Powerhouse Museum Sydney
The Powerhouse Museum Sydney is a fabulous attraction with lots of permanent and temporary exhibitions to excite and fascinate visitors of all ages. It is a walk from Rydges Sydney Central – just head past Central Railway to Darling Harbour and out the other side. The Powerhouse is located at 500 Harris Street, Ultimo in the old Ultimo Power Station.
The Powerhouse is the flagship venue of Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS). Its unique and diverse collection spans science, technology, design and decorative arts, engineering, architecture, health and medicine, fashion and contemporary culture. With the focus on creativity and curiosity, 12 permanent exhibitions are complemented by a changing program of temporary exhibitions and displays. There are regular tours and demonstrations, performances, workshops, forums and other special events.
The museum opens daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm (except Christmas Day) and during holidays it may open at 9:30am. Make sure you allocate plenty of time because there is a lot to see and take in. Admission costs – adults $15, seniors and concessions $8, Members and children under 16 year free. The museum is very disabled-friendly. Visitors can access the main levels of the museum via ramps and an elevator (best for manual wheelchairs). Wheelchairs can be borrowed at no charge from the cloaking desk in the main entrance foyer. Feel free to take photos for personal use (no flash). Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the Museum and the cafes.
Some of the popular permanent attractions are Experimentations, The Kings Cinema and Locomotive No 1.
Experimentations is a place where you can explore, witness science in action and discover by doing – you can experiment with heat, light, chemistry, electricity and movement.
The Kings Cinema is an art deco cinema in the style of the 1930s. Sadly, this exhibition is only possible because so many of the city’s old buildings have been demolished. The foyer of the Kings Cinema includes interior fittings from the Queen Victoria Building. Inside, the seats are from the Manly Odeon, built in 1932 and demolished in 1985. In the theatre you can watch Australian newsreels and films from the 1920s and 1930s and hear the magical sounds of the Fotoplayer, a mechanical music maker used to accompany silent movies.
Locomotive No. 1 brings to life the age of steam travel, which began in 1855 when this very locomotive hauled New South Wales’ first train. The exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum recreates a journey from Sydney to Parramatta in 1863. Visitors can peer at the characters and overhear their conversations on a typical 19th century train journey, sitting in the vastly different first, second and third class carriages. A fascinating audio-visual tells the story of Locomotive No. 1 and a history of railways in NSW. It is extremely rare for any country or state to retain its first locomotive and it is believed to be the only known example of its type in the world.
Here is a link to the official Powerhouse Museum website for more information and what is currently happening at the museum.