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
    by wabat
  • Menin Gate Lion (left)
    Menin Gate Lion (left)
    by wabat
  • Menin Gate Lion (right)
    Menin Gate Lion (right)
    by wabat
  • Clint_From_Canberra's Profile Photo

    Australian War Memorial

    by Clint_From_Canberra Written Apr 23, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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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    A Peaceful Place to Remember Wars, Heroes and Dead

    by Kakapo2 Written Jul 8, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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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    See the original Menin Gate Lions

    by pedroswift Updated Jan 15, 2015

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    STOP PRESS
    The Lions are currently being displayed in Canada. check :http://www.centenarynews.com/article/?id=299. After the Canadian visit they travel to Ypres to help commemorate the 100th Anniversary of World War 1.

    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 Great memorial and museum

    by fellman01 Written Apr 17, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Australian War Memorial is a must see for anyone visiting Australia and is a great family stop.

    Australia has been an active participant in all of the major 20th century conflicts, as well as a few 19th century ones.
    The human stories are effectively and meaningfully told at the AWM. This is more than a museum - please remember to remove your hat and to act appropriately.
    Entry is free.

    The Great Hall
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    Canberra War Memorial

    by Kate-Me Written Jul 16, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I wasn't sure what to expect with this attraction - something a bit dull and boring and a grey concrete building with little style like some other buildings in Canberra.... but when I read in the tourist brochures that they had a sound and light show, AND entry was free, I decided to go along, and was very glad that I did.
    The building was the most stylish one I've seen in Canberra yet. the attraction itself was both informative, interesting and exciting, yet dignified at all times, focussing on the consequences of war rather than the glory, and very thought provoking, especially the museum and interpretive part of the attraction.

    Canberra War Memorial
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    Australian War Memorial 2

    by Kate-Me Written Jul 16, 2005

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    The chapel, pictured here at the end of the walkway and Eternal Flame, I found to be the most sombre and dignified (apart from the endless walls of lists of casualty names with poppies). They somehow made it feel accessible but a place of reverence and beauty all at the same time.

    outside of the chapel
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    Australian War Memorial – Lest we forget

    by wabat Updated Dec 22, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This a summary and introductory review on the Australian War Memorial. On it you will find links to more detailed reviews on aspects of the memorial that I find particularly interesting – lots!.

    “Here is their spirit, in the heart of the land they loved; and here we guard the record which they themselves made.” Charles Bean, 1948.

    In this the 100th anniversary year of the start of World War I (WWI) it is fitting that I should finally write a tip on the Art Deco, Byzantine style Australian War Memorial (AWM). The AWM comprises and combines Australia’s national shrine of remembrance with a world-class war related museum and an extensive archive.

    It exists to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war. While it was specifically established in 1941 as a World War I memorial it now commemorates Australia’s sacrifices in wars and conflicts from Colonial days right up to our most recent engagement in Afghanistan.

    The AWM’s mission is to ‘to assist Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society’. Off course it is not limited to Australians and is open to, and visited by all. In addition to actual war relics, film, sound and light shows, etc are used in the commemoration of sacrifices made and to inform the visitor.

    Some readers may be concerned that memorials/museums such as this glorify war and indeed many people believe this to be the case with the AWM. While I certainly believe physical force has its place in international relations I am very far from a warmonger. One life lost is one life too many – war should be a last resort.

    In its short existence (European), Australia has been involved in numerous wars and conflicts none of which (apart from relatively minor incursions in WWII) have been on Australian soil. Australian casualties in wars are now in excess of 100,000. While compared to many countries this number is small, it is worth remembering that in WWI (fought on the other side of the world) Australia had the highest ration of deaths to population of all the countries involved.

    In my view, the AWM does not glorify war but rather tries to (and largely succeeds) present a factual portrayal of war in all its nastiness and oft times futility. This does not mean that it does not pull on the average visitor’s heartstrings and emotions. It certainly does. Very few would leave here with the view that war is good, something that we should be proud of or something to be glorified.

    Note: As reviews/tips are written for the items below I will insert a link to those reviews – a short summary of each item will be included here prior to my finalising this review – please bear with me.

    Specific areas of interest to the visitor include:

    Colonial Galleries
    The First World War Galleries
    Shrine of Remembrance (Hall of Memory)
    Midnight at Menin Gate
    The Menin Gate Lions
    Second World War Galleries
    Post WWII conflicts display
    Aircraft Hall / ANZAC Hall
    Hall of Valour

    Also related to the War Memorial and worthy of inclusion in your visit to the Memorial

    The AWM Sculpture Gardens
    ANZAC Parade and its Memorials
    Aboriginal Memorial

    A brief (and I really do mean brief) overview of the above will require at least three hours. I recommend that you allow a full day and don’t wait until 10am to start (when the main memorial and museum opens). Anzac Parade, the Sculpture Gardens and the Aboriginal Memorial are open 24/7.

    The Memorial offers free 90 minute highlight tours. If you don’t make a tour or don’t wish to there a lots of volunteer guides available who are very helpful and more than willing to answer your questions or explain things.

    Opening Hours

    Memorial and Bookshop - every day 10am – 5pm (Closed Christmas day – 25 December)

    Reading rooms and eateries’ hours differ – see website for details

    Entrance fee

    Free

    Getting there

    By car: Sufficient free on-ground and underground parking on-site

    By bicycle: Bicycle racks are available

    By bus:

    Regular bus services run between the City centre and the Memorial on route 10 on week days and 930/931 on weekends – check ACTION Bus website for timetables - http://www.action.act.gov.au/

    Walk: The memorial is less than 30 minutes walk from the city centre. From the rear of the Canberra Centre (shopping Centre) take Ainslie Avenue to its (end) intersection with Limestone Avenue. Turn right and in a few hundred metres the AWM will be on your right. If coming from the lake access is via ANZAC Drive.


    Next Review - War Memorial and ANZAC Parade

    Lest We Forget Australian War Memorial from ANZAC Drive Roll of Honour Simpson and his Donkey Answering the Call of Empire
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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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    A great museum of remembrance!

    by Krisanne Written May 3, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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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    Australian War Memorial

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

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    The Australian War Memorial is regarded as one of the most impressive war museums in the world. You can see actual fighter planes, view dioramas of some of the significant battles Australians have fought.

    Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm daily. Free parking is provided at the rear of the Memorial.

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    The War Memorial

    by Sweetberry1 Updated Jul 17, 2004

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    The Australian War Memorial is regarded as one of the most impressive war museums in the world, and traces the history of Australia's fighting forces during the two World Wars and other conflicts.
    The best way to approach the War Memorial is along Anzac Parade, a wide avenue leading from the lake shore. On either side of Anzac Parade, you will see a series of monuments commemorating the forces from the various Australian services and the conflicts in which they served.

    War Memorial-Bottom end of photo.
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    National War Memorial

    by cutestmidget Written Sep 12, 2002

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    National War Memorial
    An enormous part of our Australian Heritage is embodied in our National War Memorial. As a very young country in comparison to the rest of the world, our history does not contain many dramatic civil wars... It is worthwhile going to see this monument to the fallen, to see the impact that it had on our country and it's people. It is important that we continue to understand our history, and pass on to younger generations the knowledge of the sacrifices that were made to keep our country and it's people safe.

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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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    History Lover

    by MikoNgSV Updated Oct 2, 2004

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    A place provide u with fantastic details of the World War one, World War two, and etc. Be sure to take of your hat or cap if u are entering the hall of honour. (this is to respect those military army that lost their lives during WWI)... Free tour guide is provided every hour and in fact, anytime and the tour last for about an hour. however, for you to view all the history and the all the display, it might takes more than 3 hours.!!!

    Free entrance. however, if u want to, u can provide donation at the donation box upon entering.

    open:
    daily (10am - 5pm)
    during ACT/NSW scholl holidays/public holiday (9am - 5pm)
    closed during xmas day

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Australian War Memorial

    by keeweechic Updated Aug 2, 2003

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    Australian War Memorial is a national shrine and museum with an extensive collection of exhibits, militaria, relics and paintings documenting Australia's military history. The memorial is regarded as one of the most impressive war museums in the world. There are actual fighter planes.

    The Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier is found in the commemorative courtyard where there is a Roll of Honour to remember every Australian serviceman and woman killed in war. Inside the Memorial Building there is also some 20 galleries of exhibits depicting the Australian experience of war.

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