Australian Museum - the most important information
The Australian Museum is the oldest museum in Australia and fifth oldest natural museum in the world. It is focused on natural history and anthropology. The museum is listed as the state heritage site in the New South Wales Heritage Register.
History of the Australian Museum
The Australian Museum was established in 1827 as the first public museum. The first custodian was William Holmes, and he was appointed in 1829. The museum was first called Sydney Museum or Colonial Museum, but it was named the Australian Museum in 1836. A dedicated museum building was built between 1846 and 1857, with modification throughout years because its collection grew. The last part, the wing to the east of the site, was built in 2008. Today, the museum has a collection of over 21 million cultural and scientific objects.
What to see at the Australian Museum?
The Australian Museum has had permanent, temporary and touring exhibitions since 1854. Here are some of the permanent exhibitions at the museum:
- 200 Treasures - this exhibition is shown in the Westpac Long Gallery and it has 100 treasures of the museum with the stories of 100 of Australia’s most-influential people. Some of those people are athletes, politicians, writers and performers, activists, artists, etc. At this exhibition you will be able to see Theban mummy and coffin, Captain Cook’s Hawaiian ‘Ahu‘ula, and Eric the opalised pliosaur.
- Dinosaurs - as you can tell by the title, this exhibition shows the prehistoric world with real dinosaur skeletons, life-size models, fossil teeth, skulls, and claws. You will be able to see Minmi paravertebra, Jobaria tiguidensis, Afrovenator abukensis, Muttaburrasaurus, and Tyrannosaurus rex.
- Bayala Nura: Yarning Country - this exhibition shows objects and artworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, and stories of the impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal communities. Yarning means sharing stories and songlines through talking, singing and dancing. You will be able to see mahn, a dedication to Sydney’s first fisherwoman, and First Nations’ shields, an installation of 125 shields.
- Birds of Australia - this exhibition shows the diverse birdlife of Australia. Australia has more than 850 endemic and migratory species and it is home to more species of sea birds and a higher diversity of parrots than anywhere in the world. In the exhibition you will be able to see native birds in the city and parrots, among other things.
- Garrigarrang: Sea Country - this exhibition shows the rich cultures and spiritual traditions of the Salt Water People who have lived sustainably and harmoniously for tens of thousand of years thanks to the sea water. You will be able to see traditional objects and culture from around Australia’s sea country. The highlights of the exhibition are Vessels of culture and Ghost nets.
Other permanent exhibitions are Pacific Spirit, Wild Planet, Surviving Australia, Museums Discovery Centre.
Tickets and opening hours of the Australian Museum
- Tickets - the general entry is free for a limited time only, while entry fees apply to some major exhibitions.
- Opening hours - the museum is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM.
How to get to the Australian Museum?
The main entrance to the Australian Museum is on the corner of College Street and William Street in central Sydney. You can get there by bus lines 311, 324, 324X, 325, 389, 461X, X24, stop Australian Museum.
What should you know before visiting the Australian Museum?
Here are some general rules for visiting the museum:
- Don’t bring bags larger than A3 size, carry-on luggage, wheeled shopping carts, long umbrellas, scooters, balance bikes, tripods, selfie-sticks or bulky items.
- You can leave your things at the museum’s cloaking room, but you have to collect them ten minutes before the closing time.
Australian Museum trivia
Here are some interesting facts about the Australian Museum:
- The museum started with only one exhibition gallery.
- The Wild Planet exhibition has over 400 animals.
- Wildlife Photographer of the Year is shown at the Australian Museum.