application.

Applications are now open for Terms 1 and 2, 2017. 
Please note: Unlocking Heritage will conclude end of Term 2, 2017.

If your school’s application is successful, we subsidise the full cost of the program, including food and accommodation, and allocate a travel subsidy of an additional $20 per student.
Supervision ratios

Adults will be accommodated with the students in the Hammock Room and will be responsible for overnight supervision of the students from 9.30pm to 6am.

Sessions offered

Tuesdays or Wednesdays during school terms.

Maximum Students
Maximum - 40. 
Please note that a minimum also applies - your school may be required to share with another school.

About the program

Muster your convicts for the Convict Sleepover at the Hyde Park Barracks where they will  be lodged, for one unforgettable night, in the convict dormitories where tens of thousands of convicts slept between 1819 and 1848. This is as close as you’ll get to experiencing the life of a convict.

They’ll be lined up for inspection and issued with a convict shirt before being assigned to a work gang. Convict overseers will lead them through the barracks by lamplight, show them their lodgings and share some of the dark stories of convict life.

‘You don’t starve but you’re always hungry’. See how  they fare on the regulation rations.

Hard-working convicts will be rewarded with stories about thieves and tricksters and are shown how to play some convict games. Let the convict overseers show you the rules, but don’t let them cheat!

All rise at dawn and dress for the morning muster before tucking into a typical convict breakfast.

Convicts are advised that obedience, cleanliness and order are expected at all times. Behave well and they’ll receive a ticket of leave.

Evening schedule

6pm – Under lock & key

Convicts are mustered, issued with a convict shirt and given an identity.

6.30pm–7.15pm – Regulation rations

Convicts sit down for supper, the menu inspired by typical convict fare.

7.15pm–8pm – Dark deeds & misdemeanours

Experience a lantern-lit tour of the barracks.

8pm–9pm – Pastimes

Play knuckles, ‘chuck-penny’, dominoes or marbles, or create a keepsake.

8.30pm–9pm – Cleanliness & order

Prepare for bed.

9pm–9.30pm – Thieves, tricksters & swindlers

Hear stories about past convict characters.

9.30pm – Sleep, and dream of a new life

Climb into hammocks in the dormitory and then it’s ‘lights out’.

Morning schedule

6am – Rise at dawn

Be woken by the sound of the morning bell.

6.30am – All in line

Dress and get ready for the morning muster.

7am – ‘You don’t starve but you’re always hungry’

Convicts have a typical breakfast.

7.30pm – Freedom at last!

Receive a ‘Ticket of Leave' to be released from Hyde Park Barracks.


Schools in regional and rural NSW are eligible to apply.*

The program is suitable for students in Stages 2 and 3.
Priority will be given to schools that have not previously experienced a Sydney Living Museums education program.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within 14 working days. Funding will be offered in two rounds per annum, each round covering visits over a period of two terms. Schools that are unsuccessful may reapply in a subsequent round.

Please note: The subsidy towards travel is capped at $20 per student, so schools may be required to make additional payments towards the full cost of travel.

*This program is open only to schools from regional and rural NSW, covering Hunter and Central Coast, Illawarra and South East, New England, North Coast, Riverina and Western NSW.

Terms and conditions

  1. Schools that meet the eligibility requirements must complete and submit an application form for the subsidy program.
  2. The program capacity is strictly 50 people: ratio 40 students to 10 adults.
  3. Adults will be accommodated with the students in the Hammock Room and will be responsible for overnight supervision of the students from 9.30pm to 6am. Adults will be sleeping in hammocks or bedrolls can be supplied upon request. All participants will need to bring their own sleeping bags and pillows. NB No showering facilities available.
  4. Hyde Park Barracks Museum staff will contact you a week before the event to confirm final numbers and requirements.
  5. Schools attending the program agree to take part in an evaluation and complete an evaluation form following the program.
  6. Schools are required to book and pay the full cost of travel to attend the program. They will receive the travel subsidy only after they have attended.
  7. To receive the travel subsidy, schools are required to submit evidence from a travel company of full payment, along with an invoice calculated at $20 x number of students who attended the program. This invoice should be made out to Sydney Living Museums (SLM) and must be received within two weeks of the school’s visit. The project manager will contact the school administration staff to facilitate the process.
  8. Schools that cancel their booking are not eligible for the subsidy. Cancellations must be made in writing, two weeks prior to the booked date.
  9. Schools receiving the subsidy are subject to the general terms and conditions outlined in the Unlocking Heritage Convict Sleepover booking confirmation letter.
  10. The travel subsidy is offered subject to the availability of funding and program availability. 

Fill out my online form.

Stages 2 & 3

Apply for approval

Use our online application form
Enquiries: 02 8239 2306;

Hyde Park Barracks Museum
Queens Square, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000


Risk assessment: Hyde Park Barracks Museum

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