A celebration of the country’s rich social history, the National Museum of Australia (NMA) profiles the key issues, events and people that shaped the nation. It’s underpinned by three intertwining themes that tie together its exhibitions, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, post-1788 Australian history and the nation’s dynamic relationship with the natural environment.
The museum is anchored by the core National Historical Collection. Diverse and dynamic, the collection is one of Australia’s finest examples of historical material, and is held in trust for the entire nation to enjoy and explore. Highlights include one of the largest bark painting collections on the planet, as well as the original Holden prototype No. 1 car. It also houses the heart of nationally adored racehorse, Phar Lap.
The National Museum of Australia is located on Acton Peninsula next to the Australian National University. It’s an easy walk from other attractions on the northern side of the river, including the Australian National Botanic Gardens, CSRIO Discovery Centre and the Canberra Centre. Local buses service the museum, stopping around 200 metres from the main entrance.
While the NMA was formally established by the National Museum of Australia Act 1980, it wasn’t given its permanent Canberra home until 2011. A site was constructed to house the collection, designed by local architect Howard Raggatt. Inspired by a theme of ropes, the building is a metaphor for the intertwined stories of Australia.