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The National Museum of Australia is where our stories live

The National Museum of Australia is the place to get to know the real, the treasured, the surprising and the inspirational objects from Australian history. It is a place that celebrates Australia’s people and culture of storytelling.

See some of the nation’s most popular and important objects all in one place: from Phar Lap’s heart and the Holden Prototype No.1 to bark paintings and a piece of ochre used by Aboriginal artists over 50,000 years ago.

The Museum tells the story of Australia’s history in five unique galleries: Eternity, Old New Land, Landmarks, First Australians and Australian Journeys.

Museum Highlights


Circa is a multimedia experience for all ages, presented in a rotating theatre. Objects from the Museum’s collection — together with images, sound and music — tell the story of Australia’s history from deep time to the present.


The Eternity gallery brings to life the personal stories of ordinary and extraordinary Australians.

Old New Land

The Old New Land gallery examines Australia’s diverse and unique species and environments by exploring how people have responded and adapted to the land over time.


The Journeys gallery explores the fascinating journeys of people and objects that connect Australia to the world.


The Landmarks gallery is located over two levels and features over 1,500 objects. It explores Australian history since European settlement, through stories of Australian places across the continent.

First Australians

The First Australians gallery is located over two levels and traces the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their spirituality, diversity, identity and survival.

Open Collections

Open Collections takes you behind the scenes to view more than 2,000 objects from the Museum’s Indigenous collections, including many artefacts rarely seen by the public. Open every day for 15 minutes on the hour,  10am – 4pm.

Striking building and architecture

The National Museum of Australia opened in 2001 in a building designed by Melbourne architects Ashton Raggatt McDougall and peckvonhartel, following an international design competition. The building reflects the many intertwined stories that make up Australia’s history. One of these tangled threads is represented in the dramatic orange loop that rises 30 metres above the Museum’s entrance.

The building design won the prestigious Blueprint Architecture Award for the world’s Best New Public Building of the Year in 2001.

Visiting the Museum

The Museum is open 9 am to 5 pm daily (closed Christmas Day) with free general admission to the galleries.

Learn even more about Australia’s stories and history by taking a guided tour with a Museum host — language tours are provided by appointment.

Relax at the Museum’s waterfront café or visit the Museum Shop for a great range of gifts, a comprehensive collection of Australian books, museum-quality arts and crafts, music and children’s items.

Located on Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula in Canberra, the Museum is minutes from the city centre.

For more information on planning your trip to Canberra, visit the Tourism Australia website at or go to