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The Rocks Discovery Museum

Certificate of Excellence
The Rocks
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Address: Kendall Lane | The Rocks, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Phone Number:
+61 2 9240 8680
10:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00

The Rocks Discovery Museum is a free, family friendly museum which tells...

The Rocks Discovery Museum is a free, family friendly museum which tells the story of The Rocks area of Sydney from pre-European days to the present. Housed in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse, The Rocks Discovery Museum is home to a unique collection of images and archaeological artefacts found in The Rocks. The exhibits are filled with interactive fun, using touch screens, audio and visual elements to bring the history of the area alive.Learn about the area's traditional custodians, the establishment of the English colony and the time when sailors, whalers and traders made The Rocks their home; through to the 1970s union-led protests which preserved this unique part of Sydney for future generations to explore and enjoy.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 310 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 134
  • 116
    Very good
  • 18
  • 5
  • 0
Great place if you are into history.

I loved reading about the history of the area and seeing the things that had been unearthed at the "Big Dig" I only had an hour before they closed so sort of rushed through it... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Cheryle G
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310 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 273: English reviews
Level Contributor
44 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I loved reading about the history of the area and seeing the things that had been unearthed at the "Big Dig" I only had an hour before they closed so sort of rushed through it but could have spent another hour or two there.

Thank Cheryle G
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Sydney has only one short colonial history which is repeated consistently in all of its museums. You should take some time and treat this place like a book. Read into real social commentary as it was at the time. It's free so why not?

Thank Pete8761
Port Charlotte, Florida
Level Contributor
50 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We were pleasantly surprised by the quality and content of the museum. Don't let the comparatively small size of the museum fool you. One can easily spend quite a bit of time here.

Thank SoCal_Consultant
San Dimas, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Wonderful little museum in the heart of the Rocks. I wanted to learn about the history of Sydney and this place provided everything I wanted, and more. Interactive displays, artifacts, indigenous people information, British settlers, and individual stories made my visit very satisfying.

Thank Lameece S
Arundel, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
302 reviews
121 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Set in an old building down a side street in The Rocks area, this free museum is a great intro to the area, early settlers and how it has evolved since. Four rooms, two up narrow stairs with low headroom. Loads to take in so you may have to flit between exhibits if your time is tight! Very good.

Thank OutnAbout007
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,356 reviews
833 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 377 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2017

We stumbled upon a tour - which was nice - since it provided additional info relating to the various exhibits. I didn't see any elevators to get to the top two floors. Stairs were a bit narrow. A nice touch is that they had exhibits displayed lower especially for kids.

Thank Diane K
Greeley, Colorado
Level Contributor
141 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2017

This is a "pocket museum" built in a modest historic brick building and includes four rooms of exhibits. Two rooms are on street level, two rooms are up old wood stairs...watch the headroom! "The Rocks" refers to an enclave of low historic buildings along the waterfront (near the Opera House) in Sydney which included a mix or housing, shops, warehouses... More 

Thank John G
Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2017 via mobile

Yes it is small and 3 stories, but this place is a wealth of knowledge and all free of charge. With interactive areas for young children, give them the time to beat the high score on the games whilst you walk around and enjoy Sydney's history. Dating from the First Australian to the Current Australian dive into this free and... More 

Thank KAMQ13
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2017

Well laid out, informative museum which is easy to follow and understand. Whilst small, it is not at all crowded, and the building of which it is in gives it an authentic feel. Full of artefacts with explanations, and helpful friendly staff. As a free attraction it is well worth visiting when in Sydney, to learn more about The Rocks... More 

Thank LouP456
Level Contributor
53 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2017 via mobile

We stumbled across this small but beautifully formed free museum by accidient on our 2nd day in Australia. It made for a fantastic introduction to the history of the docks, Sydney and Australia, with lots of informative panels and short films on the local indegenous clans, the arrival of the europeans and much since. We leant such a lot in... More 

Thank brixtonbelle

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Staying in The Rocks

Neighbourhood Profile
The Rocks
The first residents of the Rocks were convicts and sailors from the old nation. As the oldest neighbourhood in the city, the area's cobblestone streets host more than 100 heritage sites and buildings, including the oldest house in Sydney, Camden Cottage, which was built in 1816. Taste a “midi “ or a “schooner” of beer and dine “al fresco” on the waterfront at some of the oldest pubs in Sydney. The weekend markets at the Rocks are where you can find local artists' hand-made souvenirs, organic food and designer jewelry in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. To enjoy some of the best Australian and international contemporary art, the MCA museum is open every day and select evenings. At the end of a long day of sightseeing, be sure to save energy to dance the night away at the area's many late night entertainment venues.
Explore this neighbourhood