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Planning your visit

Access

Access programs and services

The National Museum of Australia is devoted to telling stories about Australia and Australians. Even the building has its own story to tell.

Introduction to the Museum video

Opening hours

The National Museum of Australia is open 9am to 5pm daily, closed Christmas Day. The Museum Shop is open weekdays 10am to 5pm and weekends/public holidays 9am to 5pm.

Getting here

The National Museum of Australia is located on Acton Peninsula on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, just a short drive south-west of the city centre. Access is via Lawson Crescent, Acton.

Parking

  • Please note that pay parking applies at the Museum as of Wednesday 1 October 2014.
  • The cost of parking is $2.50 per hour for short-stay spaces (those closest to the Museum); $12.00 per day for long-stay spaces.
  • Pay parking applies 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
  • It does not apply to motorbikes or accessibility parking spaces.
  • The National Capital Authority has introduced pay parking at the Museum and some other national cultural institutions in Canberra to prioritise spaces for visitors.
  • Maps on where pay parking applies in Canberra can be found on the NCA website.
Map with directions to the National Museum of Australia

Google map indicating the location of the National Museum of Australia on Acton Peninsula

View larger Google map

 

National Museum of Australia
Lawson Crescent
Acton Peninsula
Canberra ACT 2601

Freecall 1800 026 132
Tel +61 2 6208 5000
Fax +61 2 6208 5148
information@nma.gov.au

Local bus services

  • Action bus number 7 operates to the National Museum on weekdays and number 934 on the weekends. For route and timetable information and fares visit the Action website.  
  • The Explorer Bus offers a tour bus service to tourist attractions in the national capital. For route and timetable information and fares visit the Canberra Day Tours website.

Cycling

Walking

  • Enjoy a walk to the National Museum from the city on the bicycle/walking paths along the northern shore of Lake Burley Griffin.
  • A map of walking paths can be found on the ACT Planning and Land Authority website.

Admission

  • General admission to the National Museum of Australia and our permanent galleries is free.
  • Some national and international temporary exhibitions and some special programs have a charge.
  • For further information on admission charges to special programs and exhibitions, or to make a booking, please contact the bookings office.
    Tel: +61 2 6208 5021
    Email: bookings@nma.gov.au

Conditions of entry

To help us protect our displays and exhibitions from damage, we ask visitors to observe the following conditions of entry to the National Museum:

  • Items where any one side is larger than 30cm such as bags, backpacks, umbrellas, baby backpack carriers, tripods and monopods are not permitted in the exhibition areas. Free storage is available in the Hall cloakroom.
  • Food and drink are not permitted in exhibition areas.
  • The National Museum building is smoke-free. A Visitor Services Host can direct you to the closest designated smoking area if required.
  • Photography is permitted in permanent galleries for private purposes only, using hand-held equipment. Photography and filming of objects on loan and temporary exhibitions is not allowed. Labels state whether an object is from the National Museum of Australia's collection or elsewhere.
  • Trained, registered and visibly identifiable guide, hearing and other assistance dogs are welcome to visit the Museum when accompanied by their handler. Please view the Assistance Animal Access Guidelines and Procedures for further information.

Keeping safe when visiting

Your responsibilities

The Museum as a public facility reminds you that you are responsible for the direct supervision of children in your care. We encourage families (especially those with young children) to stay together at all times. The Museum is best experienced as a family and there are some topics (such as the Stolen Generations) that you may want to interpret or explain to your child. There are also some areas of the Museum, including Kspace and Circa where, for safety reasons, children may not be permitted without adult supervision.

Before you visit:

  • Tell your children that the Museum is a big place and that they need to stay with you at all times.
  • Make a plan in case you are separated – ensure you and your child can describe each other accurately (name, clothing or distinguishing feature).

When you arrive:

  • Point out the Visitor Services staff to your children and encourage them to seek their assistance if required. Visitor Services staff are trained to reunite children who are lost/found in a swift, discrete and professional manner.
  • If you have a child/children who tend to wander off write your mobile telephone number on the child or give it to them. Visitor Services staff can then call you if required.

For families with older children:

  • Make a plan – where to meet and what time
  • Encourage older children to stay together at all times.
  • Make sure they know or have your mobile telephone number.

General tips for safety:

  • Walk (don't run) – the Museum's visitors include a range of age groups and abilities, walking will ensure the safety of both your children and other visitors.
  • Signs – you'll see a range of safety signs posted at the Museum, please follow their advice
  • Staff requests – our Visitor Services staff may make requests or give you directions from time to time, please follow their requests.

Cloakroom services

We provide a cloakroom service to store your bags and items during your visit (see our Conditions of entry above):

  • Small bags to carry essential items are available for free loan from the cloakroom. You will need to provide and leave contact information and identification when borrowing this item. Numbers are limited.
  • Free stroller loans are available from the cloakroom. These are suitable for babies and young children up to 17kg. You will need to provide and leave contact information and identification when borrowing this item. Numbers are limited.
    Reservations: Tel +61 2 6208 5110
  • Free wheelchair and motorised scooter loans are also available. You will need to provide and leave contact information and identification when borrowing these items. Numbers are limited. Although not necessary, we suggest booking 24 hours in advance.
    Reservations: Tel +61 2 6208 5110

Parenting facilities

The National Museum offers a number of facilities for visitors with young children:

  • A comfortable and fully equipped parenting room is available for visitors with small children. Facilities include private and comfortable seating, changing and washing facilities and a microwave.
  • The parenting room includes a comfortable place for breastfeeding, however breastfeeding is welcome in all areas of the Museum.
  • Baby-changing facilities are also available in disabled toilets located throughout the National Museum.
  • We have strollers for babies and young children that can be used at the National Museum during your visit. Strollers are available at the cloakroom.
  • The National Museum has lifts throughout the building for easy accessibility within the galleries.
  • Highchairs are available in the spacious eating area in the Hall.

Access programs and services

The Museum offers a range of services to allow our diverse audience access to the National Museum's exhibitions and services:

  • Disabled parking facilities are available close to the Museum's main entrance.
  • Free hire of wheelchairs and motorised scooters. You will need to provide contact information and identification when borrowing these items. Numbers are limited. Although not necessary, we suggest booking 24 hours in advance.
    Reservations: Tel +61 2 6208 5110
  • All Museum areas are accessible by lift or ramp.
  • Each lift has an audible voice message indicating the direction the lift is heading and the gallery level.
  • Personalised hearing loops for all guided tours.
  • Hearing induction loops in our theatre spaces, the Information Desk and Cloakroom.
  • If you are deaf, hearing or speech impaired you can call the Museum through the National Relay Service:
    - TTY 1800 555 677 or
    - Speak and Listen call 1800 555 727 or
    - internet relay and ask for 1800 026 132.
  • Large print or tactile National Museum map and guide to the Garden of Australian Dreams available for free loan.
  • Audio non-bank ATM available (fees apply). 
  • Trained, registered and visibly identified Assistance Animals are welcome to visit the Museum when accompanied by their handler. Please view the Assistance Animal Access Guidelines and Procedures for further information.
  • Discounts for concession card holders.
  • Discounts for carers.
  • Guided tours and talks are available in a range of languages.
  • Access programs for people with a disability

The National Museum can tailor services to best suit your needs and we encourage you to contact us to discuss your requirements before your visit. Advance bookings are essential to help us best meet your needs. For more information telephone 1800 026 132.

Food and shopping

Visitors can purchase food and drinks from the Museum Cafe.

At the Museum Shop you'll find unusual homewares, arts and crafts, gourmet treats and more – unique, surprising and at prices to suit every budget.

The Museum has an ATM (automated teller machine) for the convenience of visitors.

Find out more about food and shopping at the National Museum. 

Schools

We provide a range of education programs linked to the Australian Curriculum. Find out more about planning a school visit or if you are ready, request a group booking online.

Group visits

The National Museum welcomes group visits. Gain a great introduction to the National Museum on a guided tour with one of our knowledgeable Visitor Services Hosts. Fees apply, and incudes discounts at our café Cuiseum and the Museum Shop. Bookings are essential. We also offer groups guided tours in languages such as Greek, Japanese, Mandarin, Laotian, Thai, Filipino, Hindi, Ourdo, Dari and Farsi but you need to book and costs apply.

Group bookings:

Tel +61 2 6208 5021 (Monday to Friday)
Fax +61 2 6208 5148
Email: bookings@nma.gov.au

Coach parking

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).

A map for overflow coach parking at the National Museum of Australia.

Visiting Canberra

All Australians are reflected in their nation's capital, Canberra. The city's national attractions care for and share the treasures of our nation, from Australia's proud sporting achievements and our unique political history, to Australian characters portrayed through sound and film, books and exhibitions. Canberra is full of fantastic experiences for visitors. Set within leafy surrounds, this modern city offers fun for the kids, a busy calendar of events and festivals, as well as stylish restaurants, bars and shops.

For more information about Canberra and the surrounding region including location details, facts and figures, how to get here and how to see the nation's capital go to — www.visitcanberra.com.au — or call the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre on + 61 2 6205 0044 (from outside Australia) or 1300 554 114 (Australia).

Client Service Charter

The National Museum of Australia welcomes and values your feedback to ensure that we continue to improve and provide quality services. Please complete a Client Service Charter if you have any comments.

Related links

The Museum building