Museums Discovery Centre
A collaboration between the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, the Australian Museum, and Sydney Living Museums, the Museums Discovery Centre is one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets. There are hundreds of displays to explore and plenty of opportunities to learn about museum collecting, conservation, and research practices.
The Museums Discovery Center offers the chance to go behind the scenes of the great museums of New South Wales. Much more than a storage facility, it is a place to gain insight into museum collections through its public display of objects that are technically in storage. Visitors to the Museums Discovery Centre will find hundreds of thousands of treasures relating to everything from science to the decorative arts.
Permanent exhibitions include displays of machines, technology, transport, domestic appliances, toys, scientific instruments, and specimens of animals, minerals, and plants. Unlike at a typical museum, items are shown on industrial shelving, pallets, crates, and drawers with minimal interpretation.
Things to Know Before You Go
Museums Discovery Centre is a must-visit for those with an interest in museums, research, and conservation.
The museum is wheelchair-accessible.
Children under the age of 16 receive free admission.
Food and drink are not allowed inside the building, and there is no on-site café.
There is a small gift shop on-site.
How to Get There
The Museums Discovery Centre is a 35-minute drive northwest of Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD), with free, but limited, on-site parking. You can also get there by public transportation. Bus 610X (direction Rose Hill) from the Queen Victoria Building in the CBD will get you there in around one hour.
When to Get There
The museum is open weekdays from midmorning to early evening year-round, except for during the Christmas break, which runs from late December until mid-January. A free docent-led Highlights Tour is available daily.
As well as the many public displays, visitors can explore even more of the museum’s collection by booking a tour of the deep-collection stores. Upcoming tours, posted on the website, offer a peek at such items as the museum’s largest objects including aircraft, buses, and farming equipment and machinery. These tours cost extra but include general admission.
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