Australian Museum, Sydney

4 out of 5 stars 24 Reviews

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  • The Australian Museum
    The Australian Museum
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Get up close to retired warships
    Get up close to retired warships
    by sirgaw
  • weird bird
    weird bird
    by DEBBBEDB
  • Drever's Profile Photo

    Australian Museum

    by Drever Written Apr 17, 2014
    A live Aboriginal musical and demonstration
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    This museum, the oldest in Australia is a museum of natural history and anthropology. Its collections cover invertebrate and vertebrate zoology, mineralogy and palaeontology, and anthropology. It also provided a setting for showing and promoting indigenous arts and culture. My interest covered the latter so after a brief look at the other galleries I explored the history of the Indigenous people.

    They have occupied Australia for at least 60,000 and possibly as much as 120,000 years. How they reached here is shrouded in mystery but the landmasses were different then which may have made the journey across what is now water easier. On reaching here they evolved with the land, changing it and changing with it. The land to them is not just soil, rocks and minerals but is the core of their spirituality.

    Their religion, the Dreaming, has different meanings for different tribes. It is a network of knowledge faith and practices that stems from stories of creation, which controls all spiritual and physical aspects of life. It sets out the structure of society, the rules for social behaviour and the ceremonies performed to preserve the life of the land. In essence the Dreaming comes from the land. With the arrival of the Europeans the Dreaming entered a new phase to take account of the newcomers. It is a powerful living force to the Aboriginals that they nurture and care for.

    When European colonists first arrived they found an unfamiliar land occupied by plants, animals and people they didn't understand. They misunderstood the important connection between indigenous Australians and land and thought the land was theirs for the taking. They didn’t realise that if they took for example fish from waters traditionally fished by Aboriginals the indigenous people would expect something back in return. The Aboriginals might therefore help themselves to for instance a cow. The settlers saw this as theft not realising that they themselves were guilty and so conflict grew.

    The Europeans in several cases hunted down the Aboriginals. They offered resistance. Pemulwug was the first to do so. Between 1790 and 1802 he waged a guerrilla war on the young colony of New South Wales. Although shot and captured in 1802 others continued the fight.

    The whites massacred hundreds of Aboriginals at Waterloo creek in 1837. The year 1838 saw some justice. A court ordered the hanging of seven whites for the murder of several black people at Myall Creek. However Aboriginals died in great numbers from European diseases, poor food and accommodation, ill treatment and sometimes murder.

    The newcomers even tried breeding the Aboriginals out of existence by forcing the women to take white men as husbands. The forced separation of children from parents by the Aboriginal Protection Board occurred from the late 1880s until 1969. The Board aimed to bring up the children like white children.

    Link -up formed in 1980 worked with Aboriginal adults separated as children from their families. They were the lost generation who lost contact with their roots. States or sectarian institutions for indigenous children or in non-indigenous institutions, foster homes or adoption homes raised many.

    Since 1987 the Aboriginals have been gradually winning full title to their traditional lands. 1994 even saw the launch of the anti-racism campaign by the NSW Local Aboriginal Land Council at Sydney Opera House.

    One of the great ironies of indigenous history is that the use of indigenous labour aided the steady advances of the pastoral industry and indigenous land. Indigenous stockmen provided valuable bush skills and labour, yet received little for their work.

    The sheer contempt that white people had for other cultures I find breathtaking. Charles Darwin’s work On the Origin of Species must have contributed with its ideas on the survival of the fittest. In fact the early attempts to explore Australia were often stupid beyond belief. Something that consulting the indigenous people would have prevented. However such was the contempt that they were held they weren’t originally even classified as people but as fauna.

    At first while admiring their art I at first thought them only pretty patterns. Buried deep within them thought is a story some quite complex. Originally they used natural materials such as from the gum tree but they have rapidly caught up with modern methods and now often use acrylics. White painters did not have a feel for Australia and it was Aboriginal painters through their works that truly opened up the red heard of Australia with their expressive paintings.

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    Pushing a Wheelchair

    by DEBBBEDB Written Sep 1, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Maska
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    We went to this museum to look at native birds and art. I was particularly interested in the masks and I had a good time shopping in the museum shop. I did have to push my grandmother in a wheelchair, and some of the spaces (especially around the stuffed birds) there were a lot of crowds and I had a hard time getting her through. There were elevators

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Natural and Aboriginal

    by grandmaR Written Aug 31, 2012

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Aboriginal Masks
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    We got off at the Australian Museum stop about 3:30.

    I had not really intended to visit this museum but we had ridden the Hop On Hop Off bus most of the afternoon and I thought we could stop here and then get back on the bus and get back to the hotel and finish up the next day. I also thought my granddaughter would be interested in the aboriginal art, since she is an art student.

    Open 9.30am to 5.00pm every day except Christmas Day.
    Adult $12
    Concessions $8
    Concession categories
    Seniors Card-holders (all states)
    International seniors
    International Student Idenitification Card-holders
    Student card-holders
    Child (5 -15 years) $6

    They charge an extra percentage if you use a credit card instead of cash.

    I had a coupon for 20% off out of a book I got at the airport. We didn't pay extra to see the Deep Ocean Exhibit. We got a wheelchair and my granddaughter pushed. We saw the native birds and some minerals (looked at the various opals) and the Aboriginal art. It wasn't as good as some natural history museums I have seen, but it was OK and we did get a look at some birds and animals.

    After we shopped in the bookstore there we turned in the wheelchair and got back on the Sydney bus.Here I made a BIG mistake. I got on the bus at the wrong stop. So instead of getting on at stop 5 which would have taken us around to the hotel at 11, we got on at 14 and had to go all the way around to stop 1 and then go to 11.

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    Australian National Maritime Museum

    by sirgaw Updated Apr 25, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Get up close to retired warships
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    Being an island nation the sea has always been important to Australia, in fact until the 1960’s nearly all of our population arrived in this country by sea - and all that migration started with the First Fleet in 1788. Our trade with other counties is by sea, some 90% of our population lives within 100 kilometres of the coast line, so the seas (or oceans) are deeply etched in our past, present and future.

    What better way to acknowledge the importance of the sea than a trip to the Australian National Maritime Museum located beside the spectacular Darling Harbour, which abuts the city of Sydney?

    The really good news is that entry to the museum is free, although there is fees payable for entry to HMB Endeavour replica, destroyer HMAS Vampire, submarine HMAS Onslow and the tall ship James Craig.

    The museum has a fascinating collection of maritime exhibits ranging from models of ships - and when we visited a modeller actually hand building a timber model boat, to real boats of all descriptions ranging from a quirky entry to the Darwin beer can boat race (see photo), to the worlds fastest boat and the yacht Blackmores First Lady, which was sailed by Kay Cottee, who single handed sailed around the world without stopping. Plenty of other exhibits to keep visitors enthralled for many hours - depending on interest (sadly Lady Gaw dragged me out).

    There’s a well-stocked gift shop containing many nautical books etc and outside Yots café and bar, although for food there are cheaper options at the nearby shopping centre, which includes a large and competitively priced food court.

    See separate tip HM Bark Endeavour.

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    Australian Museum

    by terps94 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    an aboriginal mask

    If you are tired of partying and sightseeing and you want to soak in some culture this a good place for you. The museum offers a great exhibit about Australia's natural history and indigenous cultures. The time that we visited this museum they also have an exhinit called " From the Tomb and Beyond" (?).

    I find the exhibit about the indigenous culture the most interesting part of the museum

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    Australia Museum

    by LadyRVG Updated Jul 28, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Man and his
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    The Australia Museum was high on my list of places to visit in Sydney since I am a Natural History Geek. The Museum is a good size with some nice exhibits of Indigenous AUstralian Artifacts, Skeletons, Rocka & Minerals, dinosaur displays, animals displays and Aboriginal exhibits.

    Some of my favorite exhibits were of the rocks and minerals. Ilove Earth Science and this exhibit was heaven for me. The skeleton exhibit had a nice collection of skeletons from various animals. They even had some funny exhiits such as the "Bone Ranger" which was a human skeleton riding upon a horse skeleton cowboy style.

    It was a fun time exploring the museum and even Chris enjoyed it.

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    The Australian Museum

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Jan 18, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Australian Museum
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    This Museum of Anthropology and natural history is one of Sydney's best. Sydney is not particulary known for its aboriginal culture but this is one place to get to know more about of Australia's first inhabitants.

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  • salisbury3933's Profile Photo

    Australian Museum

    by salisbury3933 Updated Mar 25, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This museum has some interesting displays on native Australians, an interesting skeleton collection of various animals, displays of native birds and insects, as well as a lot of different rocks and minerals, nice for geologists I suppose.

    Would have expected something a bit better from a museum with such a name, but it was worth visiting anyway.

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  • evilprebil's Profile Photo

    Australian Museum

    by evilprebil Written Aug 25, 2006

    An extensive and enlightening look at the aboriginal history in Australia as well as other key items. Apparantly it is rated as one of the best Natural history Museums in the world. It was a very moving experience.

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  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo

    Australian Maritime Museum

    by ATXtraveler Written Jan 29, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    One key to travelling to an international city such as Sydney, is to find a few things that do not cost alot. This will help you balance out how much you spend on the more expensive things!

    One of these inexpensive visits should definitely include a stroll through the Australian Maritime Museum, which is located in the heart of Darling Harbour. If you have trouble spotting it, just look for the large military ship out in front on the water.

    The maritime museum frequently holds exhibits of maritime genre pieces, and currently the "Vikings" have invaded!

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  • saraheg77's Profile Photo

    Australian National Maritime Museum

    by saraheg77 Written Sep 15, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Titanic Mom
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    Open daily 9:30am to 5pm except Christmas (open until 6pm in January).

    Entry is FREE. But, an entry fee applies to the large ships at our wharves and occasional special events - check web site for prices.

    My parents and I decided to just look at the free stuff and then decide if we wanted to pay for anything and the exhibitions kept us so busy we didn't do anything else! Although, it did look like it would be fun to explore some of the ships. One of the traveling exhibitions was one about art on French ships of the past and it was really interesting. They had lots of examples (see the picture)! The other exhibits in the museum were pretty interesting, too, and we definitely got our money's worth! :D

    If you're in Darling Harbour and enjoy museums, I would recommend the Maritime Museum!

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  • saraheg77's Profile Photo

    Australian Museum - a nice way to spend the day!

    by saraheg77 Updated Sep 12, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Aboriginal Chapel

    Today I spent most of the day at the Australian Museum. I really enjoyed the temporary Egyptian exhibit, the Indigenous Australian people exhibit, and the minerals exhibit.

    The picture is of a reconstruction of a chapel that missionaries set up when they went in to the aboriginal areas. There are two interesting pieces of art hanging on the wall. One was a variation of 'The Last Supper'.

    There were also extensive exhibits of skeletons, birds & insects that were nice, but not something I enjoyed as much as the others. :)

    The museum is open 7 days from 9:30am-5pm.

    Admission prices:

    Family (2 adults, 2 children) $25
    Family (1 adult, 2 children) $17.50
    Extra child (each) $2.50
    Adult $10
    Child (5 - 15 years) $5
    Under 5s FREE
    Concession card holders:
    Government Concession Card Holders $5
    Australian Student Card Holders $5
    Seniors Card Holders NSW Government Issue $5
    Members of The Australian Museum Society (TAMS) FREE
    Australian Age Pensioners FREE
    Schools: $5 per student

    The temporary exhibits can cost extra. The Egyptian exhibit cost an extra $8 for adults.

    Check the website for additional daily activities.

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  • BerniShand's Profile Photo

    THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM

    by BerniShand Written May 14, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Australias first museum established in 1821 the Australian Museum is a wonderful guide to the natural history of this amazing country

    originally we thought the entrance fee of 10AUD was very expensive, but agreed later that it was worth every cent, we were there for over 4 hours and still didnt see everything
    perhaps we are slower than the usual museum visitors, after all we were following the self guided tour leaflet which says approximate time one hour, and we did visit the museum coffee shop for refreshments, but the exhibits were so interesting we didnt notice the time passing

    one of our favourite exhibitions was the skeleton room, it could have been gruesome but we found it to be fun, quirky and informative

    the museum is open 9.30 - 5 every day except for Christmas day, there are lockers available for bags / backpacks

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  • MikeAtSea's Profile Photo

    Australian Museum

    by MikeAtSea Written Jan 11, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Australian Museum

    This is Australias first museum and probably the best to find out about Australia.
    Collections include:
    Indigenous Australians
    Biodiversity
    Chapman Mineral Collection
    Birds and Insects
    Here one would step into one of the world's most remarkable natural history museums.

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  • martin_nl's Profile Photo

    Australian Navy and Surf Culture

    by martin_nl Updated Nov 2, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Helicopter hanging on the ceiling

    Beside the explorers part it was great to see the navy stuff that was all around you. This helicopter was just hanging on the ceiling. It was huge. Another fave was the surf culture and watersports exhibit, which is housed in a rather new part of the museum. The whole atmosphere in the museum is fantastic and above all its entry is free.

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