Sydney For All

Hyde Park Barracks

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is a grand sandstone building with a portico and fluted columns - the main entrance has several steps and a handrail

Entry to the Hyde Park Barracks from Macquarie St
Image: Patty Mazza

Why go there

The Hyde Park Barracks was designed by convict architect Francis Greenway and built in 1819 to house convict men and boys. It's had an eclectic existence as a dormitory for female immigrants, home for destitute women, an asylum and as a centre for government departments. Hyde Park Barracks is now a fascinating museum telling its own life story. Many thanks to the rats!

Don't miss

  • The daily lives of Convicts in Sydney, and how they developed the town,
  • For people with vision impairment, the Touch Tour,
  • The layers of history uncovered by the museum, from convicts to female migrants, to the 360degree image and map in the floor,
  • Learning how important rats were to the museum!

Access for all

Access Summary

Mobility accessBlindness and low vision access

Access the Hyde Park Barracks Guide and other fascinating reading at

A couple of wheelchairs are available for borrowing.

Getting around

Mobility accessBlindness and low vision access

The Hyde Park Barracks is set back from Macquarie St by across a level, open but lightly graveled surface. The museum comprises all three levels. Access to the ground level is via a shallow gradient ramp. There is no lift to the upper two levels. A unisex access toilet is located in the toilet block behind the HPB. Another is located in the adjacent Café.

Photo shows the shallow gradient ramp from the right of the small patio area before the front door to the museum.

Ramped entry to the museum
Image: Patty Mazza

Tours and programs

Mobility accessBlindness and low vision access

Organised school or group tours must be pre-arranged. Special interest tours can also be pre booked. Individual visitors receive a guide and map at entry to assist their discovery of the museum. A Large Print and Braille version are available at the reception desk.

Visit after about 2pm when on most days the school tours have finished as the guides will be more likely to be able to spend time with you – their knowledge brings the barracks to life! Access for those in wheelchairs is limited to the ground floor but such visitors can have an enhanced experience by arranging for a guide to talk them through a tray of artifacts on the ground floor to gain insight in to the levels above. They have some incredible anecdotes about the rats which rescued many artifacts. Spend time identifying the map laid in the floor, comparing it to the 360degree image on the opposite wall, to see just how Sydney has changed.

Photo showing the model of the building which comes apart, clay pipes, convict made bricks, cloth and yarn

Photo: Supplied by HHT2011, contents of the model and artifacts

How to get there

Hyde Park Barracks is located "up the hill" away from the harbour and adjacent to Hyde Park, St Mary's and St James.

Public transport

Explorer buses head along Macquarie St and the train stations at Martin Place and St James provide lift access to the platforms. The St James station is approximately 200m from HPB.


Commercial car parking is expensive. Domain car park is down a steep hill but less expensive than the Sydney Hospital car park (access from Hospital Rd behind the hospital). Another option is the Sydney Opera House car park.


Download the Sydney CBD and Circular Quay access map (PDF, 1.52MB)

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Photo of the entry through the formal gates across a graveled area to the museum front door. A gentle ramp leads off from the right of the small patio.

Entry to the Hyde Park Barracks from Macquarie St
Image: Patty Mazza

Access Summary

Mobility accessBlindness and low vision access

Contact Details

Queens Square,
The Macquarie St Historic Precinct

Phone: + 61 2 8239 2311

TTY: 133677 then 8239 2377 Calls Historic Houses Trust administration.


Hyde Park Barracks Museum

Opening hours

Open daily 9.30am to 5pm. Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day.


Admission applies and the Companion Card is accepted.

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