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Published March 18th 2013
Top 10 Australian Museums
Travelers who enjoy combining a luxury Australian holiday with historical education are sure to find many interesting Australian museums, from Australia's pioneering spirit to the history of automobiles. We have put together a list of the top 10 Australian museums for you.
Canberra's Questacon is Australia's National Science and Technology Centre. This modern museum offers visitors a range of exhibitions, interactive displays, tours and activities. Exhibits include a wide array of topics from dinosaurs to photography, sound and light, measurements, weather and general science. Exclusive private group night tours can be arranged.
2. Australian Museum, Sydney
Australia's first museum, the Australian Museum, was established opposite Sydney's Hyde Park in 1827. This internationally recognised museum focuses on natural history and indigenous research, in addition to exhibitions and community programs. Some of the areas of research being undertaken at the Australian Museum include anthropology, indigenous programs, earth sciences and environmental sciences.
The Hyde Park Convict Barracks are in Macquarie Street, Sydney, alongside the Sydney Mint. These barracks are a significant part of Australian history, being built in 1818 to house working convicts. They have since been used as a female Immigration Depot and asylum, law courts and government offices. Today this important piece of history is a museum depicting the lives of convicts and includes many artefacts.
Australia's oldest prison, the Old Melbourne Gaol, lies along Russell Street along with the city's historical Magistrates' Court and the former Police City Watch House. Visitors can explore all three of these historic sites, collectively known as the Crime and Justice Experience. This gaol's best known prisoner is undoubtedly the infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly. Today's visitors to the Old Melbourne Gaol can get a glimpse at what gaol life was like back in the 1800s.
5. Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum, Faulconbridge
The works of Norman Lindsay, world-famous Australian artist, writer and creator of The Magic Pudding, live on at his gallery and museum at Faulconbridge, NSW. The gallery and museum is operated by the National Trust. With carefully manicured lawns and gardens, this also makes an ideal setting for a wedding or corporate event.
Tasmania is home to many wonderful attractions including the National Automobile Museum, located opposite City Park. This museum is a must for car enthusiasts, exhibiting a wide range of vehicles from the last one hundred years and more. Along with regular displays, the National Automobile Museum also has special exhibits, including restored cars and motorcycles and prestigious cars such as Bentleys, Mercedes-Benz' and Rolls-Royces.
Even if you are not an avid cricket fan, there's no denying that Sir Donald Bradman was an Australian legend. The Bradman Museum is next to the Bradman Oval in Bowral, New South Wales, directly opposite what had once been the Bradman's home. Visitors can explore the history of cricket, along with a range of significant cricket memorabilia.
8. National Film and Sound Archive, Various Centres
The National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) collects and preserves Australia's precious audio-visual heritage. While they have a major role in the technical side of preserving and storing these materials, they also have a number of libraries and centres open for the public. These centres are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth. The NFSA also has a more specialised centre in Canberra - the Centre for Scholarly and Archival Research.
9. Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
The Powerhouse Museum is at Darling Harbour, in a building that was once the old power station in Ultimo. It has a wide and varied collection including areas of science, history, technology, industry, design, music, arts, transport and space. Visitors can explore via a range of exhibits and interactive activities such as audio phones, touch screens, experiments, theatres, performances and guides.
10. National Maritime Museum, Sydney
To discover the history of the maritime industry, visit the National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour. The role of this museum is to preserve maritime heritage while sharing it with future generations. This is carried out via a range of research and acquisition programs and exhibitions, along with providing creative, interactive events and community programs.
As well as these top 10 Australian museums, each state has its own state museum. These centres are generally full of interactive and static displays, special exhibitions and community programs and are well worth including as part of any luxurious travel experience.
Have to disagree on some of this list. Australian War Memorial should hands down be on it. In my opinion it's one of the best in the world! Honestly can't believe you chose a cricket museum over the War Memorial.