National Gallery Canberra,

National Gallery of Australia

When you visit the capital of Australia, the National Gallery Canberra, which is the national museum and art gallery of the country, is a must see tourist attraction.

If you are a "culture vulture", it will definitely please you with both its architecture and the art collections it houses.

If you are not, it is still worth having a quick look, to see the massive concrete building and get an understanding of what is inside.

It is free to visit.

You will only have to pay when the museum displays one of the special Canberra exhibitions. Otherwise you can see the great treasures amassed there for free.

Getting There

The National Gallery of Australia is located in the Parkes suburb in the triangle formed by Commonwealth and Kings Avenues. Here it is on the Canberra map, next to the National Portrait Gallery and the High Court.

View Canberra Museums in a larger map

It is a 30 minutes walk from Canberra centre, crossing the imposing Commonwealth Avenue bridge.

commonwealth bridge leads to national gallery canberra

You can take the bus or drive.

If you go by car, there are 2 parking places. You can leave the car for 3 hours in the underground spot or the whole day in the above ground one.

Try to get into the latter as 3 hours is not enough for the museum. And you may also want to visit other great Canberra attractions in the area.

The gallery is open daily except for the Christmas day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

National Gallery Canberra - What's Inside?

national gallery canberra, national gallery of australia

The galleries are on three levels.

  • The lower ground level has mainly East Asian art: Chinese and Japanese. Some of the exhibits are 2000 years old or more. You will be amazed by the intricacy of craftsmanship of those early works of art.
  • Don't go past one of the great Australian painters, Sidney Nolan and his collection of paintings about Ned Kelly, the famous Australian bushranger and outlaw. It is at the ground level, just near the entrance. The series of works is an interesting depiction of a legendary figure in Australia's history.

    Ground level also houses international art:

    • Western impressionism, surrealism, cubism, abstract and pop art, contemporary;
    • Southeast Asian - Indian, Indonesian;
    • Pacific art is also present with artefacts from Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.
  • Level one is dedicated to Australian art from colonial times to impressionism, symbolism, modern and contemporary art.

I am sure you will enjoy visiting the National Gallery of Australia. And while you are there why not visit the National Portrait Gallery, next door?

And also get to know more about the city's other museums, especially the Australian War Memorial.

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