Top 20 Museums in Australia

Epic collections, breathtaking architectures, less-known discoveries about the most recent innovations or the most ancient living creatures, aboriginal cultures contrasting with colonial history-the Australian Museums cover it all.

The country is rich in both nature and history, with an Avant-garde stand in Scientology.

Visit the top 20 museums in Australia with historical objects that are windows to the natural wonders of the continent and the country’s constitutional values.

1. Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum ranks as the largest exhibition center in the country and the entire southern hemisphere. The displays range from a walk through the natural world and evolution, a well-developed dinosaur center, illustrating the wondrous mechanisms and wonder of the human brain at The Mind, the history of Melbourne, and more.

In general, the museum is known for its praiseworthy displays and offering a treasured learning time through myriads of awe-inspiring artifacts.

The museum building also houses a 3D IMax and numerous interactive programs to make the learning process a fun activity for all ages. Located in Carlton Gardens, visit the Royal Exhibition Building and the garden for after museum activity.

2. Australian Museum, Darlinghurst

Australian Museum, Darlinghurst

Australia’s oldest museum is home to over 21 million specimens of scientific, natural, and cultural origins, demonstrated through amusing exhibitions.

All these fragments and the very history of the museum itself have earned a post among the heritage-listed cultural centers in Australia. The exhibitions begin from the early and evolutionary fossils to the first nation resident’s cultural artifacts and art, to modern history and marine wonders.

Mentioned in the Traveler’s Choice Award, this unique museum offers a prehistoric playground for the children, as a practical learning experience and the real feel of how it was to be born thousands of years ago in Australia.

3. ScienceWorks, Spotswood

ScienceWorks, Spotswood

Located on the cultural quarters of Brisbane river banks and just paces from the world-famous Queensland Art Gallery, the namesake museum is devoted to the cultural heritage of Queensland as well as its natural history.

The museum’s exhibitions extend from the Precambrian era or prior to the existence of life on earth with stone collections, the ancient life forms in the shape of fossils, a dinosaur exhibition to the current natural setting both on land and reef regions.

The museum also highlights the evolution of humans along with earth, covering from first nation exhibitions to modern Australian settlements heritage.

4. Queensland Museum, Brisbane City

Queensland Museum, Brisbane City

Located on the cultural quarters of Brisbane river banks and just paces from the world-famous Queensland Art Gallery, the namesake museum is devoted to the cultural heritage of Queensland as well as its natural history.

The museum’s exhibitions extend from the Precambrian era or prior to the existence of life on earth with stone collections, the ancient life forms in the shape of fossils, a dinosaur exhibition to the current natural setting both on land and reef regions.

The museum also highlights the evolution of humans along with earth, covering from first nation exhibitions to modern Australian settlements heritage.

5. National Sports Museum, Melbourne

National Sports Museum, Melbourne

To commemorate the country’s national sport, it is only fair that the National Sports Museum of Australia is located at the heart of a magnificent cricket stadium. Located in Melbourne Cricket Ground, National Sports Museum features sport-related artifacts, while asserting the country’s proud moment in national and international athletic games; Aussie rules, cricket, Olympic competitions, the sports hall of fame are among these exhibitions.

If you are an Athletics supporter, you can find the thumbprints of all your favorite Australian players here.

6. Canberra’s National Museum of Australia

Canberra’s National Museum of Australia

A nation is shaped by an amalgam of heritage roots, social events, devastations of wars, and proud moments- the National Museum of Australia displays all the social records that define the country in compelling exhibitions. Over 200,000 items take the visitors on a pilgrimage through Aussie heritage at the National Historical Collection.

From the art world, antique furniture, photographs to automobiles and historic figure belongings, to aboriginal heritage- the exhibits take a variety of shapes and historic sentiment.

Located on the verdant shores of Lake Burley Griffin in the capital city of Canberra, the museum is flanked by some of the most important buildings in the country.

7. Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney

Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney

Stationed on the famous Darling harbor of Sydney, this maritime museum covered the sea-relevant history of both native and modern nations. Indigenous canoe exhibits, kayaking routes used thousands of years ago, to the maritime acquisition of first nation people are the most ancient artifacts in this museum.

On the more modern facade, exhibitions concentrate on the very roots of the contemporary formation of Australia; from the first European immigrant who arrived by sea, to military ship replicas, Napoleon belongings, and fascinating memorabilia.

The entire exhibitions amount to up to 2 million fragments- an amalgam of historic objects, maps, and accurate replicas.

8. Crystal Caves, Atherton

Crystal Caves, Atherton

Rocks, crystals, fossils, and abnormal mineral sedimentation- there is no place better than a crystal cave to set up a geological museum about crystals. This unique underground museum features one-of-a-kind crystals such as giant dolomites, million years old fossils, and interactive programs to learn about each exhibition in an entertaining manner.

Submerged to a crystalline world in a labyrinth of cave tunnels and watch the dazzling luster of crystal, and learn about creatures that came to existence a million years before our first ancestors came to being.

9. South Australian Museum, Adelaide

South Australian Museum, Adelaide

At the SA museum, history is illustrated through two precepts; cultural heritage and nature. In the art-ridden neighborhoods of the Adelaide Parklands, the museum’s vast collections are sheltered in a series of finely architected buildings.

Through four million curious fragments, the exhibitions include aboriginal cultures, rocks, fossils and minerals, and immense biological collections with a peculiar pickled parasite section.

The extensivity of this museum has turned it into a research ground for cultural and natural evolution studies.

10. Australian War Memorial, Campbell

Australian War Memorial, Campbell

Built in the honorable memory of the war casualties and bravery of Australian soldiers, the Australian War Museum houses a memorial hall, an open-air sculpture garden, a well-curated nature garden, and the Anzac Parade- a protracted memorial boulevard that leads the horizon to the far-off Mount Ainslie.

The building features elaborate detailing with an ethereal feel, drawn from Byzantine architecture. Besides the sculptures, the most artistic angle of the museum is perhaps the dome’s intricate decorations. For a thorough visit, join one of the museum’s comprehensive tours around the halls and gardens.

11. Questacon, Parkes

Questacon, Parkes

The National Science and Technology Centre is a perfect destination for Psy-Fi fans of all ages. This is the place to find out about the most innovative and fun inventions while participating in highly interactive programs across all its 200 exhibitions.

Take a walk on mars, look at the behind-the-scenes of a tsunami or a volcanic eruption, learn how a robot works, embark on a sojourn on earth’s most wondrous phenomena, and more. 

12. Old Melbourne Gaol

Old Melbourne Gaol

Once a gloomy jail, the Old Melbourne Gaol is now a museum and a world-renowned heritage-listed site. Some of Australia’s most wanted criminals were punished on these stone-built premises for their notorious crimes; a section of the museum exhibits memorabilia of these prisoner’s belongings and living environment replicas.

The three-story building still maintains its jail-like demeanor, designed in cold bluestone and high walls. A visit to the museum takes the spectator to the world of the mid-1800s captivated criminals and innocent prisoners of the Old Melbourne Gaol.

13. Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney

Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney

Sitting at the historic heart of southern Sydney, Hyde Park Barracks is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage as an exceptional depiction of the early colonial era in the country.

The building itself poses as a fine colonial architecture example, while the interior holds unique artifacts such as the oldest clock in Australia, artworks portraying the colonial era, convicts’ belongings and documents, and the courthouse vestige. A small adjacent cafe caters to the visitors of this unique barrack station.

14. Museums Discovery Centre, Sydney

Museums Discovery Centre, Sydney

Not far from the heritage park of the historic quarters of Castle Hill in Sydney, Museums Discovery Centre is the meeting point between science and art. The exhibitions are divided into two sections; priceless permanent displays with over 500,000 artifacts, temporary expositions with much seasonal fun along with them.

Established in 1879, the museum ranks as one of Australia’s oldest exhibition centers. There are a total of six rooms with contemplations on; aboriginal decorative art, the evolution of technology, transport innovations, natural sciences, NSW lifestyle exhibitions, and the collection of Sydney Living Museums.

15. Migration Museum, Adelaide

Migration Museum, Adelaide

A country built on the foundations of democracy and multicultural origins, Australia takes pride in its immigration history and diversity of cultures. Founded in 1986, Migration Museum was the first-ever museum with a focus on cultural origins and guest residents who became the founding block of the country in the generations to come.

It was built on the site of a former Destitute Asylum building with additional stone-built structures. The whole exterior view is coated with red stone veneering while boasting a characteristic colonial architecture. Exhibitions cover both permanent and a temporary collection of immigrants’ works, ethnic backgrounds, and historic relics and documents.

16. Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Warrnambool

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Warrnambool

Sitting on the volcanic coasts of Warrnambool, Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum is shielded within the city’s first lighthouse. The displays and replicas present a sentimental feel and presentations of the 1870s with exhibitions of tradesmen working and various other lifestyle scenarios- hence acquiring its name as a village.

It also presents the seafaring history of this coastal settlement such as the ancient shipwrecks’ vestiges. Whale watching, roaming the spectacular scenery and mouth-watering seafood are among other specialties of the city.

17. Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston

Named as One of Australia’s best-hidden treasures, Queen Victoria Museum lounges at the urban heart of Launceston- the country of rolling hills and wine valleys.

It houses an extensive collection of art, culture, and history of nature and man in Tasmania.

In effect, the museum is stationed at two different locations with complementing artifacts; artistic and cultural exhibitions at the Royal Park Art Gallery and Inveresk’s railway workshop.

The latter displays extensive exhibitions of dinosaur replicas and fossils, war and technology crafts, relics from Australia’s oldest shipwrecks, and more.

18. Justice and Police Museum, Sydney

Justice and Police Museum, Sydney

If you are wondering about the inside scenes of law and order in 1890s Australia, you must visit the Justice and Police Museum- squatting in the contrasting vicinity of Sydney’s tall skyscrapers and the renowned World Tower.

Courthouses, holding cells, water police offices, criminal documents, and more are all conserved in exceptionally good condition. Some of the most famous 19th-century criminals and smugglers have spent time in the cells of this heritage-listed building.

19. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart

Located in the picturesque coastal city of Hobart, the Tasmanian Museum’s objects were initially rounded up by the Royal Society of Tasmania- the very first royal foundation outside the United Kingdom.

Formed in 1846, the collections were originally focused on Cultural Heritage; today there are over 200,000 artifacts that depict the Tasmanian state’s history.

A native originated herbarium, royal, and aboriginal decorative items, animal and geological history and samples, as well as the belongings of the royal contributors – only to name a few exhibits at the museum.

20. Fort Queenscliff Museum, Queenscliff

Fort Queenscliff Museum, Queenscliff

Initially founded as a 19th-century Artillery Fort on the dramatic bluffs of Shortland coasts, the defensive fort belongs to the Australian heritage today. It serves as a museum with well-preserved records of Victorian troops who played an important role in WWII.

The Garrison Roll Book, significant generals’ military collections and belongings, war documents, and vestiges- are among the mentionable displays here.

Artillery Bottle is the name of a soft drink factory within the scenic fort to quench your thirst with delicious refreshments while visiting the historical compound.

Final Additions to the List

Before you set foot on your museum-hopping journey through Australia, here are three more museums that we would suggest visiting;

Darwin Military Museum

During the world war II air raid, the town of Darwin and its residents suffered from grave losses. Darwin Military Museum is an emblem of patriotic endurance while exhibiting the details and military preparations of a turbulent past.

It showcases artillery of the Royal Army, a few memorials and heroic mentions, and other military artifacts.

Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Just paces from Darling Harbour and its waterfront, Powerhouse Museum is one of Sydney’s Museums Discovery Centre’s rooms, guaranteeing a change of scenery and a time travel through the evolution of energy.

Unique exhibitions present the first forms of wheeled transport and the very first steam engine known as the Whitbread Engine, to trains, air crafts, and modern outer space innovations.

Old Treasury Building, Melbourne

A government office and a gold treasury to the noble and real members of society in the mid-19th century, Old Treasury Building is adorned with the innate refinement of colonial buildings to indicate that it was once regarded as the most elaborate structure in the entire Victoria.

Learn about the history of the state, with original gold vault expositions, government offices, and behind the scenes of the Australian government over two centuries ago.

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