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Ned Kelly @ Madame Tussauds
Darling Harbour, Sydney
Lisa Kapitein
April 2012

Recently I took a trip to the Madame Tussauds to visit Ned's waxwork. It was a lovely day in Sydney, being sunny but cool. Darling Harbour, where the museum is located, is a very nice part of Sydney with the old fashioned looking walkways and piers, so it was a good place to sit near the water and watch things happening around the harbour while we waited for the museum to open. Just before 9am the doors opened and we lined up with everyone else to get our ticket.

Inside, the museum is set out well, though it is smaller than I thought it would be. The waxwork of Ned is pretty close to the entrance and is one of the first ones you come to around the corner. They have done him extremely well.

He is standing there proudly with one hand on his hip, and it was great to see they have him wearing his green sash. The rest of his outfit looks wonderful too being grey trousers, dark grey coat, a light green waistcoat over a white shirt (too bad it didn't have black polka dots) and boots.

Like the real Ned he looks very handsome and is nice and tall. His hair and beard look fantastic also, with his hair being lovely and dark and brushed/curled up nicely in front, and his beard and moustache have a nice dark red colour through them. They have his eyebrows dark and heavy looking also, with the colouring of his eyes (which look lovely and twinkly) and face looking really great.

While the waxwork is instantly recognisable as being of Ned, I do tend to think that there is just something which is not quite exactly Ned. It could possibly be the way they have done his lips? But I'm not sure.

If I were to be a little picky again, it might be that they have him just a little bit on the skinny side, that he might not quite look as very strongly built as Ned does in all his photographs. BUT ,in saying that I am not at all knocking the waxwork of Ned, as I think he looks absolutely brilliant! It is really terrific to walk in and see him there, as he looks incredibly real.

The suit of Ned's armour (which stands next to him at his height) looks amazing too, also (for those of us on the shorter side) there are a couple of steps behind the armour which you can stand on and have a look through the helmet. The whole Ned exhibit looks very good indeed, with him standing outside the Inn and you can hear gun shots in the background.

For some reason though there is a big picture on the wall of what looks to be a convict ship on the water (?) in the distance. A railway track and a train would have looked better, but anyway.

In a funny little coincidence the waxwork next to Ned's is of Sir Henry Parkes standing at his desk reading some letters, and I wondered if one was the letter Ned sent to him in 1879.

Almost all the other waxworks in the museum are of other well known Australians (from history, film, tv, sport, music, etc) with some International people among them. They all look so unbelievably real that it is almost creepy walking past them. I think though that the waxwork of Ned is by far the best and most interesting one.

I would definitely recommend a visit to Madame Tussauds, the people working there were all very nice and friendly, and taking photos of the waxworks is more than welcome and is encouraged. You are even allowed to pose with them, touch them and put your arm around them if you want.

So before we left I couldn't resist and I gave Ned a hug.


Ned Kelly at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
Ned Kelly at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
Ned Kelly at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
While not everyone wants to read about Ned Kelly or the ANZACs or even The Great Depression, we hope they want to learn something about Australian History. From the ex-Prime Minister John Howard to a confused ex-NSW Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt (see the ex-pattern here?) a number of politicians have jumped on the teaching history bandwagon. But at what cost? From Right Wing Liberals to the multitude of State Governments, seems everyone has an agenda. We'd like to let the readers decide what is worth learning. Here at we present the facts, the fiction and everything in between. It all adds to the experience and hopefully makes History an exciting place to be while also proving it needn't always have to be written by the victors.
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Australian Son by Max Brown

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Ellen: a woman of spirit
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Ned: the Exhibition
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