We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“the craft reflects its people”

Museum of Australian Democracy
Ranked #7 of 213 things to do in Canberra
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Housed in one of Australia’s most-loved buildings, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House brings the journey of Australian democracy to life— presenting its past, present and possible futures.Enjoy a range of innovative exhibitions, tours and exhibitions that challenge and inspire. There are also special activities and spaces for children to explore.Open 9am - 5pm 7 days a week, except Christmas DayAdmission: $2.00 Adults $1.00 Concession $5.00 FamilyAll exhibitions free after entryAssisted entry available
australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“the craft reflects its people”
Reviewed December 7, 2012

spectacular and beautifully shown how each craft will collaborate the history of its commonwealth...the years of tears and sweat compensated what is it today...the Australian Capital Territory...

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank dhidha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

880 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    593
    231
    46
    5
    5
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
UAE
Level Contributor
73 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Just OK”
Reviewed November 29, 2012

Highly informative about the evolution of Australia, although information on the White Australia Policy as well as the indigenous movement was conspicuously missing for a robust account/experience.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank AwesomeThings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra
Level Contributor
131 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“If These Walls Could Talk...”
Reviewed November 21, 2012

Built in 1927 as the temporary home of Australia’s Parliament for the next 50 years, Old Parliament House served for over 60 before becoming the Museum of Australian Democracy. It’s witnessed declarations of war, hosted the granting of citizenship to Indigenous Australians, been peppered by gunfire, and held up a dismissed Prime Minister on its front steps. It is the epicentre of Australian political history, and a fantastic place to spend a day.

You can have your run of the place for only a few dollars, wandering around, checking out the countless interactive displays and exhibits, including into the parliamentary chambers and up into the press gallery. There’s regular guided tours of the building that also include the Prime Minister’s suite and the Cabinet Room, with plenty of interesting stories along the way. I’ve done the tour 3 times now in the last few years, and I’ve enjoyed it each time and learned something new.

The costume exhibit back on the Senate side to the right will keep both young and old entertained for some time. My wife’s bridesmaids were screaming with laughter for over an hour a few days before our wedding, trying on all manner of period finery. The historical furniture displays and architecture of the building itself are also enough to keep you engaged, and nicely break up all the politics.

The Café in the House has been a bit hit and miss for me over the years, but certainly somewhere nice to get a decent meal, or just a quick drink. While it’s been a few years since I last attended one, the Friday night happy hours in the House of Reps courtyard on the left were always a lively affair, with Canberra’s young up and comers celebrating the end of another week. At the fancier end, the Ginger Room offers up fine dining, and the Members Dining Room is a great place to book out for conferences, weddings and any other special occasion.

They do a great job at Old Parliament House, and it’s well worth a visit.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
Thank captain_beetroot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yass, Australia
Level Contributor
208 reviews
108 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Visit only if you are interested in government”
Reviewed November 21, 2012

Fully agree with other reviewers that this building is spectacular and beautifully historic. Stunning use of wood and beautiful views. The displays and access to historic rooms are worthwhile but why on earth they have not installed the Aboriginal Embassy in this building is hard to understand. So many empty rooms and spaces have not been used for so many years. In August we visited and were lucky enough to see the Model United Nations Assembly in session for the weekend. Hundreds of young people in national dress of countries from all over the world competing in a debate where they were discussing United Nations resolutions. This seemed to be an excellent use of one are of these buildings but apart from school excursions and some functions the buildings seem to be completely underutilised. I dont know if the Aboriginal community wants an wing or rooms in this building but it would have been nice to see a full display of Aboriginal activism at least somewhere in this building. The staff are informative and enthusiastic but dont waste your time or money in the cafe ( where the wonderful shop used to be. The shop used to sell an amazing array of Australiana and educational material now it is just an expensive cafe. What a shame.)

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank 1stimetraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast, Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“What an awesome experience”
Reviewed November 14, 2012

The Museum of Australian Democracy was the stand-out attraction for me on my day off in Canberra.

This is the building that used to house the Parliament before moving to the bigger building up the hill. The Museum has opened up many rooms, including the former Prime Ministers & President of the Senate offices - even the secret cabinet room that is located behind a 20cm thick concrete door. The Museum is more than just a building, they have populated & decorated the rooms with statues, furniture & knick-knacks covering 60+ years.

There are several excellent tours including a quick snap shot & a walk around discussion with a guide. But the best was the Cabinet room experience where an actual scenario was presented to the groups to watch then discuss.

Visit this Museum and allow heaps of time - it is bigger and more amazing than I expected

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank ConsultantDoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Museum of Australian Democracy also viewed

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
 
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
 

Been to Museum of Australian Democracy? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing