National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

"National Gallery of Australia - Some Great Art but the visiting Exhibitions are the best!"

This museum is a great place to visit if you love art. You could literally lose yourself here for the entire day, there really is so much to see.

There's plenty of aboriginal art as well lots of modern art too - a good mix.

Some would say there's not enough about Australian art and that the focus is more International- What do you think? Personally I would like to see more Aussie and in particular Aboriginal paintings but overall I would recommend this museum as a great place to spend a few hours.

Getting To The National Gallery of Australia

The Gallery is located at Parkes Place which is on the Parliamentary Triangle on the south side of Lake Burley Griffin. You'll find a few other museums near here too and you are in walking distance from Old Parliament House.

There is parking in this area but there isn't an abundance - get here early to get a spot or expect to have to drive round a few times before you find a spot.

There's plenty of buses that take you directly here:

In the week you'll need 2,3,4,5,6,63 or 80

At the weekend you'll need 934 or 938

You can walk from the centre of Canberra - it will take you about 30 minutes

Entrance is free but you will have to pay for the special exhibits.

They are open every day between 10am and 5pm (except Christmas Day)

If there is a special exhibition on, they tend to advertise massively, which makes the gallery very busy, especially at weekends.

I'd consider buying a special exhibition ticket in advance and pay a little extra to go into the museum an hour before the general public get to go in - you'll enjoy the experience a lot more.

That said, everyone is very polite with minimum pushing. Many start queueing to get in early so that you are at the front of the queue when it opens. You'd need to get there for about 8.45am though!!

What to See and Do at the National Gallery of Australia

You can lose yourself in the many different areas of the museum but here are my recommendations:

  • Find out what the "special exhibition" is before you go. Book tickets in advance. Generally these are excellent and will enhance your trip. We saw the Ballets Russes exhibit (on until 1st May 2011) which shows costumes from the ballet - awesome
  • Indigenous Art - My favourite area of the exhibition. Plenty of amazing art and sculptures using the tradition dot painting
  • Australian Art- focuses on Australian artists, from early settlement to modern art
  • European and America - some modern art in here and I particularly enjoyed the Sculpture Garden in this section which is outside. Don't miss the fog sculpture that operates between 12.30 and 2pm.
  • Photography Gallery - Plenty of Australian and International Photos to admire.

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