Australian Museum. Visit Australia's first museum on the Sydney Bus Tour

Welcome to the oldest museum in Australia. If you're into natural history you'll want to hop off your Sydney Bus Tour here, come in and take a look around. There's plenty to keep you occupied. Its collections of specimens and artifacts are famous the world over. From Australia's unique flora and fauna to its rich Aboriginal culture, this is the place to start learning more.

The first thing you'll probably notice in the foyer is the group of African lions. They were originally installed in 1910, back when people hailed dioramas as 'the way forward' in the world of exhibitions. Rather than looking at display cases, the public wanted to see a lively, realistic reproduction of nature. Cue the taxidermists.

Scientific research

The museum has become an important centre for scientific research. There are large collections of rare specimens from all over the southern hemisphere, vital for many researchers. Climate change. The biology of pest species. Indigenous cultures. Some ground-breaking research happens inside these walls.

Aboriginal culture

The Australian Museum was originally focused on collecting animals, rocks, minerals and fossils. But that changed when Robert Etheridge became Curator in 1887. He was fascinated by Aboriginal prehistory. Thanks to his research, the museum contains a number of precious Aboriginal artifacts.

Other interesting facts about the Australian Museum

  • When it originally opened, the museum had just one exhibition gallery
  • The 'Wild Planet' display showcases over 400 animals
  • The museum regularly hosts touring exhibitions, such as Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • As it was the only museum in Australia for a number of years it became guardian of some very famous objects, such as relics from Captain James Cook's travels throughout the Pacific.

Open from 10am to 5pm. Closed on Christmas Day. Entry is free for a limited time only.