Guided Tours using OpenAccess Tours

Tours of Sydney Town Hall are now accessible for people who are Deaf or have a hearing impairment using OpenAccess Tours. OpenAccess Tours is a smartphone app which provides video content in Australian sign language (Auslan) with text captions. The app provides a unique experience by making the common audio guide accessible for people who are Deaf or have a hearing impairment. How to use OpenAccess Tours:

  1. Book a tour of Sydney Town Hall.
  2. Use your own smartphone and download the app from the ‘App Store’ or ‘Google Play Store’ or when you book your tour of Sydney Town Hall, ask us to lend you a phone to use during your tour.
  3. At each location you visit, scan the unique Quick Response (QR) Code on your smartphone device.
  4. The relevant Auslan video and captions will appear on your device. You can choose a text only version or audio version of the tour information.
  5. Repeat the scanning process for each location to retrieve the relevant content.

There are three phones available for loan, however larger groups can book a tour and bring their own additional phones.

The videos below provide information about Sydney Town Hall in Auslan (with text captioning). There is also an audio version available. These videos were produced for the OpenAccess Tour of Sydney Town Hall.

If you would like to visit Sydney Town Hall and do a tour using OpenAccess Tours please make a booking

Sydney Town Hall


Sydney Town Hall was built between 1868 and 1889 and is made of Sydney sandstone which has a distinctive honey colour. The sandstone was quarried in Pyrmont and carved by stonemasons who created the many columns and decorative features on the outside.

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Regarded as one of the most significant Victorian interiors in Australia, the Vestibule is a lavish combination of crisply detailed plasterwork inspired by Neo-classical and Moorish architecture.

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Plaque commemorating the completion of the finial of the clocktower, 26 April 1873 Photo Greg Piper


The City has traditionally commemorated significant events in Sydney by creating large plaques which are installed on the walls inside Sydney Town Hall.

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Centennial Hall

Treasured as one of the grandest surviving 19th century halls in Australia, the Centennial Hall was completed in 1889 in honour of the centenary of the founding of Australia.

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Sydney Town hall Grand Organ

Grand Organ

This huge instrument dominates Centennial Hall and was installed in 1890. The Organ features over 9,000 pipes and has recently undergone a major renovation to improve the quality of the sound

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Northern Crush Room

This room was designed to reduce the pressure on the corridors when people were arriving and leaving Centennial Hall, which is why it is called a Crush Room. The floor is made up of hundreds of pieces of mosaic tiles. In the centre is the early coat of arms of Council.

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Lady Mayoress's Rooms

Lady Mayoress’s Room

Due recognition for the status of the Mayoress and the importance of her contribution was acknowledged in the creation of a special suite of rooms for her use in the 1890s.

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Council Chambers

Council Chambers

Sydney Town Hall is the official 'home' of the Council of the City of Sydney, the local government authority responsible for administering the affairs of the City of Sydney.

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Cook Window

North Stairwell

The stained glass window features Lieutenant Captain Cook who came to Sydney in 1770 in his ship, Endeavour.

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North Portraits

Sydney Town Hall has a large collection of portraits of Mayors and Lord Mayors who have served the City.

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South Stairwell

The South Stairwell is dominated by another large stained glass window which features a figure of a woman who represents the colony of New South Wales and celebrates the centenary of New South Wales in 1888.

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Queen Victoria by Georg Koberwein, 1872 after Franz Winterhalter 1859 oil on canvas. Sydney Town Hall Collection 88-251 Photo Greg Piper

South Portraits

One of the most interesting portraits in Sydney Town Hall is the large painting of Queen Victoria which hangs in the Southern Stairwell.

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Sandstone headstone fragment from a memorial to Elizabeth Steel, convict, died 1795, excavated from below Sydney Town Hall in 1991 Sydney Town Hall Collection 04-016 Photo Greg Piper


Did you know Sydney Town Hall is built on an old cemetery? The site was cleared in 1868 so Sydney Town Hall could be built. The headstone of Elizabeth Steel, the first known person with a hearing impairment in Australia, is preserved here.

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