NSW Government NSW Health
South Eastern Sydney Local Health District
nsw health

Historical Tours of Sydney Hospital and Sydney Eye Hospital


Guided Historical Tours

Tours of approximately one hour are offered on a weekday at a cost of $10.00 pp, all proceeds benefit Sydney Hospital/Sydney Eye Hospital.

Co-ordinated by Friends of Sydney Hospital volunteers, visitors will learn that the 19th century sandstone Macquarie Street building which dominates the CBD, is a continuation of earlier medical establishments. Sydney Hospital is Australia’s First Hospital dating from the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788.

Macquarie Street was created by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1811 when the foundation stone of The General Hospital (The Rum Hospital, later demolished) was laid on the site.  The façade of Parliament House and The Mint, former wings, remain today to remind us of the The Rum Hospital’s style and magnitude. Today, Sydney Hospital Complex comprises three buildings:  the oldest building on the site is The Nightingale Wing (1868) with its link to Florence Nightingale;  the newest building is The Clinical Services Building which houses Sydney Hospital and Sydney Eye Hospital (1996).  And the Macquarie Street building (1894) which features a Grand entrance with carved cedar staircase and two magnificent stained glass portrait panels in the central Stairwell.  Tours begin in the impressive Hospital Boardroom.

Today, Sydney Hospital Complex comprises three buildings:  the newest building is the Clinical Services Building which houses Sydney Hospital and Sydney Eye Hospital (1996); the Macquarie Street building (1894) which features a Grand entrance with carved cedar staircase and two magnificent stained glass portrait panels in the central Stairwell.  Tours begin in the impressive Hospital Boardroom. Lastly the oldest building on the site is The Nightingale Wing (1868) which was the former nurses residence with its link to Florence Nightingale.

You will also see:

  • the beautiful Chapel of St Luke the Physician;  

  • Il Porcellino – a bronze boar sculpture at the Entrance to the Hospital and the most photographed subject in the CBD

  • and The Robert Brough Memorial (Courtyard) Fountain.

Hospital souvenirs, historical booklets, boutique children’s knitted clothes and toys can be found at The Little Shop in Macquarie Street which is open from 10.30 am to 2.30 pm on weekdays.

Booking a Historical Tour

Historical tours can be held any day of the week. The tours commence from the top of the stairs at the main building (Administration Building) fronting Macquarie Street and last for 1 - 1.5 hours. You will be pleased to know that all funds raised through hospital guided tours will be used to purchase much needed medical equipment for use by our patients.

To book a tour, please contact 9363 1471 Volunteer Guide or email wilkspm@bigpond.com.

historical tours: $10 per person

 

Tours of the Lucy Osburn – Nightingale Foundation Museum

The Lucy Osburn - Nightingale Foundation is delighted to offer tours of their museum located on level one of the historic Nightingale Building. Tours are coordinated by the museum curator, and allow participants to walk back in time and experience life at Sydney Hospital from 1860 onwards.

Some highlights of the Museum include:

  • Florence Nightingale's sewing basket from the Crimean War

  • Lucy Osburn's original 'Walking Out' costume (C1868) and her nurses' register, which contains details about her probationer nurses

  • Historical photographs and artefacts relating to a bygone era in medical and nursing care

  • The historic Kanematsu Collection of Morbid Anatomy showing pathology specimens dating back to the 1890s many of which exhibit clinical conditions no longer seen nowadays.

Booking a tour of the Lucy Osburn Nightingale Museum

The Museum is open every Tuesday 10am to 3pm. Tours commence at the top of the Nightingale steps, level one, Nightingale Building. Museum tour costs help to manage and maintain the museum collection.

Museum enquiries and group bookings phone Tue or Wed or Thurs on 9382 7427 or email SYDHOSP.MUSEUM@SESIAHS.HEALTH.NSW.GOV.AU

museum tours: $5 per person