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National Archives of Australia

Browse millions of immigration records, photographs and old government files at Australia’s national repository of historical documents. 

The National Archives of Australia was officially formed in 1961 to preserve and promote access to important documents from the country’s history. It holds everything from government legislation to blueprints and patent applications. There’s a series of permanent exhibits as well as frequent special exhibitions, lecture series and workshops. 

Set your mind on a topic and make your way over to a reading room. Search the archives online before you visit and order documents ahead of your arrival. You’ll have access to military records, declassified intelligence, immigration and departure forms, among other documents. 

Be sure to take a look at the permanent exhibits to see some of the archives’ most important and interesting material. Visit the Federation Gallery to learn about the founding of Australia. You’ll see the original Australian Constitution, the Royal Commission of Assent and other documents related to the federation of the six colonies in 1901. Memory of a Nation displays an extensive collection of migration selection documents, photographs and information about influential people, inventions and events. 

Move on to Discovering Mildenhall’s Canberra to admire the photographs taken by W.J. Mildenhall, the photographer commissioned to document the capital’s construction. The Faces of Australia wall features a selection of photographs of people from around the country during the booming post-World War II years. Settle down for a coffee in the café, which contains an exhibition about books once banned in Australia.

The archives also has a constantly changing range of exhibitions on topics as diverse as fashion, anthropology and politics. Check the website for details. 

The National Archives is located on Queen Victoria Terrace, not far from Old Parliament House. There is free two-hour parking in front of the building. For longer visits, pay to park in Federation Mall, a street not far from the archives. ACTION buses from Canberra’s central business district also stop nearby. 

The archives is open every day except national holidays. Admission is free. 


Guide to Exploring around National Archives of Australia


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Lodging Near National Archives of Australia

See all 102 Hotels near National Archives of Australia
$119
Hotel Kurrajong Canberra

Hotel Kurrajong Canberra

8 National Circuit, Barton
4.3
of 5, from 112 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of National Archives of Australia and Old Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia and Parliament House are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$166
Burbury Hotel & Apartments

Burbury Hotel & Apartments

1 Burbury Close, Barton
4.3
of 5, from 247 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Manuka Oval, Old Parliament House, and Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia and National Museum of Australia are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$192
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt

Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt

Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla
4.5
of 5, from 148 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Albert Hall and Old Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia and Parliament House are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$120
Little National Hotel

Little National Hotel

21 National Circuit, Barton
4.4
of 5, from 121 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Capital Hill, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Archives of Australia, Old Parliament House, and Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia and National Museum of Australia are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$92
Brassey Hotel

Brassey Hotel

Belmore Gardens & Macquarie Street, Barton
4.0
of 5, from 97 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Capital Hill, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kingston Shopping Centre, Old Parliament House, and National Gallery of Australia. Parliament House and Australian War Memorial are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$141
Hotel Realm

Hotel Realm

18 National Circuit, Barton
4.2
of 5, from 118 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Archives of Australia, Parliament House, and Old Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia and National Museum of Australia are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$96
Forrest Hotel and Apartments

Forrest Hotel and Apartments

30 National Circuit, Forrest
3.7
of 5, from 201 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Capital Hill, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Manuka Shopping Centre, Parliament House, and Old Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) away.

$90
Rydges Capital Hill

Rydges Capital Hill

Corner Canberra Ave & National Circuit, Forrest
3.8
of 5, from 138 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Capital Hill, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Manuka Shopping Centre, Parliament House, and Old Parliament House. National Gallery of Australia is 1.2 mi (2 km) away.