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Australian Museum

  • Museums
  • Darlinghurst
  1. The new Australian Museum
    Photograph: Australian Museum/James Horan
  2. The new Australian Museum
    Photograph: Australian Museum/James Horan
  3. The new Australian Museum
    Photograph: Australian Museum/James Horan
  4. The new Australian Museum
    Photograph: Australian Museum/Alistair MacDougall
  5. The new Australian Museum
    Photograph: Australian Museum/Alistair MacDougall
  6. The new Australian Museum
    Photograph: Australian Museum/Alistair MacDougall
  7. The new Australian Museum
    Photograph: Australian Museum/Alistair MacDougall

Time Out says

Explore an expansive collection at Sydney's museum of natural history

The Australian Museum, the country's oldest museum (established 1827) is the custodian of 21.9 million specimens and cultural objects, including Indigenous and Pacific collections, a precious stones collection and the permanent 200 Treasures of the Australian Museum exhibition.

The Musuem reopened to the public in November 2020 after closing for 15 months for an extensive 57.5 million dollar renovation, which opened up 3,000 square metres of new public space. 

Displays cover the Pacific Islands, Asia, Africa and the Americas, with items ranging from Aboriginal kids' toys to a tattooed chalk head from the Solomon Islands.

Any serious museum-tripper should see a few of the local stuffed animals, and the displays should answer all your questions about Australian mammals.

If you're interested in Aboriginal culture and beliefs, visit the Indigenous Australia section, and get informed about important issues including the Stolen Generations and deaths in custody.

Museum entry is free, however some touring exhibtions may have a cover fee. 


1 William St
Free entry
Opening hours:
Daily 10am-5pm; closed Christmas Day

What’s on


  • Natural history

If you’re fascinated by the ocean's most fierce apex predator, then you won’t want to miss this spectacular new exhibition, which is debuting at the Australian Museum before it goes on to tour the world.  For 450 million years, sharks have dominated Earth’s oceans. Today, their existence has never been under more threat. In this new exhibition, visitors will explore the diversity of these ancient predators with eleven life-size shark models, interactive experiences and specimens from the Australian Museum collection. With cultural connections reaching back countless generations, visitors will also discover how First Nations’ and Pasifika Peoples’ knowledge of sharks can help us protect them. To accompany the blockbuster exhibition, the Australian Museum is hosting a series of program events including talks, workshops and activities to sink your teeth into.  Twilight Bites is a monthly after-hours talk and tour series with renowned shark scientists and cultural experts on Wednesday evenings. After each talk, guests are invited to explore the Sharks exhibition, where specialists in various fields of shark science will appear to answer your sharpest shark questions. The littlest shark fin-atics will be well fed too, the spring school holiday program has a stack of shark themed events. Kids can get hands on with Cool Sharks: Clay Sculpting Workshop (Thu 29 & Fri 30 Sep, 10.30-12.30pm, 1.30-3.30pm, $52-$65 per child), learn what makes a shark a shark at The Tooth About Sharks (Oct

Barka: The Forgotten River

  • Exhibitions

In Barkandji culture, Barka (Darling River) is more than a large body of water: Barka is a mother, an ancestor, a life source. It’s also in peril, along with everyone that lives along it, due to mismanagement of the Barwon-Darling system. If you’re keen to learn and understand more, you can do so at the new First Nations exhibition Barka: The Forgotten River, showing this autumn and winter at the Australian Museum. Created to advocate for a healthy future of Barka, the series of works focuses on the stories, culture and people who love and depend on Barka, portrayed through mediums including ceramics, paintings, wood and steel sculptures, leadlights, lino prints and a multimedia installation. This free-moving exhibition has been developed by artists Uncle Badger Bates and Justine Muller, alongside the Barkandji community. A senior Barkandji Lore man and activist, Uncle Badger Bates grew up in Wilcannia along Barka. His work portrays a strong sense of identity and connection to the land and waters of Barkandji country and Barka, and uses a blend of traditional and contemporary art forms such as linocut print, metalwork and wood, emu egg and stone carving. Barka: The Forgotten River will be on display at the Australian Museum, located on William Street in Sydney, from Thursday, March 16 to Sunday, July 23. The exhibition will be open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Sunday, with a later finish time at 9pm on Wednesdays. Find out more info here.

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