Enjoy a fun family day out at Newcastle Museum where kids can play and learn! A small gem of a museum in Newcastle NSW, Newcastle Museum provides visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the region’s history. Compared to other museums, Newcastle Museum isn’t large but it’s packed with lots of interesting exhibits. With free admission, it’s worth a visit. You’ll find it in Honeysuckle in the heart of the city.
As admission to the museum is free, a visit makes for a fun excursion It’s especially popular with families as there are loads of fun activities to keep kids of all ages occupied. On a rainy day, you’ll find lots of parents with babies, toddlers and preschoolers here.
23 September Update: Admission to Newcastle Museum is free, however you’ll need to bring your phone with you on your next visit! Visitors will need to scan in at entry points using a QR code. Fire & Earth, Coal, Link and A Newcastle Story galleries are open. Each visitor will be able to enjoy a 6-minute Steelmaking Simulation Show during their visit. To keep visitors safe, there will be no access to interactive spaces, therefore Supernova, Mininova & BHP Galleries remain closed at this time.
Entry and Exit points are clearly marked, with markers on the floor to guide patrons through the Museum at comfortable distances from other members of the public. Hand sanitiser stations are in place at the point of entry and staff will commence increased cleaning regimes between session times with a focus on high-touch surfaces.
Newcastle Museum Mininova – CLOSED DUE TO COVID-19
For toddlers, there is a small indoor play area called Mininova featuring plenty of equipment and soft mats to keep them safe while they toddle around.
Newcastle Museum Supernova – CLOSED DUE TO COVID-19
For older kids, the interactive Supernova science exhibits will keep children entertained as well as educate them on science. There’s all kinds of interesting subjects to learn about including magnets, velocity, vacuums and much more.
Want the kids to learn about pulleys and then brag about being able to lift a car? Have a go at lifting this old car!
Those interested in history will enjoy the Newcastle exhibition which educates visitors on the history of the region including the role of coal and steelmaking as well as the lives of early settlers.
BHP Steelmaking Show
If you’re interested in Newcastle’s industry, don’t miss the 6 minute BHP Steelmaking Show featuring special sound and smoke effects. The hourly light and sound show is the centrepiece of the Fire and Earth exhibition.
Against a backdrop of industrial machinery, this six-minute show replicates the gritty atmosphere of a steelworks complete with its deafening noise. It’s quite an experience. Visitors can watch steel pour from the furnace into a 75 ton ladle before the ladle transits across the room.
Steelmaking was once a dominant industry employing 11,000 people and producing two million tons of steel a year. When the BHP Steelworks closed in 1999 after 84 years of operation, it irrevocably changed the city and its people but also provided an unexpected windfall. Upon its exit, BHP donated $2.5 million, the largest ever sum to a regional museum. This money was earmarked for an exhibition, which captured the BHP steelmaking experience.
With this gift, Newcastle Museum commissioned an innovative feature ‘Big Harry’s Place’, a moving account of life at the steelworks. Research for the project involved reviewing the steelworks history, visiting Bluescope Steelworks at Port Kembla and interviewing ex-BHP workers. Employees and BHP also donated objects including uniforms, equipment and photos which are on display.
Check out the old tram carriage which was once part of Newcastle’s thriving tram network.
To learn more about Newcastle, spend some time in the Newcastle Story area. You’ll learn about the 1989 Newcastle Earthquake, the history of famous Beaumont Street as well as Novocastrians (Newcastle residents) who have made their mark. Go into the room and see memorabilia from famous residents including Mark Richards and Ray Baartz.
Newcastle Museum Events – TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Every Tuesday (except in school holidays) from 10:30am – 11am, the Museum hosts Tuesday Tales where Museum staff and invited guests do readings from a range of children’s books. Tuesday Tales is free and you don’t need to book ahead. However, children must be supervised by adults during the event. (MOVED TO FACEBOOK)
The Museum also offers great school holiday fun so be sure to check out their website. The free Science Shows are always a popular event during the holidays. During the holidays, Newcastle Museum is open 7 days a week.
Don’t leave Newcastle Museum without visiting Newcastle Shop. It offers a range of Newcastle books and souvenirs including those made by local artists and artisans.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm. Open seven days during school holidays. HOURS CHANGED DUE TO COVID-19
Cost: Free. Additional costs for special exhibitions
Address: Workshop Way, Newcastle, NSW 2300
Phone: 02 4974 1400
Website: Newcastle Museum
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