The Australian War Memorial is one of Canberra’s most prominent landmarks and home to the National Military Museum. Standing at the head of Anzac Parade and surrounded by Remembrance Nature Park, it’s a moving tribute to the many Australian soldiers that fought and died in wars throughout the years.
Most city sightseeing tours and walking tours of Canberra make a stop at the Australian War Memorial, often in combination with nearby sights, such as Parliament House, Anzac Parade, the National Museum, or the National Gallery. At the memorial, visitors can explore the Hall of the Memory, home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; visit the Commemorative Courtyard, with its Roll of Honour; browse the military museum; and stroll around the open-air sculpture garden.
A day trip to Canberra from Sydney is another popular choice. Most of these tours also include a stop at the Australian Memorial.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Entrance to the memorial and museum is free, and regular 30-, 60-, and 90-minute tours are offered throughout the day.
- Visitors must undergo security checks, and oversized bags, backpacks, and large items must be left at the cloakroom (free of charge).
- There are two cafés on-site—Poppy’s Café in the memorial grounds and The Landing Place in Anzac Hall.
- The memorial is fully wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Australian War Memorial is symbolically situated diagonally across from Capital Hill and Parliament House, separated by Lake Burley Griffin. It’s an easy 10-minute walk from downtown Canberra, but buses from the city also stop right outside.
When to Get There
The memorial is open daily, year-round. An early morning tour is the best choice for a crowd-free visit, but by far the most moving time to visit is during the daily Last Post Ceremony held at 4:55pm, just before the memorial closes at 5pm.
Australia’s National Military Museum
The memorial’s museum has a sizable permanent collection and a number of temporary exhibition spaces. Exhibits include models, relics, weaponry, machinery, dioramas, and military uniforms, explaining Australia’s role in the world wars and other conflicts since the Australian colonies. Highlights include the World War II sound-and-light show in Anzac Hall; Aircraft Hall, displaying restored military planes; and the Discovery Zone, with a submarine, a World War I–style trench, and various interactive exhibits.