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Australian Museum, Darlinghurst

The aim of Australia’s first public museum, when it was green-lit in 1827, was to gather rare specimens of natural history and miscellaneous curiosities. Today its collection boasts more than 18 million cultural and scientific exhibits, showcases Australian history – including Aboriginal archaeology and artefacts from its greatest explorers – and has a world-leading research programme. A recent major renovation has expanded the space greatly. For your own bird’s-eye view, head up to the museum’s terrace: the balcony offers stunning 180-degree panoramic views of Hyde Park and the Woolloomooloo area.

1 William Street, 2010
+61 (0)2 9320 6000
australian.museum
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Brett Whiteley Studio, Surry Hills

You could walk past artist Brett Whiteley’s former studio in Surry Hills and not know you’d done so. The only giveaway is a miniature wall-mounted version of his piece “Almost Once”: two matchsticks, one charred, the other intact. There is an 8-metre version behind the Art Gallery of NSW. Whiteley is known for works that challenge notions of life and death; sadly he died of a drug overdose in 1992. His old workplace and home has been converted into this gallery, which opens between 10.00 and 16.00 from Thursday to Sunday.

2 Raper Street, 2010
+61 (0)2 9225 1881
artgallery.nsw.gov.au/brett-whiteley-studio
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Olsen Gallery, Woollahra

This arts enterprise was created in 2013 by two of the city’s heavyweight art dealers: Tim Olsen, son of Bowral-based painter and national treasure John Olsen, and Rex Irwin (now retired), who had been in the business since 1976. The pair cast a wide net to gather Australian and international art by both emerging and established names. Martine Emdur’s ethereal paintings of Sydney swimmers are always popular, as are Dinosaur Designs co-founder Stephen Ormandy’s organic sculptures. A second outpost on Queen Street focuses on works on paper.

63 Jersey Road, 2025
+61 (0)2 9327 3922
olsengallery.com

Images: Katie Kaars

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