National Museum of Australia

National Museum of Australia

National Museum of Australia
4
Architectural BuildingsHistory Museums
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Discover where Australia’s stories come alive at the National Museum of Australia. Located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, the Museum’s stunning architecture offers visitors an extraordinary place to explore the rich and diverse stories of Australia and its people.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • yazitravels
    Bordeaux, France415 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very big
    Ohh wow, we really didn't expect the museum to be so big. There is a parking however you have to pay to park. There are spaces dedicated to long veihcules. We only paid for an hour. That was before seeing the size of the museum. You definetly need more than an hour to visit. At least 2 hours. Also good for kids.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 May 2023
  • Tamara A
    Glenmore Park, Australia104 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feared and Revered Exhibition
    We visit the NMA each time we come to Canberra. This time it was to see the Feared and Revered exhibition - which is EXCELLENT!!! 10 stars out of 5. The museum itself has changed a bit since we were last there but was lacking anything really new to see (in fact we think there are less displays than our last visit). The rotating theatre is gone, and so is the more kid focused space where your art was put into a computer. Still worth the visit but maybe only if you are seeing an advertised exhibit.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 August 2023
  • Blueliliac
    Canberra, Australia113 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don't miss: Egypt on the shores of Burley Griffin
    We went to the Discovering Ancient Egypt exhibition at the NMA which is going to be in Canberra until 8 September, and agree that it was well worth the visit. The space is well curated, and people with wheelchairs or large prams seemed to be able to move around well. Our tickets were for 1:30 and we left about 2:45. The information signage is very useful/interesting and easy to see. A QR code for the tour (there is also a 'kids tour' version) is just inside the exhibition entry on the left-hand side, we remembered to bring our ipods and were happy to listen to the additional information about the objects - but it's not necessary as the display information is great. The separate space housing mummies is respectfully done and well signposted, if someone wants to skip this part. Don't miss the short curator's video about how the delicate papyrus pages are prepared for travel. We also briefly visited other parts of the museum and were amazed at all the changes! It's much more open and inviting than we remember and we're looking forward to a return visit.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 December 2023
  • Daniel S
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Carlos a hidden gem in this museum
    We were greeted by Carlos in the garden of dreams and he very politely informed us that we could not take drinks into the gallery and explain exactly why, the best was yet to come. For the next 30 minutes Carlos welcomed us and gave us an incredible insight into the museum’s history, architecture and themes that ran throughout the building. We were blown away with this as we would have never realized how much every detail meant something. Nothing was too much for Carlos and he went above and beyond with his incredible knowledge and pleasant personality and made us feel like we were the only guests there that day. Thanks again Carlos :)
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 January 2024
  • Delta Golf
    23 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great place to learn about Australia, really good displays
    I really enjoyed my visit to the National Museum. It was one of the first things I did in Australia. The museum has loads of displays about the country and takes you through Australia's history and different areas. It's a great place to learn about the country with many displays regarding Indigenous peoples, technological innovations, medicine, engineering, architecture and lots of other stuff.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 28 January 2024
  • wombatdavid
    Hobart, Australia2,653 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Egypt was wonderful and see the rest of the museum while there
    I went to see the Egypt exhibition and it was amazing. I visited with a 9am ticket and it was great as there was hardly anyone there. Lovely to see all the artefacts without crowds (like British Musuem for example) but it was pricey at $20 for student and $25 for adult. But for was worth it for the quality of the items shown. The rest of the museum is very interesting. The First Nations galleries are enlightening yet confronting. I assume this is why some the reviews here try and criticise the museum for having a strong Indigenous focus? But isn't that really Ok when contemporary Australia has a 200 year history and Aboriginal nations have a 60,000+ year history? We have a long way to go as a country to grow up.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 11 March 2024
  • nancyolah
    648 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Phenomenal, must see museum!
    The National Museum of Australia is unlike any other museum I’ve visited. The combination of history, science, culture, and ideas are all interwoven with a profound respect for the aboriginal peoples and their culture. The exhibits contain moving real life stories, along with an understanding of the profound impact of climate change on the continent of Australia and our planet. We especially liked the First Australians Gallery and had a fabulous personal tour by Lindsey of the Garden of Australian Dreams and Breathing Space. Lindsey was so friendly and incredibly knowledgeable about what each design element signified - I wouldn’t have understood what I was looking at without his guidance! We spent a very happy six hours at the museum - which also has a great little cafe for lunch. This museum was our favorite site in three lovely days in Canberra!
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 April 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles2,102 reviews
Excellent
1,111
Very good
594
Average
232
Poor
108
Terrible
57

nancyolah
Fort Mill, South Carolina648 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
The National Museum of Australia is unlike any other museum I’ve visited. The combination of history, science, culture, and ideas are all interwoven with a profound respect for the aboriginal peoples and their culture. The exhibits contain moving real life stories, along with an understanding of the profound impact of climate change on the continent of Australia and our planet.

We especially liked the First Australians Gallery and had a fabulous personal tour by Lindsey of the Garden of Australian Dreams and Breathing Space. Lindsey was so friendly and incredibly knowledgeable about what each design element signified - I wouldn’t have understood what I was looking at without his guidance!

We spent a very happy six hours at the museum - which also has a great little cafe for lunch. This museum was our favorite site in three lovely days in Canberra!
Written 6 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lianhualu
China131 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
This was a waste of our $15 parking fee ($3/hour). The museum is divided into galleries and the Landmarks Gallery which contains over 1500 objects, according to the museum website, was closed. The remaining sections of the museum seemed to be organised thematically rather than in historical order. Additionally, there is very little written explanation or context for the items on display. Two examples: There is a small collection of whalebone scrimshaw, but no explanations for those who may not know what it is. There is also a crocodile puppet that was given to a woman who was bitten by a croc - again with no explanation of its value or significance. There are touchscreens and an audio tour which give basic information.

When travelling through regional Australia, our Indigenous people tend to be poorly represented in local museums. On the other hand, the Australian National Museum has a plethora of Indigenous artefacts in every section. Unfortunately, these are quite uninspiring and lack context in many cases.

The building itself is a beautiful piece of architecture and the cafe on the lake is stunning. There are also high-quality touring exhibitions (Egypt at the moment) for which you pay admission and these are definitely worth visiting.

If you have children, there is enough to stimulate their curiousity. As an adult who has visited many museums in Australia and overseas, I am appalled that this is the best we can do.
Written 29 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rohit Gupta Nz
Auckland Central, New Zealand403 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We have been here before. This time we dropped in to have a look at the Egyptian display, on loan from a Dutch Museum. I had gleaned some knowledge from books, documentaries and movies.

And I always wanted to visit Egypt. This was the next best thing. Thoroughly recommended. We didn't take a tour, and we didn't need to book. It may get busy in holidays.
Written 23 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wombatdavid
Hobart, Australia2,653 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
I went to see the Egypt exhibition and it was amazing. I visited with a 9am ticket and it was great as there was hardly anyone there. Lovely to see all the artefacts without crowds (like British Musuem for example) but it was pricey at $20 for student and $25 for adult. But for was worth it for the quality of the items shown.

The rest of the museum is very interesting. The First Nations galleries are enlightening yet confronting. I assume this is why some the reviews here try and criticise the museum for having a strong Indigenous focus? But isn't that really Ok when contemporary Australia has a 200 year history and Aboriginal nations have a 60,000+ year history? We have a long way to go as a country to grow up.
Written 11 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ron M
Menasha, WI430 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
This is one of the best museums I've visited in Australia. From the moment you walk on the grounds to the end...you'll be amazed! The outside exhibits include some interesting artwork (you probably need to read about it or get a volunteer to help you with the interpretation). We did not do the Egyptian exhibit as I've been to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo...but the permanent exhibits give you a LOT to digest. The displays are well lit, easy to understand and are organized via the various regions of Australia. There are some interesting-active things, stuff you can touch, videos to watch, etc. What I thought added a lot was the soundscape. If you are in the coastal regions you see and hear whales. If you are in a rain forest area you hear the birds and wildlife there. Even outside there are soundscapes...very amazing and well done. We encountered a volunteer named Lindsey; he saw us looking at a map and the outdoor display so he came over to give us a suggestion on how to see the remaining exhibits. Afterwards he was watching for us and gave us an impromptu tour of the outside exhibits. The 30 minutes we spent with him were very interesting and informative. We're both veterans (he of the RAAF and me of the USAF) so we had a little bit of a chat about that stuff....my wife was convinced we'd be there all day! We'd told him we were hoping to catch the 2:05 bus and he respected that, shortening up our visit to accomodate us. All in all the facility is great, the staff is very friendly. This is a must-see if you are in Canberra!
Written 26 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Delta Golf
23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Friends
I really enjoyed my visit to the National Museum. It was one of the first things I did in Australia. The museum has loads of displays about the country and takes you through Australia's history and different areas. It's a great place to learn about the country with many displays regarding Indigenous peoples, technological innovations, medicine, engineering, architecture and lots of other stuff.
Written 28 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daniel S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
We were greeted by Carlos in the garden of dreams and he very politely informed us that we could not take drinks into the gallery and explain exactly why, the best was yet to come.
For the next 30 minutes Carlos welcomed us and gave us an incredible insight into the museum’s history, architecture and themes that ran throughout the building. We were blown away with this as we would have never realized how much every detail meant something.
Nothing was too much for Carlos and he went above and beyond with his incredible knowledge and pleasant personality and made us feel like we were the only guests there that day.
Thanks again Carlos :)
Written 20 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IntrepidVoyager2016
Milton Keynes, UK7 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
I've visited this museum a few times now and it just gets more disappointing. It's basically divided into three areas; indigenous artefacts, the land (mainly more indigenous history) and modern artefacts but the modern artefacts section is currently closed so it was pretty much just indigenous artefacts when we visited.
I stress the use of the word 'artefacts' as the museum exhibits mainly random artefacts without any timeline and often without any historical context so it feels like its really just a large lost property warehouse at times.
As locals we normally only visit to use the coffee shop (great views) or to see visiting exhibitions so it's a while since we did the full walk-though and we were appalled at the extent to which the museum has started to relect the liberal-left mantra of 'black is good, white is bad'. Our party of family and visiting relatives actually left the museum feeling quite angry and disgusted. One comment was that the museum was intimidating for white people and another was that it felt like one long attack on white people.
Written 14 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Blueliliac
Canberra, Australia113 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
We went to the Discovering Ancient Egypt exhibition at the NMA which is going to be in Canberra until 8 September, and agree that it was well worth the visit. The space is well curated, and people with wheelchairs or large prams seemed to be able to move around well. Our tickets were for 1:30 and we left about 2:45. The information signage is very useful/interesting and easy to see. A QR code for the tour (there is also a 'kids tour' version) is just inside the exhibition entry on the left-hand side, we remembered to bring our ipods and were happy to listen to the additional information about the objects - but it's not necessary as the display information is great. The separate space housing mummies is respectfully done and well signposted, if someone wants to skip this part. Don't miss the short curator's video about how the delicate papyrus pages are prepared for travel.

We also briefly visited other parts of the museum and were amazed at all the changes! It's much more open and inviting than we remember and we're looking forward to a return visit.
Written 20 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew R
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
I've gone to my country's museum expecting to see something on how Australia developed over the ages; instead there was a mismatched wishwash of some 20th century stuff. Extra kudos to the 2014 painting hanging upstairs - I'm honestly unsure how that was judge to be historic and worthy of being in a museum?
Written 12 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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