Sydney Town Hall is a busy working building and the venue for a wide variety of events throughout the year. For this reason, public access to the Town Hall is not always possible and visitors wanting to see the building are advised to make a booking to join a guided tour.
Tours of Sydney Town Hall can be arranged through the Friends of the Town Hall. This group of dedicated volunteers is passionate about the building and its history and enjoy opportunities to share their knowledge with visitors. The Friends are a not-for-profit organisation but the tours they conduct, along with other activities and events generate a small income which is used to conserve items in the Town Hall or to acquire works of art and historical interest for the building.
General tours of the building are conducted after each organ concert. During January and February, additional “spot” tours are available. The Friends also assist with the opening of the Town Hall during Heritage Week, Sydney Open, History Week and other community events.
Group tours of the Town Hall are conducted on demand. They generally commence at 10.30am and can take up to two hours depending on the availability of access to rooms. Groups of up to 30 people are able to be accommodated.
Tours commence in the Lower Ground Vault where visitors are given an overview of the Town Hall and then proceed through the building. The tour route generally includes key areas of the building, including the Centennial Hall, Vestibule, Grand Organ, Council Chambers, Lady Mayoress’s Suite, Lord Mayor’s Reception Room, the former site of the Old Sydney Burial Ground and other interesting features, including the city model in Town Hall house. On rare occasions, some changes to the tour may be necessary if certain locations within the building are in use for events.
During the tours, people with disabilities are able to use the lifts to gain access between the floors, however short lengths of stairways need to be traversed in some instances.
A donation of $5 per person is applied for tours and the funds received are used for specific projects within the building, donated by the Friends of the Town Hall.