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Presented by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
Made By Many Hands

The Rocks Discovery Museum

A free, family friendly museum which tells the story of The Rocks from pre-European days to the present.

(02) 9240 8680
Kendall Lane, The Rocks (enter via Argyle Street)

You’ll love The Rocks Discovery Museum; packed with thousands of years of history!

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 museum is home to a unique collection of images and archaeological artefacts found in The Rocks – some of which you can even hold.

The exhibits are filled with interactive fun, using touch screens, audio and visual elements to bring the history of the area alive.

Four permanent exhibitions have been developed in close consultation with the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council which share the history and stories of the area and the impact of European settlement. The exhibitions cover the periods:

  • Warrane (pre-1788)
  • Colony (1788–1820)
  • Port (1820–1900)
  • Transformations (1900–present)

You can 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. So make sure you treat yourself and do just that!

10am – 5pm daily (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day)
Entry is free but bookings are essential for self-guided school groups.

Self-Guided Group Booking Form

Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority thanks the following institutions for kindly loaning artefacts to The Rocks Discovery Museum:

Australian Museum

Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW

NSW State Records

Royal Australian Historical Society

Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority thanks the following organisations and individuals for their assistance in the development of The Rocks Discovery Museum:

Architects/exhibition development: Peter Tonkin and Christina Carayanides at 3D Projects

Artefact photography: Russell Workman

Conservators: Anne Cummins, Sydney Artefacts Conservation, Brett Smith, Museum Exhibition Services and Sue Frost, Sue Frost Conservation

Electricians: Rojac Electrics & Security

Exhibition development (Warrane): Sarah Burke and the team at Australian Museum Business Services

Interactive development: Jason Stevenson and the team at Art of Multimedia

Lighting design: Lighting Art & Science

Exhibition content consultants:

Allen Madden and the team at the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Val Attenbrow and Phil Gordon and the team at Australian Museum Aboriginal Heritage Unit

Bruce Stewart, Shane Phillips, Neil Vincent and the team at The Tribal Warrior Association Incorporated

Margret Campbell, Aboriginal Discoveries

James Wilson-Millar, Koori Curator, Powerhouse Museum

Clarence Slockee, Botanic Gardens

Val Garner for the Byrne Family Tree

Hori Hema, Wara Heremia and Tom Tepania, Maori Kaumatua

Other thanks:

Aden Ridgeway

Rhoda Roberts

Uncle Max Eulo, Elder of Redfern community

What are The Rocks Discovery Museum’s opening hours?
The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (closed Good Friday and Christmas Day).

Is there an entry charge?
No, entry to the museum is free, although a gold coin donation would be most gratefully accepted.

Where is The Rocks Discovery Museum located?
The Rocks Discovery Museum is located on Kendall Lane off Argyle Street in The Rocks.

How do I get to The Rocks Discovery Museum?

By Foot

From the CBD, simply head north on George Street and this will bring you into the heart of The Rocks. Turn left onto Argyle Street and then take the first right into Kendall Lane.

For transport information, visit Getting here.

Can I access the museum with a wheelchair or stroller?
Yes, entry to The Rocks Discovery Museum is at ground level. The building is fitted with a lift to access the first floor.

Can I take photographs in the museum?
Yes, photography in the museum is permitted.

Are there programs for school groups incorporating The Rocks Discovery Museum?
Yes, Sydney Learning Adventures operates two programs that incorporate a visit to the RDM: The Rocks Dreaming and Groundwork: Archaeology at The Rocks.

Find out more about the Sydney Learning Adventures’ schools program.

Are there any school holiday programs at The Rocks Discovery Museum?
Yes, The Rocks Discovery Museum operates free, family-friendly, hands-on school holiday programs during NSW school holiday periods.

Find out more about The Rocks Discovery Museum school holiday programs.

I have visited the museum and would like to find out more information about The Rocks. Where can I look?
Come back and spend some time in The Rocks Discovery Museum Resource Centre which has a wealth of print and online reference material available.

Historical information is available on this website in our Heritage and History section.

Sydney Learning Adventures also operates programs at The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre in The Rocks for primary and secondary school students that bring the history and stories of The Rocks to life.

Find out more about Sydney Learning Adventures’ programs at The Big Dig.

Who manages The Rocks Discovery Museum?
The Rocks Discovery Museum is an initiative of Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. It is part of the Foreshore Authority's ongoing commitment to conserving and promoting the natural and cultural heritage of The Rocks.