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“Real political history”

Museum of Australian Democracy
Ranked #7 of 213 things to do in Canberra
Certificate of Excellence
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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
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
231 reviews
145 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Real political history”
Reviewed September 25, 2013

Old Parliament house is now MAD. I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist it. Seriously, a guided tour is an excellent investment into understanding Australia's political history. The guides are excellent and have an incredible amount of knowledge about the building, the peopler who worked in it and the events that took place. Everything is all very cramped, especially compared to Parliament House behind it. However, that was what it was really like for decades. There are also special displays which often focus on themes. The shop has a very good array of books and items for sale. If you have any interest in Australian democracy, then do not miss this attraction.

Visited July 2013
Thank Shane M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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879 reviews from our community

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Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
178 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Good History”
Reviewed September 10, 2013

This beautiful building houses many rooms of interest for the visitor.
We roamed around all the different areas and sat in the House of Reps and the Senate.
It was most interesting to see Bob Hawkes Office and also the journalists crammed area and their outdated machines..
There are some interactive displays where you can write about an issue on a notice board.
Below the main entrance there is a display of some very good cartoons of various modern day parliamentarians.
We had lunch at the cafe in the courtyard and was told that the cafe was moving to the front of the building soon.The menu was not extensive but what we had was good.

Visited August 2013
Thank Catherine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Aust
Level Contributor
175 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Fascinating for Australians to see”
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Going to Old Parliament House is such a wonderful experience, especially as an adult. To look in on the old rooms, the squashed journalist quarters, to sit in the House of Reps, you can really understand how politics was in those days. With the politicians crammed up against the journalist, no wonder things were different back then. It has a great feel and you really get a good sense of the times.

Visited August 2013
Thank TheWard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane Region, Australia
Level Contributor
704 reviews
330 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 231 helpful votes
“Learn about our history”
Reviewed September 6, 2013

Decided to visit on election day and was very impressed. The building is very well preserved and the exhibits are very good. There are a good number of interactive displays where you can read about an issue and then have a vote about that issue. Then they show you the results to date. Quite interesting.

There's plenty of history in the 2 chambers, remarkably small for what was such an important place in our democratic development. Take the time to read the various displays, it's worth it.

The guides are friendly and welcoming, and also very knowlegable. They not only know about the building and its history, but also of parliamentary procedures and history in Australia and elsewhere. How else would I have learned that the width of the table at which the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition sit is based on them being seated 2 sword lengths apart - as in the UK !!

The entry fee ($2 for adults, $5 for family) is minimal for the experience you get. There are displays about our Prime Ministers, there are portraits of them, there are other galleries too - when I visited there was (and is for a few more weeks) an exhibition of Arthur Boyd paintings. Don't think that a visit will be boring. And there's much more to the building than what you see from the park in froint of it - there are internal courtyards etc too.

There is a cafe, although I didn't visit it, it seemed well used. That's for next time.

Visited September 2013
Thank kjbMirani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coffs Harbour, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Old Parliament House”
Reviewed August 9, 2013

Very interesting place and you can almost feel the history in the building. An eye opener into our political history and not as luxurious as you might expect for the PM. Worth visiting.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Lee T T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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