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National Museum of Australia
Vacation Travel Guide

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

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 artifacts 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 artifacts, including convict tokens, old furniture and weapons. There are gems like a document written by infamous highwayman Ned Kelly and the last pair of dueling 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 1.5 miles (two kilometers) 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.

Top Hotels Close to National Museum of Australia

Crowne Plaza Canberra
Crowne Plaza Canberra
4 out of 5
1 Binara Street, Canberra, ACT
The price is $112 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22

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 ...

4.2/5Excellent! (957 reviews)

"Good service, friendly staff. Highly recommended! Thanks"…"

Reviewed on Feb 17, 2021

Crowne Plaza Canberra
QT Canberra
QT Canberra
4 out of 5
1 London Circuit, Canberra, ACT
The price is $102 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22

Located in Canberra City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lake Burley Griffin, Australian National University, and Commonwealth Park. National ...

4.2/5Very Good! (978 reviews)

"Handy location, pleasant enough room. Pillows were huge and I had difficulties sleeping the first night. I asked and got a more normal size pillow for the second night, which improved my sleeping a lot. There was no information about the hotel or surroundings in the room, but had to be downloaded ..."…"

Reviewed on Feb 24, 2021

QT Canberra
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt
5 out of 5
Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla, ACT
The price is $189 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22

Located in Capital Hill, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Albert Hall, National Gallery of Australia, and Parliament House. Commonwealth Park and National ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (988 reviews)

"The property is an old and very well established historic building it was a delight to spend some time there yet again the staff and facilities are excellent in the bathroom renovations are truly five star"…"

Reviewed on Feb 12, 2021

Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near National Museum of Australia

Crowne Plaza Canberra
Crowne Plaza Canberra
4 out of 5
1 Binara Street, Canberra, ACT
The price is $112 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22
Crowne Plaza Canberra
QT Canberra
QT Canberra
4 out of 5
1 London Circuit, Canberra, ACT
The price is $102 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22
QT Canberra
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt
5 out of 5
Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla, ACT
The price is $189 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - a Park Hyatt
Deco Hotel
Deco Hotel
4 out of 5
214 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon, Braddon, ACT
The price is $99 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22
Deco Hotel
The Sebel Canberra Civic
The Sebel Canberra Civic
4.5 out of 5
197 LONDON CIRCUIT, Canberra, ACT
The price is $105 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22
The Sebel Canberra Civic
Ovolo Nishi
Ovolo Nishi
5 out of 5
25 Edinburgh Ave, Canberra, ACT
The price is $146 per night from Mar 14 to Mar 15
Ovolo Nishi
Peppers Gallery Hotel
Peppers Gallery Hotel
4.5 out of 5
15 Edinburgh Avenue, Canberra, ACT
The price is $123 per night from Mar 14 to Mar 15
Peppers Gallery Hotel
Nishi Apartments Eco Living By Ovolo
Nishi Apartments Eco Living By Ovolo
5 out of 5
25 Edinburgh Avenue, Canberra, ACT
The price is $171 per night from Mar 4 to Mar 5
Nishi Apartments Eco Living By Ovolo
BreakFree Capital Tower
BreakFree Capital Tower
3.5 out of 5
2 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra, ACT
The price is $137 per night from Mar 4 to Mar 5
BreakFree Capital Tower
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.