History of the Nation

Posted on 11 January 2012

Canberra is Australia's capital city, and is home to many museums and galleries which tell the story of the island or continent (Whichever way you choose to see it) of Australia.

by Richard Gifford Flickr Creative Commons

The Canberra Museum and Gallery is free to enter. Exciting exhibitions, programs and projects recount the social history of the area. The Canberra stories gallery showcases the permanent collection, whilst changing exhibitions tell various stories at various times and make it a great place to re-visit! There are several art galleries with paintings, photography and other works reflecting the local area.

The National Museum of Australia, also free of charge, is also located in the capital, and is a social history museum that presents the history of the Australian people, both indigenous and later settlers. There are permanent and changing exhibitions and galleries with awesome activities for kids. See the Landmarks gallery, exploring different and iconic styles of life in Australia, experience the audiovisual journey of Circa, and learn about the First Australians.

National Museum of Australia
by Eugene Regis Flickr Creative Commons

Another important spot in Canberra is the Australian War Memorial. This includes a museum, open from 10am-5pm daily, also with free admission. On the northern terminal of the city's land axis, this is an impressive building, a fitting tribute to those who fought for the country. It consists of the Commemorative Area, the Museum and the Research Centre. The Museum includes exhibitions such as ANZAC Hall, a remembrance of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, areas for the First and Second World Wars, the Discovery Zone for children to get a first-hand experience of what the wars were like, an Aircraft Hall, and much more. The Commemorative Area includes a Hall of Memory, the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier and the Sculpture Garden for quiet contemplation.

There are numerous other galleries to be explored in Canberra, and hands-on history experiences at places like Calthorpe's House, which has been restored with original furniture and fittings to tell the story of life in Canberra's early days. Blundell's cottage, once a home for Duntroon Estate workers, is now a museum holding the history of the pioneers of the limestone plains.

So, if your road trip takes you to Canberra, make sure you hear and see a bit of the history of what makes the capital and the country an amazing place to live and visit.

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