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“Very moving experience”

Australian War Memorial
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$144.22*
and up
Canberra Explorer: Australia's Capital City Tour from Sydney
Ranked #1 of 245 things to do in Canberra
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Australian War Memorial combines a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive. The Memorial's purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war. Its mission is to assist Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Stairs / elevator, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed February 14, 2013

You cannot visit Canberra without going to the War Memorial. Too hard to put into words. We have visited many times and always leave in awe. Must visit.

Thank weekenders2812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AWM_Webmaster, AWM Webmaster at Australian War Memorial, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2016

We appreciate your review.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,203 - 7,207 of 8,070 reviews

Reviewed February 13, 2013

This is a world-class museum dedicated to the sacrifice of Australians in the time of war. I would highly recommend dedicating at least a day for a visit, otherwise you’re going to feel rushed and disappointed that you weren’t able to see everything. The museum is built into the hillside overlooking the city and hides an extensive collection. I actually spend about two days going though all the exhibits, which were extremely professional and contained a few multimedia surprises.

A visit can be split into 3 distinct sections. First, the exterior grounds contain a number of statues and military pieces (tanks, gun barrels, etc.) that are spread around to the left of the entrance. If you’re short on time, this can probably be skipped, or done at the end of your day when the museum is closing. Second, the Hall of Memory and Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier located in the center of the museum present a somber picture of remembrance. This should be the first place to visit and if you stay until the end of the day, museum staff will perform a short ceremony beside the reflection pool and eternal flame. Third are the gallery exhibits, which will take up the majority of your visit.

The time needed to work your way through the displays will depend entirely on how much you want to read. Almost all of the static exhibits have some sort of historical text, plus there are short multimedia presentations throughout the galleries. There’s enough to do just by walking around and pausing to look at the dioramas – if you were to stop and read everything, you’ll need days to make it through to the gift shop!

While the floor plan for the exhibits is fairly logical – areas broken down into the First World War, WWII, Aircraft Hall, etc. – there isn’t a clear linear path to follow to ensure you see all of the collection. I almost missed the entire display located in the Anzac Hall because I didn’t walk to the very back of Aircraft Hall, where the entrance is located. Considering that Anzac Hall holds some of the largest pieces in the collection (and a great video presentation), that would have been a loss. The lower level of the museum also holds a small area for rotating exhibits, as well at a twisting maze of pre-WWI colonial military history.

As I’ve said – lots to see and do – but most people won’t have a full day from 1000 - 1700 to see everything. If you are pressed for time, I would focus on seeing the Hall of Memory, then loop through WWI, Aircraft Hall, Anzac Hall, and WWII in that order.

Before travelling to Canberra, I was told that this was the one must-see museum in the country. Visiting the War Memorial was a moving experience and certainly something that all Australians can take pride in.

Thank Hootbag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AWM_Webmaster, AWM Webmaster at Australian War Memorial, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2016

Thank you for your kind review.

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Reviewed February 12, 2013

Despite having spent days wandering around the War Memorial over the past ten years it always rates as a must see when visiting Canberra.

The Anzac Hall is probably my favourite part of the museum and if you have limited time there I would suggest you explore this.

The closing ceremony is held at 5pm every day and a moving event that is well worth seeing.

Thank Roddez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AWM_Webmaster, AWM Webmaster at Australian War Memorial, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2016

Thank you for visiting the Memorial.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

it was very good, will take at least 3 days to go through the whole place, make sure you get on a tour.The tour take 1.5 hours and worth while. I can not have a negative comment here.

Thank Mauzie427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AWM_Webmaster, AWM Webmaster at Australian War Memorial, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2016

Thank you for your five star review.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 11, 2013

With 3 children (2, 6 & 10 yrs) we weren't sure they would have the patience and interest, but they found a lot of it really interesting and absolutely loved the D-zone (Discovery Zone) hands on helicopter, uniforms, submarine, etc. Fantastic fun and we didn't allow enough time for it!!

Thank Gayle E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AWM_Webmaster, AWM Webmaster at Australian War Memorial, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2016

Thank you Gayle.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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