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The Museum's Tim and Gina Fairfax Discovery Centre is a fun, immersive play space for children aged 0 to 6 years.

Daily sessions (75 minutes)

9.15am, 10.45am, 12.15pm, 2pm, 3.30pm
Bookings are essential

Cost

$15 for one adult and one child
$10 per additional child
$5 per additional adult

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The Discovery Centre tells five stories from Australian history, each one encouraging different types of play.

Friends play free

Entry is free for all adults and children with Friends memberships.

Friends will also enjoy discounts on selected Discovery Centre programs and events.

Promotional image with a smiling woman and girl against a purple background.

26–30 September and 4–7 October 2022, 10am–1pm
Join us at the Museum these school holidays for fun art and craft in our brand new workshop. Imagine, create, explore and experiment with a range of different materials. Costs apply. Bookings essential.

Book tickets

Discovery Centre 1:58

Explore Discovery Centre stories

Discover the five stories through hands-on and immersive activities, virtual storytelling, animation and imaginative play.

Three children sit and talk in a large cushioned pod

Pretend to be a joey in a pouch

In our quiet reading area, children can snuggle up and pretend to be a joey in a soft, warm pouch.

They can choose books from our library or listen to the story of Wambuwuny the grey kangaroo.

The space includes three large pods, the grassland bunker and a secret nook.

Squeeze through the woolly rollers

Meet Chris, the world’s woolliest sheep. He was lost in the bush for about five years before he was found, rescued and shorn.

No one really knows what Chris got up to on his adventure but children can imagine what he might have done when they set off on their own journey, wandering through the bush maze and squeezing through woolly rollers.

Children can make their way to the shearing shed where they can create patterns on the giant knitting board before sliding down the shearing chute and onto the next adventure.

Did you know?

The fleece from Chris the sheep holds the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s heaviest sheep fleece, weighing 41.1 kilograms! See it on display in our Landmarks gallery.

Learn more about the world's woolliest sheep.

Discover the story of Gelam, a boy who became a dugong

Learn the Torres Strait Islander creation story of Gelam, a boy who transformed into a dugong.

Children can help baby turtles make the hazardous journey from their nests to the ocean.

Sit on the ocean floor and watch as different sea creatures travel past. Build a fish trap or collect and sort shells before your next nautical adventure – with Matthew Flinders' cat, Trim.

Sail the high seas with Trim the cat

Trim was a cat who sailed around Australia with Matthew Flinders.

In this space you'll find ropes to climb, a wheelchair-accessible rocking deck, telescopes, a ship’s wheel and an upper deck to explore.

Children playing amongst digital projections of sea life in the Discovery Centre.

Play dress-ups in the billabong

The bunyip is a legendary Australian creature. In the billabong, children can use a range of a range of dress-ups – tails, wings, fins, scales and furs – and become their own mythical creature.

Frolic under the big trees, watch the shadowy projections and listen to the sounds of the water, frogs and animals.

Plan your visit

  • The Discovery Centre is designed for intergenerational learning. Children must be supervised by their adult carers at all times.
  • Children’s shoes must be taken off before entering the designated play space. Socks can remain on.
  • Photography is permitted for personal use only. Please be mindful of the privacy of others.
  • Food and drinks can be consumed in the Cafe, Garden of Australian Dreams and the Discovery Centre foyer. To protect the collection of objects, food and drinks are not permitted within the galleries and in the Discovery Centre play space.
  • A parents room is available with change tables, microwave and a children’s toilet. Breastfeeding is welcome in the space and all areas of the Museum.
  • Personal items should not be left unattended. Lockers are available at no charge. The Museum is not liable for lost or stolen property.
  • The Museum reserves the right to cancel at any time. In the event that we must cancel, we will issue a refund.
  • If you are feeling unwell, please stay at home. Email us at information@nma.gov.au to organise a ticket refund.
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