Australian War Memorial

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Treloar Crescent, Canberra, Australia
(02) 6243 4211

Australian War Memorial Canberra Reviews

williamsworld williams…
285 reviews
Must See History Jun 01, 2011
The War Memorial is a must-see when you visit Canberra. It is much bigger than it appears from the outside. The displays are fantastic, with entire WW1 and WW2 planes and Vietnam helicopters on display, as well as most of a midget submarine which invaded Sydney harbour in WW2. I was surprised at how much there was to see just on the outside. Coming from the United States, it gave me a totally different perspective on my country’s role in many of the battles and wars that were fought around the globe. It seems that each country will bring their own spin on what will be the most positive for them. I was glad that the people who put this together included so many of its partners and allies.

The aspect of the descriptions I found most thoughtful is that the enemy soldiers, such as the Turkish during Gallipoli, are not denigrated as evil, they are just men who died defending their homeland. This shows a great deal of respect for all soldiers, not just the Australians. The memorabilia is well presented, with displays set out according to the separate campaigns in which the Australians were involved. Chillingly moving if you think the AWM is just guns, tanks and the usual 'war stuff', you're in for a very unexpected and pleasant surprise when you visit. It sets out to give visitors an idea of Australia's experience of war. Wonderful array of art (paintings, sculptures, photographs), many thousands of objects (such as the Changi quilt) which have their own story and links to Australian history.

The hall of memory, with its tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier is really the commemorate heart of this entire memorial.

The 'Over the Front' exhibition in Anzac Hall is a must see - the 15 minute footage of WW1 aircraft (directed by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame) is really a great piece of work.

There is a small cost to enter and they have plenty of tour guides and people with a lot of know around to help you make your way through this what seems like and endless display of history. One of them told me they don't have a set script and that's why each tour is different, but always entertaining and informative.

The Memorial really gave a sense of Australia's social history too. I enjoyed watching the kids who really loved the Discovery Zone; jumping out of a helicopter, trying out a submarine cabin, seeing their foot turn green with gangrene etc. I am not sure if this wasn’t the best part of the experience.

All of the volunteers were great too. The gift shop was stocked with all kinds of goodies worthy of wrapping up and taking home. The gardens outside offered a pleasant place to enjoy lunch and the long walk back to parliament. But, the walk is made a bit less boring with the interesting historical tidbits along the way.
It was a bit overcast
lots to see all around
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liekevo liekevo
41 reviews
Australian War Memorial Sep 24, 2005
I visited the Australian War Memorial when I was in Canberra. There is also a museum in the building, but we didn't get there until half an hour before it closed so we didn't have enough time to go there. Being there at the end of the day made us see the closing ceremony which was nice to see (a man playing bagpipe). I thought it was nice to see the building, just a shame that we didn't haven enough time to visit the museum too.

Along the street down to the water there are monuments to remember the wars in which the Australians participated.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
liekevo says:
Posted on: Mar 12, 2008
jennjeff1 says:
Kind of feels strange "smiling" at a war memorial so I'll just smile at the pictures that tell the story about this sacred place in Australia.
Posted on: Mar 11, 2008

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