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Three must-visit museums in Canberra

Posted By Leanne On September 11, 2013

Canberra is home to the Australian War Memorial, a significant commemorative museum. Three must-visit museums in Canberra

If you fancy yourself as a bit of an arts and culture buff, a trip to Canberra should definitely be on your list of top weekend getaway destinations in Australia.

As the nation's capital city, Canberra is home to a wide variety of museums and galleries celebrating Australian art, history and culture - so there's no better time to enjoy these than on your next vacation to the area.

Here are three of the top Canberra museums you might want to include in your itinerary before booking your stay at Mantra on Northbourne.

National Museum of Australia

Located at Lawson Crescent on the Acton Peninsula, the National Museum of Australia houses an interactive centre with a licensed restaurant and is open from 9am - 5pm daily, with free entry.

The museum focuses on "social history", exploring the land, nation and people of Australia as well as Indigenous histories and cultures, histories of European settlement and Australian interaction with the environment.

There are plenty of exciting events and things to see at the museum, such as the 'Glorious Days: Australia 1913' exhibition which will be running through to October 13.

Glorious Days takes visitors back in time to the optimistic 'hinge year' of 1913 when Australians celebrated their progressive nature. The exhibition features artworks, costumes, music and newsreel footage from the time to enjoy.

There's also a range of galleries to peruse as well, such as the 'Australian Journeys' collection exploring the personal stories of migrants, travellers and traders in Australia.

The museum always has exciting events, travelling exhibitions and more to look forward to, so this is a definite must-visit during your stay in Canberra.


"As the nation's capital city, Canberra is home to a wide variety of museums and galleries celebrating Australian art, history and culture - so there's no better time to enjoy these than on your next vacation to the area.


National Film and Sound Archive

Film buffs will love the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA), which has its headquarters in Canberra at Acton's McCoy Circuit.

The NFSA is open from 9am - 5pm on weekdays and 10am - 5pm during the weekends, with session details for the Arc Cinema being posted online.

The NFSA is described as Australia's 'living archive', with the aim of collecting, preserving and sharing the nation's audiovisual heritage.

The national audiovisual collection is home to over 1.9 million works which are identified as having "enduring cultural significance". The items span various categories of film, television, radio, records, phonograph cylinders and wire recordings.

You can also view documents and artefacts like photographs, posters, lobby cards, memorabilia and more - so this museum is definitely one to visit for anyone who wants to get a unique window into Australian life during a particular era of time.

Australian War Memorial

With the ANZAC Centenary coming up soon, you may want to schedule a visit to the Australian War Memorial, located at Treloar Crescent, Campbell.

The memorial commemorates the service and sacrifice of all Australians during wartime, and is the leading archive and research centre for the history of Australian war involvement.

The memorial's mission is to help Australians remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and the impact it had on our society - it also serves to help Australians trying to track down information about relatives who may have served during a war.

There are a variety of exhibitions, events and guided tours available for visitors to engage in, from the majestic Hall of Memory (home to the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier) to the Sculpture Garden, which showcases major commemorative works such as Sir Bertram Mackennal's 'War' or 'Bellona' sculpture.

With a focus on history, remembrance and education, the Australian War Memorial is a special must-visit museum on your Canberra holiday.


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