Over the years we’ve visited the Museum of Fire many times. When BJ was younger he loved the rides in the fire truck but as he grew it became too difficult for me to get him up into the cabin of the fire engines. The Museum of Fire is an attraction that I feel often gets overlooked, and yet it holds a wealth of history. Kids just love the range of fire engines on display and the interactive Junior Firefighter Zone is always a hit. We love that the Museum of Fire is such a great accessible Sydney attraction.
MUSEUM OF FIRE – ACCESSIBLE SYDNEY
The Museum of Fire is a not for profit charitable organisation. It is run by current and retired firefighters of all ranks and this is no doubt why it is such a wonderful reflection of the history of the fire service. Many of the items from the Museum’s extensive heritage collection are listed on the State Heritage Register and the museum is entrusted with ensuring their preservation and security.
The Museum of Fire really is an attraction for all. History buffs and adults with an interest in the fire service will find plenty of interesting facts. BJ is never keen on lingering in one spot so I only read snippets of history as we made our way around. From the historic engines which have been lovingly restored and preserved to the information boards recounting the early beginnings of the fire brigade in Sydney, you’re sure to learn something.
The first mention of fire engines in Sydney dates back to 1822 when a chimney fire occurred in the military barracks. At that time Sydney’s fire protection was provided in various ways including individual insurance companies, a City Council Brigade and many volunteer services. It wasn’t until 1884 that a Metropolitan Fire Brigade was formed.
The Museum of Fire’s education isn’t restricted to the history of the fire service, there’s plenty of practical information about fire prevention and what to do in case of a fire. The displays offer great conversation prompts for families regarding fire safety.
While adults may be content reading the informative displays, kids love the interactive elements of the accessible Junior Firefighters Zone.
We love the accessibility offered with ramps and easy access to four of the five fire engine cabins in this area. Kids, and big kids at heart, can wheel or walk into the fire engine and take command of the drivers seat and let their fire fighter imaginations run wild.
There’s room within the fire engine to stay in a wheelchair or to transfer to one of the seats.
To add to the authenticity of the experience, fire jackets are provided for dress up. BYO fire hat if you have one, or they are available to purchase from the gift shop.
Puzzles and other hands on activities are provided to keep the kids entertained and engaged.
Retro Fireman Sam plays on a TV screen so be warned adults, you’ll likely have the theme song stuck in your head for the rest of the day!
A popular attraction at the Museum of Fire is the little coin operated rides. You know the ones you hope your kids won’t see at the shopping centre? The entry price is so reasonable into the museum I suggest taking a bag full of coins and splurging. Your little one will thank you for it and no doubt the money made on the rides helps pay for the maintenance of the museum.
One of the most popular activity is no doubt the opportunity to ride in a vintage fire truck around the grounds of the Museum of Fire. The rides are offered in a genuine Ford D200 fire engine, a truck used in many country NSW towns during the 1960s. Rides cost an additional $3 per person at the time of writing. The rides are usually offered on weekends and school holidays but are subject to the availability of a volunteer to drive the engine. It’s best to contact the museum in advance to check when the rides are operating.
MUSEUM OF FIRE ACCESSIBILITY
One of the reasons we enjoy going to the Museum of Fire is the easy access it provides. The museum is all on one level. Automatic doors allow easy entry, wide aisles and concrete floors make moving around easy and smooth. A unisex stand alone accessible bathroom is available inside the museum and outside in the picnic grounds. The bathroom outside the museum has a larger stall. Parking is available and free onsite. Picnic grounds and a playground are available for visitors to use but neither is accessible with the picnic benches raised.
All computers are fitted out for disabled access with touch screens and switch adapted mice with trackballs.
The Junior Firefighters Challenge is available to download for free prior to arriving at the museum (there is no WIFI at the museum). The app is designed for those aged between 8-16 who have ever wondered what it takes to be a firefighter. Download the izi.TRAVEL app for free to access the Museum of Fire’s self-guided audio tour on your smart device.
HWWT TIP – with high ceilings and a concrete floor, it can be cold in the museum in the winter months. Pack an extra layer to make sure you stay warm. In summer this is the perfect place to escape the heat.
The Australian Companion Card is not accepted for free admission but a concession is offered for carers and for a person with a disability. It was $18 total for BJ and I to visit. For more information about the Museum of Fire and current admission prices head to their website.
We suggest combining a visit to the museum with a picnic, or at least a walk along the Nepean River. A few minutes drive from the Museum of Fire is Jamieson Street which leads to the Nepean River, where you can do the Great River Walk. This is a lovely accessible walk with a picnic area which even has a wheelchair accessible picnic bench.
Accessible parking and a unisex stand alone accessible toilet is available. Please note a MLAK Key is needed to access the bathroom in the park.