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“Harry Potter Exhibit”
Review of Powerhouse Museum

Powerhouse Museum
Book In Advance
More Info
USD 140.25*
and up
Australia Multi-City Attractions Pass
Ranked #36 of 474 things to do in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A converted electric station houses an eclectic collection of art and artifacts that celebrate applied science and design. The Powerhouse Museum is also known for kid-friendly interactive exhibits and popular limited-time shows featuring props and design elements from films such as Star Wars and Harry Potter.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Harry Potter Exhibit”
Reviewed 27 March 2012

Went to see a recent exhibition for which most hardcore fans have already seen, so tried to go in a later session. The exhibition itself was great, you walk in get your photo taken on a green screen and get sorted by the wonderful staff dressed up.

Overall it was a pretty impressive mass collection of movie props and costumes, a lot of work went into the detail of the films, not all of it from the 8 films are there but most. I think the best part were the wands and food display. Its not as interactive as the rest of Powerhouse Museum but enough to satisfy.

Merchandise shop was VERY expensive..

Visited March 2012
Thank Mai L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Wollongong, Australia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Kid special”
Reviewed 23 March 2012

Always exciting. Check the web site for special exhibitions,

Thank bulli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“1980s Interactive feel”
Reviewed 22 March 2012

I had heard and read really good stuff about this museum beforehand so, was expecting a whole lot better. The interactive stuff was particularly poor, the standard compared to 1980s interactive. The weightlesness simulator certainly gives an illusion of the "capsule" you are in moving but in no way gives a feeling of weightlesness. The overall layout seemed jumbeled. Scienceworks in Melbourne is a far superior place

Visited March 2012
Thank AlistairHawkwind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryde, Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“One for the Kids both young and old”
Reviewed 22 March 2012

Plenty to keep the whole family entertained. Inexpensive and always something new to take a look at.

Thank Julie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Major Letdown”
Reviewed 21 March 2012

I remember visiting the Powerhouse as a kid once in the 1980s, and once again sometime in the 1990s, and it was fantastic. There were plenty of things on display; in great variety and all reflective of some aspect of Australian manufacturing, industrial and cultural history.
This was, I guess, before the 'minimalist' philosophy came into vogue in art galleries and museums ('minimalist' meaning "less is more" - it also involves less maintenance and less monitoring for gallery/museum management and staff). Well, I visited the Powerhouse yet again and with great expectations, and was very disappointed to say the least, and so, nearly a year later, I thought I'd post this to get it off my chest.

Several things were wrong -
1. Vacant galleries (I counted 3!!) and extensive sections of wasted, vacant space.
2. Minimalist displays - rooms with only a few items on display, and all VERY MUCH spaced apart. The museum is arranged in such a manner that you do walk - unusually long lengths - not only between the galleries but also between the items on display.
3. A whole floor - the top floor - very valuable gallery space and probably the one with the best views - given over to "members" as 'the members lounge'.
4. Poorly thought out children's play areas - these were not properly designed to allow young minds to engage in activities which would enable them to understand the purpose and content of the museum's collection. I recall seeing 2 such areas, but I think there could have been 3) - these just looked like general areas for kids to muck about in.
5. Some things were out of order - this is common in museums of this type, and forgivable, particularly if 'interaction' involves getting vintage machinery to work, but I got the feeling that maintenance was a lower priority here; for example, the interactive elements of the old locomotive were not working, and it seemed as if they had not been working for some time.
6. Generally uninspiring exhibits; somewhat dry and boring.

The only things I thought were of any real merit were -
1. The steam engine gallery - loads of vintage and rare steam engines in one room, several of which were chuffing away when I visited, and
2. The Watts steam engine, the motions of which are mesmering - you don't have to be a steam engine buff to enjoy it.

Overall, this is a museum with a science and engineering orientation, so in terms of displays there was less emphasis on the manufacturing and social histories of Australia compared to what I recall seeing in the past. What this place needs is a good overhaul - of exhibits and attitude. This was, once upon a time, one of Australia's 'must see' museums, but clearly this is no longer the case. Sydney is expensive, yet there is plenty to see and do elsewhere in and around the city and some of it is free or of relatively little cost. For example, I thought the Art Gallery and the Brett Whitely museum (both free of charge!) were much more interesting. Save your dollars and don't bother with the Powerhouse.

Visited April 2011
Thank fuzzywiddledoggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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