The National Museum of Australia

Free experience
The National Museum of Australia

What you can expect

The most comprehensive yet modernly-curated collection of Australia’s history as a continent and a country can be found at Canberra’s National Museum of Australia, chronicling as far back as Indigenous histories and cultures all the way up the modern era. Situated in a picturesque location on the Acton Peninsula and boasting an interesting architectural design in and of itself, the museum tells an in-depth tale of Australia’s national story through a variety of engaging methods. A relatively “young” cultural attraction having opened its doors in 2001, the Museum nevertheless has come to house an impressive collection of both European and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander items, some of which date back as far as 50,000 years. These are highlighted by the largest collection of bark paintings in the world, the oversized, more-than-6kg heart of legendary Australian racehorse Phar Lap, and the entire National Historical Collection consisting of over 200,000 indigenous artefacts obtained since 1980. These indigenous collections ensure that the darker parts of the country’s Aboriginal history are covered faithfully and authentically, posing questions of ethics and the overcoming of adversity in fascinating fashion. This willingness to embrace rather than shun controversial issues and topics helps give the museum a life and authenticity that is often lacking in similar attractions across Australia. The National Museum of Australia is careful to mix these with the country’s earlier colonial years and a number of key moments and trends which defined Australia as a whole, providing an enjoyable cross-section of our country’s past. The building itself is an attraction, with its seemingly random array of colours and themes designed with the intent of reflecting Australia’s own diversity of histories and influences, with an eclectic mix of collections wound together to form a stream of these components that make up Australia all-in-one. It contrasts with its waterfront-and-greenery surrounds wonderfully, making for a combination that has been one of Canberra’s signature panoramas since the building’s completion.


What you need to know

Operating Hours
  • 9am to 5pm daily (closed Christmas Day)
  • Lawson Cres, Acton ACT, 2601
Staggering amount of high-quality curation
Over 200,000 indigenous artefacts
Australia's premier cultural attraction
Architecture and layout itself is worth a visit
Free entry to permanent collections
Excellent blend of technology & history
Experience Oz

We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Custodians of Country and their connections and continuous care for the skies, lands and waterways throughout Australia.