The National Museum of Australia

The National Museum in Canberra preserves and interprets Australia’s social history, exploring the key issues, people and events that have shaped the nation.


As designed by architect Howard Raggatt (design architect and design director for the project), the museum building is based on a theme of knotted ropes, symbolically bringing together the stories of Australians. The architects stated:

“We liked to think that the story of Australia was not one, but many tangled together. Not an authorized version but a puzzling confluence; not merely the resolution of difference but its wholehearted embrace.”


The building is meant to be the centre of a knot, with trailing ropes or strips extending from the building. [source of information from Wikipedia]

The design is not everybody’s ‘cup of tea’, but I love it! And on a rainy day it is the perfect place to spend a few hours inside where there is a rather good café with a view of Lake Burley Griffin from the terrace.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

30 thoughts on “The National Museum of Australia”

  1. Not sure. One I will have to think about, and come back to. I had to look a few times, just to make certain I wasn’t judging too rashly. I think that I would like to see an aerial view. Shame you didn’t have a helicopter Jude!
    Regards as always, Pete. x

    1. From afar it looks really odd Gilly, but when you get up close I found my photographer’s eye took over and found delight in the curves and shapes and angles and colours. Inside is pretty good too.

  2. Stunning shots Jude. They pay attention to details unfamiliar to me, although I’ve visited a number of times, and they are always from an unusual perspective.

    I like the National Museum too, and I enjoyed comparing what our eyes saw (mine saw this –

    I love the new look of your blog anew every time I visit it. It gives you a very different presence. The yellow was an inspired choice.

    1. Interesting that we both saw very similar perspectives. I didn’t notice the curl though or the moths, but then I had to grab a few shots on my way in as I was not alone. I find photography difficult when with others, unless like you or the OH, they are too busy snapping away themselves 😀

      Glad you like the NEW image Meg – I’m still getting used to it!

  3. Fascinating architecture Jude. Reminds me of the Guggenheim a bit in Bilbao. I enjoyed the variety of captures as always and especially the small photo framed through a circular opening.

    1. It’s a fascinating space – wasn’t built on my last visit to Canberra so I was totally smitten. I had a great day looking around the museums and galleries in Canberra – on a Saturday there was no-one else around!! Quite odd.

      1. Canberra is a great place for a family holiday because you can do so much for free. We have a Melbourne Museum membership with reciprocal rights so even Questacon cost us nothing. So much to do and see. 🙂

        1. Free entry to the museums etc is excellent. London is similar, but whereas in London you find the places teeming with people, in Canberra it was eerily deserted (not so much this museum, but then it was a rainy Sunday)

  4. Oh, you tease! I was just getting settled in for a good look around….
    On the other hand, I do absolutely adore your bold yellow look, and they are great photos 🙂

    1. I didn’t get very good photos inside (quite dark) but if you ever do make it to Canberra (and lets face it not many people do) then it is well worth a visit. I particularly enjoyed the aboriginal artefacts and the stories of the land.

    1. Not everybody liked the building when it was built as it is very different to the rest of the museums and art galleries around the lake. I would definitely go again if I am ever in Canberra.

    1. I remember your Canberra posts, they are what inspired me to make the trip back there (though the fact I have a 16 year old granddaughter who lives there also helped). This museum wasn’t open on my last visit (2000) so I was keen to look inside. I also took photos of those windows! It is a great museum, much better than many I have been into. I also enjoyed the art galleries.

  5. This isn’t going to amaze you, Jude, but … I’ve never been there.
    Aussies are the very worst at ‘doing’ their own country. Mind you, they KNOW about it – they just don’t get to do it …

    1. You have been to Canberra though haven’t you? This museum was only opened in 2001 so after my previous visit there (2000). It’s a great museum with lots of lovely things to look at inside too. If you ever get there…
      …and yes, I think I have seen more of Australia than a lot of Australians I know (including you 😀 ) with the exception of Pommepal, but then she is really a Pom with Kiwi mixed in. Now she really has explored Australia.

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