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  • 9am–5pm
  • Free general admission
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Daily sessions (75 minutes)

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


$10 per child
$5 per adult
$30 for a family ticket (2 adults and 3 children or one adult and 4 children)

Children must be supervised by an adult

Book now

The Museum's Tim and Gina Fairfax Discovery Centre is a fun, immersive play and learn space for children of all abilities from birth to 6 years.

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 also enjoy discounts on some Discovery Centre events and programs.


Story time

Enjoy free 15-minute story time sessions in the workshop next to the Discovery Centre.
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10.30am during ACT school term. Drop-in, places are limited.

Mini makers

Explore art, science and games through hands-on learning and play in the mini makers corner.
Daily, free with valid entry to the Discovery Centre.

Event Discovery Centre quiet hours Time: 3.30pm–4.45pm Ticket information: Costs apply Ticket information: Book tickets

First Tuesday of the month
Explore the Tim and Gina Fairfax Discovery Centre in a quiet hours session for visitors who prefer a quieter experience. These sessions offer reduced noise and sensory experiences.

Discovery Centre workshop

The workshop hosts a range of programs offered throughout the year and during the school holidays. Sign up to our eNews to stay up-to-date on all Discovery Centre programs and events.

Discovery Centre workshop

Talented tales

Ages 3–9, 2 hours, $15 (includes entry to the Discovery Centre)

Experience the joy and wonder of stories with award-winning children’s book authors and illustrators from around Australia.

Discover and Do

Ages 3–5, 1 hour, $12

Young learners will discover a world of art, music, movement and sensory play in our Discover and Do sessions.

School age care group programs

Ages 5–12, 1 hour, $15

After a guided tour of our new Great Southern Land gallery, children will explore their own stories through expressive art techniques.

Join Museum Friends to receive discounts on programs and enjoy free entry to the Tim and Gina Fairfax Discovery Centre. Bookings essential.

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 the grassland bunker, a secret nook and several large pods, one of which is wheelchair accessible.

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 or wheeling 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.

A child plays in the Discovery Centre play space at the National Museum of Australia.

Try out the wheelchair-accessible rocking deck

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

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 dress-ups in the Bunyip Billabong area of the Discovery Centre

Play dress-ups in the bunyip billabong

The bunyip is a legendary Australian creature. In the billabong, children can use 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 Discovery Centre visit

  • This space 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 or in the 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 to organise a ticket refund.

The Discovery Centre strives to be an accessible space for all children and their carers. For more information contact or see the Discovery Centre visual story or the Museum's information on accessibility.

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