The National Museum of Australia is devoted to telling stories about Australia and Australians. Even the building has its own story to tell.
Location, opening hours and attractions
The National Museum of Australia is on Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, in Canberra.
We are open from 9am to 5pm every day of the year except Christmas Day.
There is plenty to see and do at the National Museum. Make sure you allow enough time to explore these free attractions:
- Circa – a rotating theatre that presents a 16-minute audiovisual feast of Australian history. Each quadrant seats 27 people; entry is at four-minute intervals.
- Garden of Australian Dreams – an interpretive, interactive, landscaped courtyard accessible from inside the Museum.
- PS Enterprise – a fully restored and operational Murray River paddle-steamer moored at the National Museum on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.
Bookings are essential for all education programs – both paid and teacher-guided. We recommend booking as far in advance as possible. For paid programs, you must book at least two weeks in advance.
Charges apply for education programs – see our education programs page.
To initiate a booking, please request a booking online. We will be in touch to confirm arrangements.
For detailed program information, including availability and procedures, contact the Bookings Officer as follows:
Telephone: (02) 6208 5345
Fax: (02) 6208 5148
Risk managementView our risk management webpage
Frequently asked questions
How much time should we spend at the Museum?
The Museum is a large building with lots to see and do, so if you're teacher-guided, we recommend you plan to stay at least two hours. If you're doing a two-hour facilitated program, you will appreciate an extra hour for free exploration, so you may want to be here for three hours.
Can students bring their bags into the Museum?
To protect the Museum's collection, we do not allow backpacks, food or drink into the gallery areas. We prefer that students leave their bags on the bus. If that is not possible, limited bin space is available. Water and medications may be carried into the galleries in small bags that are available from the cloakroom.
Can students take photographs in the Museum?
Cameras may be used in the galleries, however photography is not permitted in temporary exhibitions.
Is there anywhere to eat at the Museum?
There are ample areas for students to eat their lunch, including the outside decking area, the lake foreshore and – in the event of inclement weather – the Hall. You can pre-order lunches for your students via our Venue Coordinator – phone (02) 6208 5191.
What facilities and services are there for people with disabilities?
We have facilities and services for visitors who have difficulty walking, seeing and hearing – see the full list of access services.
Does the Museum have a shop?
There is a gift shop in the main Hall of the Museum. It has many items that are affordable for most students so they can buy a reminder of their visit.
What if I have another question?
You're welcome to contact us.
The National Museum has a coach and bus parking area close to the main entrance.
Changes to overflow coach parking at the National Museum of Australia
The National Capital Authority has made changes to the overflow coach/bus parking at the National Museum of Australia. The new overflow parking area, formerly on the southern side of Acton Peninsula, has been relocated to Lawson Crescent.
On arrival at the Museum please drop passengers off at the set-down/pick-up area marked on the kerbside. The coach/bus can be parked in one of the six marked parking bays near the Museum (A).
During peak periods there will be increased demand for the parking bays and alternative coach/bus parking will be available on Lawson Crescent adjacent West Basin (B).