National Museum of Australia

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Canberra, Australia
(02) 6208 5000

National Museum of Australia Canberra Reviews

yadilitta yadilitta
723 reviews
Learning about Australian history @ National Museum of Australia Feb 24, 2011
Australia is a young country, furthermore its history is not very well known overseas; therefore I couldn't refuse the opportunity of learning more about it when I was in Canberra and there wasn't a better way to do it than visiting the impressive National Museum of Art.

First of all, the entrance is free! So, not having money is no excuse. The building is big, so you will need some time to visit it. Take your time and enjoy the different exhibitions including the gardens. The museum is located in a peninsula and the surroundings are gorgeous, as well as the sculptures at the entrance.

The staff is very helpful and will ask you if you need help. It's not necessary to have a guide, just grab a map and follow it. Start visiting the main building but do not forget to visit the First Australians Gallery, where you will learn more about the Aboriginals and their role in todays society.

If you are in Canberra, take some time to visit the museum and learn a bit more about the new and beautiful Oz
arriving to the museum
cool work art
nice work art
modern loby
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Makybedon says:
Thank you Yadi for the nice review of our museum :)
Posted on: Dec 31, 2012
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williamsworld williams…
275 reviews
A vibrant visual feast Jun 03, 2011
I have to say I found the museum a bit unusual. My friends suggested that I take a few hours to visit and I wouldn’t say that I was disappointed, but a little bit confused. They have a lot of stuff to look at but I felt like it was trying to skim across the top of too many topics. The museum was designed and modeled after a ball of string. I learned that the architect cut a ball of string in half and designed it from the inside out. The concept of all the vibrant colors, shapes and angles offer a visual feast unexpected.

The admission is free unless you chose a $7.50 guided tour. I am not too sure I would recommend the tour because they whisk you around at breakneck speed taking virtually nothing in. The man who led my tour did give me some pretty good information but he was constantly looking at his watch. I did go back and explore for myself and I would suggest that you just go about on your own.

I really don't 'get' this museum. There seemed to be very little about Australia but a lot of trendy stuff that just seemed ... at times, confusing.

I would have preferred more depth and explanation on fewer topics. Everything is a novelty the first time but I am not sure I would do it a 2nd time - the K Zone and the circular picture show. Great. The building looks great and is surprisingly big - you'll do lots of walking and spend quite a bit of time there. I believe just watching a lot of the school kids coming running around was fun. They would play tag and just laugh with each other. The large orange wave out front is interesting. I don’t want to be hard because it was a really nice use of my time. It was cool and clean inside and I did find myself having some fun.

The gift shop is fantastic - covers the full range from the cheapest through to the most expensive top Australian made souvenirs, including Peter Crisp Glassware! I had to purchase quite a few souvenirs and gifts for friends back home.

Also the food services are quite good - Axis Restaurant is one of Canberra’s better, with some seating on the deck over Lake Burley Griffin. The cafe and function catering are quite good. It was OK for me and would suggest that if you are in the area to stop in and take some time to walk around this icon of Canberra.
he large sign that greets all visi…
self portrait
the fog in the morning
that large tapeworm, I mean wave o…
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Adrian_Liston Adrian_L…
156 reviews
The museum of Australiana Jan 11, 2009
I'm not really a big fan of the National Museum of Australia. I guess I have ideas of what a museum should look like that carry over from visiting Adelaide Museum as a child. I expect to walk under a model of a Blue Whale and then past reconstructed dinosaur skeletons to see interesting animals and artefacts from around the world. The National Museum of Australia has none of that.

It is meant to be a museum dedicated to Australia, but its coverage of pre-European Australia is highly superficial, making it essentially a museum of Australiana (the Holden car, the Hills Hoist clothesline, etc). A visitor in Canberra with a few hours to spend and an interest in Australian culture may enjoy the experience, and there are often very good special exhibits, but otherwise I don't bother to go.

The building itself is quite interesting and worth seeing from a Lake Burley-Griffin cruise. It is designed as a piece of origami (so that the whole building, if unfolded, would make a flat piece of paper) and covered in Braille set high up on the building so that it can't be felt by blind people. Apparently the Braille reads out kitsch Australiana sayings like "she'll be right mate". When it was built it also said things like "sorry" and "forgive us our genocide", but these more noble messages were quietly hidden by the Howard government by placing extra dots to hide the message.
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Sunflower300 says:
Good review Adrian.
Posted on: Jan 12, 2009
yarasil yarasil
36 reviews
Past, present and future of Australia Aug 08, 2008
This is a place to visit if you want to get a sense of the people of Australia. Everything you would want to know about the country, the people, the history and the culture.

And it is free, including parking!

The museum is located just south of the city center of Canberra, the capital city, by the side of the man made Lake Burley.

There are exhibits telling the stories of the aborigine people, the discovery and colonization, the people who built Australia, and their participation in world events.

I found this museum to be very interactive and enjoyable by all ages. My mother and my two nieces aged 8 and 10 all had a great time. It was well worth spending the few hours there…and besides it is free.

(Museum is open 9am to 5pm every day of the year except Christmas Day)
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photo by: Sunflower300