Canberra Culture and Experiences
Canberra’s museums, galleries and institutions showcase diverse aspects of our story through architecture, exhibitions and collections.
Australian Parliament House
Architecturally acclaimed throughout the world, Australian Parliament House tells Australia’s story through its interiors, architecture, and commissioned works of art. Wander through beautifully landscaped gardens, enjoy the contemporary art collection or take part in a free guided tour. Watch Parliament live during sitting weeks and visit public galleries during Question Time.
Visit Australian Parliament House
Australian War Memorial
Learn about Australia’s wartime and peacekeeping involvement over the last two centuries. See significant military objects and experience new exhibitions such as Ink in the Lines and The Napier Waller Art Prize. Learn more about Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan, told through the words of Australian service personnel. Visit the Commemorative Area and view the Roll of Honour, place a poppy in the Hall of Memory and stay for the moving Last Post closing ceremony.
Visit Australian War Memorial
MoAD – Museum of Australian Democracy
Through authentically restored heritage areas, contemporary exhibitions, political cartoons and interactive family activities, MoAD tells the story of Australia’s journey to becoming a democratic nation and how we can all shape its future. Step back in time in the restored Prime Minister’s Suite or sit in the House of Representatives Chamber. Learn about the connection between free press and democracy in the Truth, Power and a Free Press exhibition or wander the halls enjoying the humorous side of politics through political cartoons.
National Arboretum Canberra
For an experience hard to find anywhere else, take in the stunning panoramic views of the city and region from the Arboretum. Enjoy 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and the world. Walk, drive or cycle around the 250-hectare site. Take a free guided or self-guided tour, visit the National Bonsai and Penjing collection, and enjoy lunch from the Village Centre with views stretching over Canberra.
Visit National Arboretum Canberra
National Archives of Australia
Permanently housed in the beautiful heritage building that was Canberra’s original General Post Office, the National Archives are the memory of the nation. Enjoy the two permanent galleries, Voices and Connections, as well as a range of touring exhibitions and special events throughout the year. Original archival records can be viewed in the research centre by appointment.
National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
Explore one of Canberra’s most beautiful art deco buildings, dating to 1930, and now housing the National Film and Sound Archive. Catch a glimpse of the past with Australian film and radio. Watch a film at Arc Cinema, enjoy vintage music, radio and television at The Front Room, or attend free presentations and performances in the award-winning Theatrette.
Visit National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
National Gallery of Australia
Visit the home of Australia’s National Art collection, with more than 165,000 works that include the nation’s largest collection of Indigenous Australian art. Art lovers will enjoy meandering through the galleries and admiring the collection, which includes the famous ‘Blue Poles’ by Jackson Pollock and the Ned Kelly series by Sidney Nolan.
Visit the 2021 exhibitions:
- Botticelli to Van Gogh
- Skywhales: Every heart sings
- Know My Name
National Library of Australia
Visit the Treasures Gallery and see beautiful and rare gems from the Library’s extensive collection. Enjoy the calendar of new exhibitions exploring an aspect of the Australian story or join one of the engaging programs of events or free behind-the-scenes guided tours.
Visit National Library of Australia
National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia explores the country’s rich history and culture, and the land and people who have shaped our stories. See the nation’s most popular and significant objects, including Indigenous artefacts dating back 65,000 years, items from the 19th-century property ‘Springfield’, Phar Lap’s heart, and the Holden Prototype No.1. Explore Ancient Greece with the major exhibition Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes, hailing from the British Museum and opening in December 2021.
Visit National Museum of Australia
National Portrait Gallery
A true national treasure, come and meet familiar contemporary faces and a few from the past. Bushrangers and judges, prime ministers and pop icons, they can all be found looking back at you from the gallery walls. The Gallery hosts interesting, exciting exhibitions and events and offers a suite of interactive virtual programs.
Visit National Portrait Gallery
Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre
Travel from the centre of an earthquake all the way to outer space.
Questacon offers interactive and hands-on science with themed galleries and loads of fun and educational exhibits. Uncover the mysteries of science, watch live demonstrations, and explore how science shapes our world with Questacon’s engaging science communicators.
Royal Australian Mint
Watch money being made right before your eyes. From the viewing deck, watch coins being made on the factory floor. Learn about the production process and make yourself a coin. Discover Australia’s National Coin Collection, with many rare and valuable coins on display.
Visit Royal Australian Mint