Jenni Carter for Sydney Living Museums
Since opening in 1819, Australia’s first barracks has housed British convicts, female immigrants, destitute elderly women, courtrooms, and government offices until it was finally declared a museum in 1979. During a twice-daily tour, or with the help of an audio guide, visitors get a glimpse of how high-skill prisoners lived, worked, and slept (on hammocks) during the 19th century—often freely working in the city by day but sleeping alongside more than 1,000 thieves, conspirators, bank robbers, pirates, and bushrangers by night. Offered in the original convict bakehouse and store, a house-made pot pie, burger, or cake with a schooner of beer at Bakehouse is a welcome end to the experience. Outside, freedom has never felt so good.
Step Back into Aussie History
This historic museum in the heart of Sydney‘s Central Business District was built in the early 1800s and was used to house convicts from Britain. The barracks now operate as a museum as part of the city’s Historic Houses Trust.