The Museums Discovery Centre is a collaboration between the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Australian Museum and Sydney Living Museums. It’s a storage centre for the treasures of the state collection and is located at 172 Showground Road, Castlehill, New South Wales.
I visited the Museum Centre last weekend with my husband. As it was Sunday, not many people were around, and the canteen was closed. The Museum operated with a skeleton staff. Outside, the sun was hot and weather humid, but inside it was cooling. Unlike other Museums which are in the heart of major cities, this centre is located about 33km from Sydney CBD by road. The surrounding looked green and welcoming. The exhibits are placed widely apart on three different levels and subdivided into six stores.
Store 1: This store displays the masterful creation of the world’s best designers. Chairs, vases, bowls, teapots, and silverware are some of the exhibits on display. Many items date back to the 19th century.
Store 2: Many innovative technologies that changed the lives of humanity are contained here. Telephones, clocks, radios, printing machines, engines, etc. to name a few. Change that occurred from the Industrial age to the present day is housed here.
Store 3: Variety of transport engines are parked here. It includes Cobb & Co -mail and passenger coach, wheat wagon, cars, bicycles, fire engine, an array of aircraft, cable tram, and a Yacht. Bikes are mounted high on the wall. Planes dangling from the ceiling look like huge toys.
Store 4: This store is a home for a multitude of objects collected and used by Scientists both in the field and in the lab. A Sabre tooth tiger model on display is scary and provides an eerie atmosphere at the entrance to this store. It’s made from the skins of three African lions and a goat. Many items on display in this store are scientific specimens and instruments.
Store 5: Many domestic appliances and toys are exhibited here. Some of the cooking implements on display appear to be rustic and ancient.
Store 6: The structural model of a few buildings is on display here. Many architectural elements rescued from historic and beautiful buildings are housed here. A carved timber window cornice from Drummoyne House is on display. This massive cornice over 5 metres in length was part of a large stone mansion that belonged to a wealthy merchant and trader William Wright. The cornice had taken two years to complete, and the design based on the “foliage, flowers and fruit surrounding Drummoyne House.”
The tour gave me a glimpse of the Australian past. I was impressed with the model display of a golden nugget,” Welcome Stranger,” that was found in Moliagul Victoria in 1869. Store 3 has many samples of doll dresses, hats, and a variety of shoes.
Museums showcase a Nation’s history, tradition, people, lifestyle, and culture. In his travel classics “Down Under “the author Bill Bryson reflects, “Personally, I think Australians ought to be extremely proud that from the most awkwardly unpropitious beginnings, in a remote and challenging place, they created a prosperous and dynamic society.
General admission opening hours are on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the admission is free.
The Museum centre is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Group tours to the Collection galleries are available from Wednesday to Friday. The admission fee is $ 10 per person, with a minimum of 8 people. Behind the scene, group tours are available from Wednesday to Friday for $ 20 per person.