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The best Museums in Australia you can’t miss

With over 1,000 museums spread across the vast continent, Australia offers many opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in the country’s rich history.

With a vibrant array of museums across its cities and regions, Australia rewards travelers who take the time to look beyond the surface. 

The museums let you dive deeper into Australia’s living cultures, incredible nature, and compelling history at your own pace. 

Whether you seek blockbuster exhibits from across the globe or locally rooted collections found only in Australia, the museums there offer many options. 

From world-class art galleries in Sydney and Melbourne to unique specialized museums found nowhere else, Australia’s museums are a must-visit.

Top Museums in Australia

madame tussauds sydney

Madame Tussauds Sydney

Metartworld Melbourne

Metartworld Melbourne

Melbourne Museum

Melbourn
Museum 

Australian Sports Museum

Australian Sports Museum

Old Melbourne Gaol

Old Melbourn
Gaol

Best Australian Cities for a Museum tour

Here are some of the top cities in Australia you should visit to find the best museums. 

Sydney

As Australia’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, Sydney shines as a premier museum destination. 

The expansive Sydney Museum Trail links the city’s major museums into a walkable circuit. 

This includes the Australian Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is renowned for its outstanding Australian and Aboriginal art collections. 

Other renowned institutions include the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Powerhouse Museum of Science and Design, and the Hyde Park Barracks Museum.

Melbourne

With a lively arts and culture scene, Melbourne provides a fabulous setting for museum explorations. 

The National Gallery of Victoria is Australia’s oldest and largest public art gallery, hosting blockbuster international exhibits along with its impressive permanent collection. 

If you want an overview of the city and state’s history and culture, head to Melbourne Museum. 

Visitors who wish to enjoy some thought-provoking exhibitions should try the Immigration Museum and Jewish Museum of Australia.

Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the Scienceworks Museum, with hands-on science displays, are some of the best museums in Australia to visit with kids. 

Brisbane

Queensland’s sunny capital, Brisbane, entices visitors with museum experiences spanning history, arts, and science. 

Along the riverside in South Brisbane, the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre reveal the state’s natural history and scientific innovations through engaging interactives. 

In the city center, the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) present extensive collections of Australian and international art. 

You can see the history coming to life at the Brisbane Museum just off the Queen Street Mall shopping district. 

If you are interested in aviation, you should check out the Queensland Air Museum.

Perth

Although geographically isolated on Australia’s west coast, Perth offers some spectacular museums worth the journey. 

The Western Australian Museum is the state’s premier cultural institution, comprising several venues across Perth.

You can find various blocks like the cultural center’s main building, Fremantle’s maritime museum and branches for Aboriginal history, natural sciences, and archaeology.

If you are an art lover, try visiting the Art Gallery of Western Australia next to the sprawling Kings Park and Botanic Garde. 

For a unique visit, check out the Western Australian Maritime Museum, which traces the region’s seafaring heritage.

Adelaide

This cultured coastal hub contains many outstanding museums within its compact city layout. 

Must-see museums in Adelaide include the Art Gallery of South Australia, noted for its collections of Australian, Aboriginal, Asian, and European art.

You should also visit the South Australian Museum, covering natural sciences, anthropology, and local history. 

Sci-tech fans will find the National Railway Museum and Australia’s newest interactive science and technology center interesting. 

Top 8 Museums to Visit

While there are over 1,000 museums spread over the country, here are the best 10 museums you can not miss in Australia. 

Australian War Memorial 

This poignant Canberra museum commemorates Australia’s military history through vast galleries.

You can find aircraft, uniforms, diaries, letters, and artworks related to the nation’s wartime experiences. 

The tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier is the highlight of this museum 

National Museum of Australia 

Also located in the capital, this museum lives up to its name by providing a comprehensive overview of Australian history and culture.

You will witness art and exhibits from ancient Indigenous roots to recent decades. 

This museum’s Engaging exhibits and creative design make it accessible for all ages.

Kakadu National Park 

Rather than one centralized building, the “museums” are scattered throughout Kakadu in Australia’s remote Northern Territory.

Here, you can learn about Aboriginal rock art, cultural traditions, and native wildlife in Situ. 

Sites like Ubirr and Nourlangie give you an insight into art and culture spanning thousands of years.

Port Arthur 

Port Arthur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that immerses visitors in 19th-century history. 

This former penal colony site and living museum recounts the harsh realities of the colonial era through preserved prisons, asylum ruins, and interactive exhibits.

Melbourne Museum

This contemporary architectural gem in the heart of Melbourne provides an innovative exploration of Victoria and Australia’s natural and cultural histories. 

Melbourne Museum is the most popular museum of Aboriginals in Australia. 

While visiting Melbourne Museum, visit the Aboriginal cultural center Bunjilaka, a living rainforest and the Imaginative Children’s Museum.

Powerhouse Museum (Sydney)

With an impressive collection of artifacts covering decorative arts, science, technology, and social history, it lives up to its name as an iconic design and innovation museum.

National Sports Museum (Melbourne)

Australia’s passion for sports shines through exhibits profiling the nation’s sporting heroes and hallmark moments.

You can see exhibits of cricket legends like Sir Donald Bradman, Cathy Freeman’s 400m gold medal win and more.

The Immersive experiences of the museum, like interactive sports simulators, add to the fun of visiting this museum.

Woomera Aerospace and Missile Park (Woomera)

Woomera Aerospace and Missile Park lies in the Woomera Test Range in the South Australian Outback. 

This region was the base for experimental British rockets from the 1940s to the 1960s. 

The museum displays Australia’s role in international aerospace advancement.

Featured Image: MuseumsVictoria.com.au

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