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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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National Museum of Australia

Explore the vast collection of Aboriginal art and artefacts, learn about the country’s colonial past, and see maps, vehicles, weapons and jewellery. 

The National Museum of Australia documents and interprets the country’s history. It occupies an enormous multicoloured building designed to reflect the different stories of Australia’s past and present. The museum holds thousands of items across dozens of exhibits. They cover everything from Aboriginal history to gold mining, immigration and industrial growth. 

The indigenous halls have artefacts from Aboriginal communities across the country. There are stone tools from past millennia, shields, boomerangs and carved axes. You’ll also see famous artworks from the Papunya region, goods exchanged between European settlers and native people and significant items from recent indigenous history.

In the exhibits documenting the exploration of Australia you’ll get to look at maps from the time when there was only speculation about a southern continent. See a cannon thrown overboard from Captain Cook’s ship in the 18th century and read up on inland expeditions. 

Check out the huge range of colonial artefacts, including convict tokens, old furniture and weapons. There are gems like a document written by infamous highwayman Ned Kelly and the last pair of duelling pistols ever used in the country. 

The agriculture and environment sections feature exhibits about rural life, while the country’s engineering feats are on show in the industrial galleries. The museum is also home to a great collection of vintage cars and one of the world’s oldest functioning paddle steamers. Take a break in the Garden of Australian Dreams, a garden built around a massive, to-scale map of a region in Central Australia. 

History buffs should attend one of the frequent lecture series or a special exhibition. Check the museum’s website for details. 

The National Museum of Australia is on the Acton Peninsular, about two kilometres (1.5 miles) southwest from Canberra’s central business district. It’s open every day except Christmas Day. Admission is free, and guided tours are available for a small fee. There is free parking on-site for four hours. ACTION buses from Canberra’s central business district service the museum.


Guide to Exploring National Museum of Australia


Top National Museum of Australia Flight & Hotel Packages

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See all 253 properties near National Museum of Australia
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt AU$258
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt

Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt

Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla, ACT
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Albert Hall, National Gallery of Australia and Parliament House. Commonwealth Park and National Convention Centre are also within 2 miles (3 km).

    Novotel Canberra AU$132
    Novotel Canberra

    Novotel Canberra

    65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Canberra City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Canberra Museum and Gallery and Canberra Centre. Australian National University and National Convention Centre are also within 15 minutes.

      Crowne Plaza Canberra AU$138
      Crowne Plaza Canberra

      Crowne Plaza Canberra

      1 Binara Street, Canberra, ACT
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Canberra City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Glebe Park and National Convention Centre. Canberra Centre and Commonwealth Park are also within 15 minutes.

        Deco Hotel AU$126
        Deco Hotel

        Deco Hotel

        214 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, ACT
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Braddon, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra Centre and Australian National University. National Convention Centre and Australian War Memorial are also within 2 miles (3 km).

          QT Canberra AU$186
          QT Canberra

          QT Canberra

          London Circuit, Canberra, ACT
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Canberra City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lake Burley Griffin, Australian National University and National Convention Centre. Commonwealth Park and Canberra Centre are also within 1 mile (2 km).

            Burbury Hotel & Apartments AU$166
            Burbury Hotel & Apartments

            Burbury Hotel & Apartments

            1 Burbury Close, Canberra, Barton, ACT
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Manuka Oval, Parliament House and National Gallery of Australia. Commonwealth Park and National Convention Centre are also within 3 miles (5 km). Kingston Canberra Station is 26 minutes by foot.

              Ovolo Nishi AU$212
              Ovolo Nishi

              Ovolo Nishi

              25 Edinburgh Ave, Canberra, ACT
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Canberra City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lake Burley Griffin, Australian National University and Commonwealth Park. National Museum of Australia and National Convention Centre are also within 1 mile (2 km).

                Quest Canberra City Walk AU$106
                Quest Canberra City Walk

                Quest Canberra City Walk

                240 City Walk, Canberra, ACT
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Canberra City Centre, this luxury aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Glebe Park, Canberra Centre, and National Convention Centre. Commonwealth Park and Australian National University are also within 1 mile (2 km).