Convict life at the Barracks

About the program

What was it like to be a convict living at Hyde Park Barracks? Who were they? What crimes had they committed? What work did they do?

Using a range of historical sources, including the World Heritage-listed building, students investigate what daily life was like for the male convicts who lived at the Hyde Park Barracks. Many of these men had valuable skills and were doing important work for the government.

During this program your students will:

  • learn about experience of transportation from Britain to Australia
  • investigate convict life in early Sydney
  • have free time to explore new exhibits and spaces

They will handle objects, try out the convict hammocks, hear personal stories and learn about the punishments convicts faced if they broke the barracks' rules.

And they’ll get hands-on. After being issued with convict shirts marked with the broad arrow, they'll be put to work in a brick laying gang under the watchful eye of their overseer.

Key information


Hyde Park Barracks
Queens Square, Macquarie Street Sydney NSW 2000
Bookings +61 2 8239 2211

Cost (GST free)
From $282 for up to 20 students

90 minutes

Session offered
Monday to Friday

Maximum students
60 per session

Supervision ratios
The supervision ratio is 1:10 for primary groups and 1:15 for secondary groups. Teachers and parents attend free of charge at these ratios. One carer per student with special needs will be admitted free of charge

Additional visitor costs
Each additional visitor will be charged at the concession rate of $12

Complementary program

Three girls trying on a skin in exhibition space.

Whose place?

During this thought-provoking and engaging program, students learn that the Museum of Sydney is built over the site of first Government House, from where Arthur Phillip governed the young colony of NSW