Australian War Memorial, Canberra

5 out of 5 stars 58 Reviews

Treloar Crescent, Campbell 02 6243 4211

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  • Lest We Forget
    Lest We Forget
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  • Menin Gate Lion (left)
    Menin Gate Lion (left)
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    Menin Gate Lion (right)
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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL

    by balhannah Updated Nov 19, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST MUSEUMS.

    This Memorial has lots of extensive Galleries commemorating the sacrifice of 102,000 Australian’s who have died in war.
    Anything that is to do about a War that Australia has been involved in, you will find it here. Amazing dioramas, relics, photos, personal stories, make this a very sad place to visit.

    There are large halls containing information on WW1 and WW11, the AIRCRAFT HALL, ORIENTATION GALLERY & ANZAC HALL on entry level.

    On the lower level is information on the CONFLICTS FROM 1945 TO TODAY, THE RESEARCH CENTRE, DISCOVERY ZONE, COURTYARD GALLERY, SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS GALLERY and COLONIAL COMMITMENTS.

    FREE GUIDED TOURS ARE AVAILABLE………As is THE RESEARCH CENTRE, where you can research your family history if they were involved in one of the Wars.

    The room is open from 10 – 4.50 pm on week days and 1 – 4.50pm on Saturdays. The computer is very easy to use, and there is a gentleman that will help. We looked up some family members, then printed the information out. You may be lucky and find a photo of your relative, we weren’t.

    Enquiries at www.awm.gov.au research centre 02 62434315

    The Memorial shop, the last place you visit on the way out, has a big collection of books and other memorabilia.
    Visitors are welcome to attend various ceremonies and wreathlayings, including the daily closing ceremony featuring a piper or bugler at 4.55pm.
    For information on what is happening each day, see the staff in the Orientation gallery.

    The Museum is large, we spent 4.5 hours here, and could have easily spent a lot longer, so be aware to allow enough time to have a good look.

    OPEN 10 – 5pm daily

    ADMISSION...Please give a gold coin donation or more............it's EXCELLENT

    Signing up to go to War Soldier Teddies at the gift shop Great dioramas Great dioramas Australian Victorian Cross recipients
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    SOUND & LIGHT SHOWS

    by balhannah Written Nov 19, 2009

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    THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL has excellent exhibits with some of them having a sound and light show included.
    It is worth staying in that area until the show begins.

    KAPYONG DIORAMA - KOREAN GALLERY

    Sound & light every 15mins......Using digital technology to recreate the sights and sounds of the battlefield and all diorama sculptures are based on actual portraits of Australians involved at Kapyong.

    IROQUOIS HELICOPTER SHOWS

    HELIBORNE ASSAULT - 3 shows every hour................'Heliborne assault', is about the use of helicopters to drop soldiers into a patrol. These installations use original film and radio traffic recordings to dramatise experience, reinforced with sound and light. Fans installed in the ceilings mimic the downbeat of the rotors; the noise is overpowering and the lights flash.

    DUST - OFF - 1 show every hour........ 'Dust-off', about the evacuation of wounded soldiers,

    LONG TAN THEATRETTE
    A letter from Long Tan - Every 15mins.
    A new film re-enacts the courageous actions fo the men of D Company, 6RAR, in the most famous battle of Australia's Vietnam War.

    LANCASTER BOMBING RAID

    Anzac Hall ........ "Striking by night", a permanent exhibition featuring a dramatic sound and light show that re-creates a night bombing operation over Berlin in December 1943
    Watch as huge screens play out a solemn re-enactment of the daring night raid over Berlin.

    I think you will enjoy these shows, I did, and so did the large group of school children standing with us.

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    CONFLICTS FROM 1945 UNTIL TODAY

    by balhannah Updated Nov 18, 2009

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    This is a new addition to the War Memorial, only opened in 2008.

    The galleries here, tell the stories of Australia’s involvement in conflicts over the past six decades, as well as Australia’s involvement in peacekeeping operations since 1945.

    The gallery covers conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, and, more recently, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    There are over 30 new audiovisual displays, including Iroquois helicopter sound and light shows, and a re-enactment film of the Battle of Long Tan.

    The Vietnam gallery has as its centrepiece an Iroquois helicopter, complete with a multimedia experience of a ‘helibourne assault’ – a landing with soldiers disembarking, and a ‘dust-off’ – a medical evacuation.

    We stood and watched and listened, felt the wind blowing from the rotors, it felt like we were there, right in the middle of the action, incredibly well done!

    The complete bridge from HMAS Brisbane has been installed at the back of the galleries, and is the Memorial’s largest naval relic.
    HMAS Brisbane served in the Vietnam War, the First Gulf War and later with the UN Multinational Interception Force. I went for a walk on the bridge which features a special multimedia presentation.

    All I can say is..........
    this is another section of the Australian War memorial that should.........

    NOT BE MISSED!

    Iroquois helicopter  during the sound & light show Iroquois helicopter display Iroquois helicopter during sound & light show
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    THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER - PART 3

    by balhannah Updated Nov 18, 2009

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    THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL

    THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER - PART 3

    Located in the Hall of Memory is the “Tomb of the unknown Australian soldier”

    On November 11th, 1993, an unknown Australian Soldier from WW1 was exhumed from a cemetery in France, and re-interred in the Hall of Memory.
    HE SYMBOLIZES ALL AUSTRALIANS WHO HAVE DIED IN WAR.

    The Unknown Australian Soldier is one of 46,000 Australians, who died on the western front in WW1, and one of 18,000 Australians killed in that war who have no known grave. How sad………….

    It is an official war grave, and if you wish, you can lay a flower upon it. In the shop, they sell the Red Poppies.

    This for me, was a very emotional area to visit. It was a place to stand and reflect on the horrors of War and the lives lost, and the sadness of so many “Unknown Soldiers”
    My heart was heavy when visiting this building.

    TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER
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    THE FOUR PILLARS - PART 4

    by balhannah Updated Nov 18, 2009

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    AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL........
    Inside the Hall of Memory, you will see four pillars standing together.

    These four pillars are all differently shaped and are made from materials symbolizing the four elements.

    • THE GLASS PILLAR, icy and colorless, symbolizes WATER and suggests the flow of change and transfiguration of souls.

    • THE STONE PILLAR, symbolizes EARTH, and is associated with permanence and endurance, physical structure and the coldness of death.

    • THE METAL PILLAR, symbolizes FIRE, and is associated with energy and passion, patriotism and bravery.

    • THE WOODEN PILLAR, symbolizes AIR, with its polished surface, it’s associated with disembodied spirit and the souls of the dead.

    It was very interesting to know the meanings of each Pillar.
    This concludes on what there is to see in the Hall of Memory.

    Make sure you visit, IT IS A MUST SEE, so sad, probably more moving for Australian’s like me, but anybody will find the aura of this place take you over.

    THE FOUR PILLARS
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    COMMEMORATIVE AREA…PART 1

    by balhannah Updated Nov 18, 2009

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    COMMEMORATIVE AREA…PART 1

    When you enter the War Memorial, if you keep on walking, then you would walk into this area.
    The large “POOL OF REFLECTION,” with the Eternal flame burning is located here, and on either side are arched cloisters which record the Wars in which the Australian forces have fought.

    Lining the walls are small gargoyles which have been crafted to represent native Australian Fauna.
    At the head of the stairs are two sandstone sculptures of Indigenous people overlooking the courtyard as guardian figures.

    A formal garden , planted with Rosemary because of its symbolic significance, borders the courtyard. Rosemary has stood for remembrance since Roman times.

    On the side walls are the Roll of Honour, with the names of the 102,000 Australian Servicemen and Women who have lost their lives in War.
    Many of these have red poppies put there by relatives. These are another important symbol of remembrance.
    For a small fee, the Memorial can create a Roll of Honour certificate for you.

    OPEN 10 - 5 PM daily

    Pool of Reflection Looking towards New Parliament House The Arched Cloisters Arched cloisters and the Pool of Reflection Rememberance Poppies
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    Australian War Memorial

    by leffe3 Updated Jun 6, 2009

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    Putting it quite simply, the Australian War Memorial is extraordinary. Half memorial, half museum, it appeases my personal concern that war memorials can sometimes fall between two stools and glorify rather than commemorate war and its fallen soldiers.

    It sits proudly at the top of the wide ceremonial avenue, Anzac Parade, with a sweeping uninterrupted view of Parliament (new and old) in the distance on the other side of Lake Burley Griffin.

    The museum contains selections from the vast National Collection of relics, official and private records, art, photographs, film, and sound are employed to relate the story of a young nation's experience in world wars, regional conflicts, and international peacekeeping. The story begins at the time sailing ships first brought European settlers, convicts, and military from England in 1789 and extends to the present. The scaled models of various battles over a period of time are some of the best of their genre I have ever seen.

    It's also a tribute to the 100,000+ Australian men and women who have lost their lives in serving their country. 'A central commemorative area surrounded by arched alcoves houses the names of the fallen on the bronze panels of the Roll of Honour. At the head of the Pool of Reflection, beyond the Flame of Remembrance, stands the towering Hall of Memory, with its interior wall and high dome clad in a six-million-piece mosaic. Inside lies the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, an official war grave and national shrine.'

    The impetus for the creation of the Memorial was the WWI and the terrible losses Australia suffered (the highest ratio of deaths against population of all the countries involved). Ironically, the building was not completed by the time Australia entered WWII and the charter needed to be extended to include WWII victims, and then in the 1950s to include all wars. The problem of extending the brief to include all wars and necessary displays etc was not solved until 1971, when two new wings were built to display relics and artefacts.

    Now, in addition the original memorial and the display wings, there's the Sculpture Gardens and a large gallery completed in 2001.

    The Memorial is open every day except Christmas Day, 10am - 5pm.
    Entry is free.

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    AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL, ICON Not to be MISSED

    by AusPinay Written May 5, 2008

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    A visit to this outstanding memorial is not just an educational experience but a lasting lesson for all- that WAR is evil and PEACE must be preserved and defended even by our precious lives!

    At least those were the things that stuck to my family as we view the awful sacrifices made since time past by our men and women in the military and defense forces here and abroad to defend democracy! The peacekeeping that Aussies do overseas particularly in troubled places are just commendable. We do need this MEMORIAL to remember why, what, and how people do love PEACE and abhor WAR!

    The irony is we need to shed precious lives, most of the time use VIOLENCE to justify preserving PEACE.As much as possible I wish Australia will thoroughly examine which nations are deserving of its help and support and not gamble with innocent lives!

    I hope generations to come will learn this valuable lesson about WAR and PEACE!

    The photos will speak for themselves as we browse through the exhibits! You need at least half a day to see everything!Admission is FREE!

    the  iconic WAR MEMORIAL IN CANBERRA some of the defense machinery used in the past another cannon from the past Peacekeeping in tourbled areas Japanese involvement in WWII exhibit
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    See the original Menin Gate Lions

    by pedroswift Updated Aug 1, 2007

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    There are over 50 VT tips on the A.W.M. What can I add? Only a specific which I have found particularly touching. A response to the ANZAC' spirit from the citizens of a town half the world away.
    If you have visited Ypres (Ieper)in Belgium or if you intend to go (& it is a must for Aussies and Kiwis making a pilgimage to First World War battle sites) please note the Menin Gate Lions near the entrance to the museum at the Australian War Memorial.
    The plaque on the wall explains:
    "Menin Gate Lions
    These medieval stone lions once stood on either side of the Menin Gate in the walls of the town of Ypres in Belgium. Ypres was destroyed in the war, and these lions were recovered from the ruins of the Menin Gate.
    During the first world war allied soldiers passed through the gate to the battlefields around Ypres, where over 38,000 Australian soldiers were killed or wounded. The Gate became the site of a memorial to the British empire soldiers, including over 6,000 Australians, killed around Ypres and who have no known graves.
    In 1936 the Burgomaster of Ypres presented the lions to the Australian Government as a gesture of friendship between that town and the people of Australia. They commemorate the service of the Australian soldiers who helped to defend Ypres in 1917."

    Medieval stone lions frm  MeninGate, Ypres Belgium
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    A Peaceful Place to Remember Wars, Heroes and Dead

    by Kakapo2 Written Jul 8, 2007

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    A War Memorial is no place to honour warlords. It honours soldiers who left their homes to fight for a better world and peace. This War Memorial reflects this spirit in a serene way.

    I suppose Australians can honour their soldiers and dead in a more honourable way than we Germans can do, as they have never started a war that would have changed the world. Most Germans get too much when they see military parades although we know very well that the majority of German soldiers, for example in WWII, fought for their country and not for Hitler's wicked ideals. But we acknowledge that you Aussies and Kiwis celebrate ANZAC Day as a reminder that peace is the most important thing in the world and how horrible war is.

    The monumental concrete building was erected at the end of a straight line from Old and New Parliament House - a theoretical straight line, as ANZAC Parade is the only real avenue on this line, and it ends at the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, and no bridge connects the parliamentary zone and the War Memorial side of the lake. It sits right at the foot of Mount Ainslie, so you have the absolutely best view over those three landmarks from up there.

    The Australian War Memorial is the nation's tribute to its 102,000 war dead. Their names are listed on the Roll of Honour. It was opened by the Governor General Lord Gowrie on 11 November 1941. Additions and extensions have been made after World War II and 1971.

    The Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier commemorates all Australians who lost their lives during the wars in the armed forces or in non-combatant roles. The remains of an unidentified Australian soldier were exhumed from a cemetery at Villers-Bretonneux, France, and re-interred in the Hall of Memory on 11 November 1993.

    Although the exhibits are incredibly interesting, the commemorative area with the reflecting pool is the most beautiful part of the Memorial to me, as there you can have your own thoughts about war and peace, and digest all the horrible truths after having visited the exhibitions.

    Impressive entrance of the War Memorial.
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    A great museum of remembrance!

    by Krisanne Written May 3, 2007

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    This is a wonderful place. Lots of great exhibits. Make sure you put aside a good half to full day here. It is also free entry but you can also leave a gold coin donation to help in the upkeep of the memorial.

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  • iandsmith's Profile Photo

    Australian War Museum

    by iandsmith Updated Jul 29, 2006

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    This is, without question, one of the "must-see's" of the Australian tourist circuit. Its fame is world wide and rightly so. What it promises, it delivers. It is a sombre monument to the folly of war, perhaps at times glorifying moments but always reminding one that wars are appalling things to have to endure.
    In the ensuing pages I will elaborate on certain aspects for you.

    A brooding sombre reminder of conflicts past. An overview
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    Australian War Memorial

    by Clint_From_Canberra Written Apr 23, 2006

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    If your into the history of war of Australians who are or were involved all the wars then this is the best place to come.

    In the Australian War Memorial located in Campbell which is directly across the lake from the Old and New Parliament Houses which you can see clearly from the view above the entrance on the walkway.

    The Australian War Memorial has history, files, photos on past world wars, vietnam, korean, gulf war, and current wars involving Australians.

    They have different areas for each war such as the First World War as known now as the Great War and also the Second World War in different areas of combat such as European war, Japanese, War in pacific, Middle East, Asia, and other areas.

    They also have an area telling you about Gallipolli and how the Anzacs fought the battle on Anzac Cove in the First World War and after it.

    The Australian War Memorial is an interesting tourist attraction for all ages and has won a number of National Tourist Attraction Awards over the years.

    The Anzac Day services on 25th April each year begin at 5:30am for the dawn service and 10:15am for the National service which is broadcasted live on national television across Australia and I think New Zealand as well I think.

    So it's well worth the visit and entry is free.

    The Australian War Memorial is open daily from 9am - 5:30pm except closed half a day on 25th April for Anzac Day services.

    For more information about the Australian War Memorial please give them a call or visit the website listed below.

    There is public buses going to and from the War Memorial often and it's only a short drive from the city center and from the other National Tourist Attractions.

    The Lancaster bomber, G for George
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    The Australian War Memorial

    by tiabunna Updated Apr 17, 2006

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    This should top the list as a 'must see'. Situated across the lake from Parliament House, along the Anzac Avenue axis (see heading photo) and directly below Mt Ainslie, the Australian War Memorial is the seemingly contrasting combination of a world-class war museum and a very solemn war memorial. You will be alternately fascinated and depressed by what you find there. The overall effect is tremendously moving.

    I would suggest that you allow a day for a visit if possible. If only half a day is available, ensure you visit the Shrine to the Unknown Soldier and the Hall of Memories (where there are plaques listing over 100,000 Australians who have died in wars involving our country - well over half in WW1).

    There are free guided tours of the Memorial. For those interested in family genealogy, there is also a comprehensive database of military records, available to family members.

    Australian War Memorial and Mt Aislie
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    Australian War Memorial

    by martin_nl Written Oct 22, 2005

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    This is a very big museum, that memorises and displays pictures, relics, dioramas and exhibitions detailing the human toll of wartime. It is very educative to walk around here. In the Netherlands we mainly learn about WW II and mainly about the way we were involved in it all. This is from a European persepctive. I know harldy anything about what happened in Japan, and how Australia was involved in the wars. If you want to know this museum will show you that.

    The war memorial building One of the displays in the museum Sculpture in front of the war memorial building
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