A natural history museum located in Sydney’s central business district that hosts an impressive collection of over 21 million scientific specimens. Built in 1827, the Australian Museum is the oldest museum in Australia and the fifth oldest natural history museum in the world.
Originally opened with the aim of gathering together some of the most interesting local and international specimens in natural history, the museum began its life with no fixed location. The museum’s collection was housed in numerous buildings around Sydney before a dedicated site was opened alongside Hyde Park in 1857.
The majority of the museum’s scientific and cultural exhibits are spread over two levels with exhibits dedicated to a variety of Australian flora and fauna. Visitors can also expect to find areas dedicated to animals from all over the world as well as a popular area dedicated entirely to Dinosaurs. The Long Gallery feels like the natural centrepiece of the museum featuring 200 of the museum’s most interesting artifacts spread over three balconied levels.
Since its opening, the museum has undergone a number of expansions and renovations. Although these expansions did help to increase the museum’s floor space, it would have been nice if the newer-exterior additions mirrored the excellent style of the College Street façade onto the newer William Street entrance. The new entrance is a jarring addition that doesn’t really suit what is Australia’s oldest museum.
The museum also features a restaurant, No. 1 William, on the fourth floor that offers diners a fantastic view of nearby St. Mary’s Cathedral and the expansive Sydney skyline.