The Rocks Discovery Museum

The Rocks Discovery Museum, Kendall Lane, The Rocks NSW, Australia

If you’re spending a half day or so exploring The Rocks, whose 230 year old history makes it Sydney’s oldest neighbourhood, you’ll definitely want to drop into this compact but fascinating free museum. The museum is located along Kendall Lane, a narrow, cobbled pedestrian backstreet off the main thoroughfare of Argyle Street.

The museum traces the area’s history back to the days of the traditional landowners before European settlement, through to the establishment of the English penal colony and the influence of the sailors, whalers and traders in maintaining a long-standing, proud working-class identity within the area. The story continues up to the 1970s union-led protests that would help preserve this one-of-a-kind Sydney enclave into the present day.

Housed in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse, this family-friendly museum’s chronological displays featuring rare images and a collection of historical artefacts discovered in the local area, some of which guests are able to touch and hold.

Four permanent exhibitions illustrate how the intersect between European settlers and the traditional custodians of the land have shaped the Rocks’ identity up to the present day. These multi-sensory exhibits feature interactive educational displays, touch screens and audio/visual elements, helping bring to life the history and atmosphere of days gone by.

Be sure not to miss the mural behind the museum in Kendall Lane, a hidden street art gem which depicts the changing appearance of the Rocks during different stages of its history.

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The Rocks Discovery Museum, Kendall Lane, The Rocks NSW, Australia