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“Excellent gallery, both indoors and outdoors”

National Gallery of Australia
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Canberra Day Trip from Sydney Including Parliament House and Australian War...
Ranked #3 of 213 things to do in Canberra
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: The collection of over 100,000 pieces contains Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, as well as Australian, Asian and international works.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
124 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Excellent gallery, both indoors and outdoors”
Reviewed October 24, 2012

The first thing to note about the National Gallery of Australia is that the enjoyment stems from both the artworks inside the building and those outside. The permanent collection of Australian and international art is more than adequate reason for making the visit (Boyd, Nolan, Roberts, Streeton, Brancusi, Hockney, Pollack to name just a few), not to mention the best collection of Aboriginal art in Australia, but it is the outdoor artworks which really set the NGA apart from many art museums. First of all, see the sculpture garden between the gallery and the lake where outstanding sculptures are featured amongst trees and shrubs. There is also the wonderful Skyspace installation by James Turrell near the front entrance. It is a beautiful blend of architecture and astronomy. This is a feature best seen at dawn or dusk to appreciate the interplay between light and building.
Because entry is free for the permanent collection, one can go in and out of the building to rest in the sculpture garden as well as taking in the artworks there. However, to fully appreciate the sculpture garden be there at midday to see the beautiful, ethereal fog sculpture which adds so much beauty to the adjoining reed pond.
My recommendation for visitors who can spare a full afternoon is to arrive at midday to see the fog sculpture in the sculpture garden, have lunch, enjoy the gallery permanent collection, visit the National Portrait Gallery opposite the NGA and finally, return to view the Skyspace at dusk (even at night if moonlit).

Visited January 2012
1 Thank BluebirdOverRainbow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Newcastle, NSW
Level Contributor
48 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit, pity about some of the staff”
Reviewed October 12, 2012

A great range of works to see here. Definitely well worth a visit for anyone who enjoys art but will probably interest those who will recognise just a few of the works and artists on display.

Visit was with a school group. Unfortunately some staff members seem to think their power involves rudeness to children. Particularly a female guard near the indigenous works. Would've been fair enough if behaviour was unacceptable but children were remaining quiet, walking in a small group and eagerly sharing what they had discovered about works & artists. Could only be considered a power trip as the children were too well mannered to respond rudely.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Jen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“The permanent collection is always worth a look ans the sculpture garden is fabulous”
Reviewed October 10, 2012

But why do all the major exhibitions cost so much in Australia's major galleries? Why is the food in their cafes so expensive... $11 for a sausage roll here! And why are the exhibition catalogues so dear? I know full well the answers they will give, but suggest they lower their prices to get more people, close one day a week like all the international ones do and save a day's wages to help bring down costs!

Anyway, I digress. A visit to our nations capital is not complete without visiting the NGA. The sculpture garden is a knockout and the permanent collection has some real gems. A great place to lose yourself for an hour or three, but expect to get hit hard in the hip pocket to see a major exhibition.

Visited September 2012
Thank cashbrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“NGA is fantastic.”
Reviewed October 9, 2012

This is a world ranking art gallery. the collection is eclectic and well presented. The annual block-buster exhibitions are always terrific. The collection from the Musse D'Orcy was more than we saw in Paris.

Visited September 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
74 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“What a great gallery.”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Really the best gallery in Oz. Saw the Sydney Long exhibition - marvellously presented.Always a must visit in Canberra.

Visited October 2012
Thank darrellhilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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