The Australian Museum is the oldest museum with a worldwide reputation in anthropology and natural history. The museum has massive collections in mineralogy, anthropology, palaeontology as well as vertebrate and invertebrate zoology. In addition to exhibitions, the australian museum is also a centre for research and community programs.
Historical Facts about the Australian Museum
- The museum was established 1827 by Earl Bathurst
- The location of the museum changed a few times before changing to the current one opposite Hyde Park in 1849
- It was opened to the public in 1857
- William Holmes was the first custodian of the museum
- The museum’s scientific stature was established under the curatorship of Gerard Krefft
- The Australian Museum was initially named Sydney Museum and Colonial Museum before getting its current name in 1836
- The Surviving Exhibition, a favourite among tourists, was opened in 2009 and touched on the true stories of native wildlife in Australia
Operating Hours and Admission Information
The museum is open every day at 9.30 am and closes at 5.00 p.m. except on Christmas. The admission charges vary depending on the age, as well as whether or not one is a concession. Concessions pay a subsidised entry fee of $8, while adults are charged with $12. Exemptions are made for children below 16 years, booked school trips, members of Museums Australian and IOCM, as well as Companion Cardholder’s attendant carer.
The charges for admission to Wildlife Photographer of the Year differ from those of the general admissions. Inclusive of general entry, adults are charged $20, concession $12, children between 16 and 5 years $3, school trips $3 and $5 for members of Museums Australia and IOCM. Children under 5 years old and Companion Cardholder’s attendant carer are not charged anything.
How to Get to Australian Museum
This museum is located across Hyde Park, opposite St. Mary’s Cathedral and on the corner of William Street and college. If you are travelling by train, you can alight either at Town Hall, St. James or Museum and take a seven minute walk to get to the museum. There are city buses that arrive in the centre and you can alight at the Queen Victoria building or Town Hall and walk the rest of the way along Park Street. The walk will take you 7-10 minutes.
The museum is located on the Sydney Cycleways Network and you can thereby get to the museum by a bicycle. Those coming to the museum by private transportation can park their cars at one of the three parking lots near the museum and take a short walk to get to the museum. The parking lots include Domain Car Park, Enacon Parking and Secure Parking.
Top Things to Do at the Australian Museum
Whether you are on a guided tour of the museum, there’s a ton of different activities you can do at the Australian Museum. Here are some of the top activities to do:
- Bayala Nura
The permanent exhibition features a massive collection of items from Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal cultures. There are weavings, shields, spears and a bark canoe made especially for the museum using traditional methods that you can admire. The technologies and designs found in this exhibition are an intricate representation of Australia’s diverse contemporary and traditional cultures. The exhibition is located on the ground floor.
- Gurugal Darimi
Cultural artefacts, films and information related to the ancestral beliefs, ceremonies, creation stories and totems of the Abhorini and Torres Strait Islanders. An example of a film shown at the museum is Gurugal, a creation story. One of the famous totems showcased at the museum is the Tripple hammerhead shark headdress.
- Warra Warra Warra
This section of the exhibition in the museum focuses primarily on the traditional practices of the Abhorini and Torres Strait Islander people, as well how these traditions influenced colonialism and civilization.
Learn more about Australia’s extinct wildlife
If you are the type of person intrigued by the link between animals and those of today, exploring Australia’s extinct wildlife is the way to go. And what better place to do that than at the Australian Museum? There are snapshots of fossils of various animals that were indigenous to Australia ranging from marsupial mammals, birds, monotremes and dinosaurs from the paleontological age. There’s also evidence of the events and occasions that led to the extinction of these animals.
Australian Museum Science Festival
The festival is targeted at young children, usually under 16 years. The Museum collaborates with various industry bodies to ensure that the learning platform is composed of as many workshops, expos and other learning activities. As it is targeted at children, it is a good learning experience for primary school children. During the festival, educational materials about the museum’s exhibitions are made available to students in attendance. The Science Festival also targets industry professionals and community visitors.
All in all, the Australian Museum is a world of knowledge and fun waiting to happen: so why not make your way there? It could be a school trip or a family affair. Either way, it’s bound to be memorable!