Monday, 25 January 2010

Australian War Memorial & National Gallery, Canberra

I visited Canberra this weekend with my regular partners in crime, Penne and Clint. We drove down on Saturday morning, stopping on the way for a lovely homemade tea cake that Penne had cooked for us.

When we arrived our first stop was the Australian War Memorial. Despite the name and impressions from the photo above, the War Memorial is a lovely museum and more than just a tomb to unknown soldier (although it does that pretty well too).

The museum is one of the most interesting that I have been to in a long while. The exhibitions are very well done with dioramas, photos, paintings and artifacts all being brought together to give you an interesting insight into the role of Australian's in the first and second World Wars as well as conflicts since 1945. At the back of the museum is a large hanger containing bi-planes, a Lancaster bomber and Japanese submarine that was sunk in Sydney Harbour in WWII.

I think other museums could learn a lot from the Australian War Memorial. Best of all it was free.

After lunch we went to the National Gallery of Australia. They currently have an exhibition called Masters from Paris with paintings sent over from the temporarily closed Musee D'Orsay. There were some nice Monet, Van Gogh and Cezanne paintings, but far too many crowds to make the exhibition enjoyable. My favourite painting was Starry Night by Van Gogh (unfortunately this pic doesn't portray the painting's glistening qualities).

Suffering from culture fatigue we didn't look round too much of the rest of the gallery. We did pop into the grounds to see a couple of sculptures including this one.


  1. I want it!

    Nice post. I've found war museums and generally museums in Asia to be quite poor. The museum in Macau, however, on top of a hill was surprisingly good!