Australia’s Oldest Museum Is Revamped And Ready To Reopen To The Public This Weekend

Marco Ruiz Marco Ruiz - Staff Writer

Australia’s Oldest Museum Is Revamped And Ready To Reopen To The Public This Weekend

To welcome visitors back, the Australian Museum GA will be free to visit.

Fifteen months ago, the Australian Museum closed its doors to begin the biggest renovation project in its 190-year history. When visitors return to the museum from 28 November, they will be treated to an extra 3000-square-metres of space, which includes the new Grand Hall, a second cafe, bathrooms on every level and, most importantly, the principal reason for the revamp — the almost doubling in size of the Touring Exhibition Hall.

At 1500-square-metres, the new Touring Exhibition Hall is intended to elevate the status of the museum and, along with the entire top-to-bottom reno, make the Australian Museum one of the best natural history museums anywhere in the world. Post-renovation, the Touring Exhibition Hall was meant to display the touring Treasures of King Tutankhamun exhibition, and although hope is still being held out that King Tut will make his way to Australia before returning to Egypt forever, it’s becoming less and less likely.

In its place, though, the Australian Museum is welcoming back the blockbuster exhibition Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family, which has been updated since touring Europe and the US over the past five years. With a focus on the ‘king of the tyrant lizards’ (yes, that’s what his name means), the exhibition also includes other life-size skeletons like the Daspletosaurus and the Dilong. There’s also a virtual experience where you can run away from a T-Rex if looking at the 13-metre long, saw-toothed predator isn’t enough for you. Entry into this major touring exhibition is ticketed ($20 adult, $16 concession, $10 child).

On the other hand, the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition is included in the GA entry. With over ”100 large format images showcasing captivating animal behaviour, awe-inspiring landscapes and the investigation of humankind’s impact on the ecosystem”, this popular exhibit will be held in the new Grand Hall, which is the length of three tennis courts.


In a media release, the Australian Museum’s director and CEO, Kim McKay, said that ”without doubt, the heart of the museum is the new Grand Hall … (and) now that general admission is free, it will become a popular meeting space and new after-hours event space for Sydney. Like a public square, we will be able to host music and performances as well as provide a place to relax and contemplate, discuss and debate, enjoy a coffee and experience an exhibition.”

There are ten permanent exhibitions on display, including 200 Treasures of the Australian Museum, Bayala Nura: Yarning Country, Birds of Australia, Wild Planet, and Surviving Australia.

For the time being, you don’t need to book ahead of your visit. But it is likely that the museum will introduce timed sessions so as to keep visitors circulating. Visitors will also need to register their details upon arrival.

(Featured image: Australian Museum – Artist’s rendering of new touring exhibition hall)

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