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Are you up for a historical trip while in Australia? The Australian War Memorial Museum could be at the top of your list to visit. Known as a moving tribute to all the Australian armed forces who have participated in and lost their lives in wars, this prominent landmark of Canberra is heaven for history buffs. Read the following guide before planning your visit.
Brief History of the Australian War Memorial
The idea of a museum memorial to Australians who served in the First World War was coined by an official World War I historian, Charles Bean. The design was proposed in the 1920s, and the construction began in the 1930s.
The Second World War had already begun when the Memorial was first opened by Governor-General Lord Gowrie in 1941 during Armistice Day. That historical period was, too, required to be memorialized.
The event then led to an expansion of the Memorial’s historical scope to include all wars Australia would be or had been engaged in. The expansion of the initial building was then begun in the late 1960s to early 1970s.
Interesting Facts About the Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial may not be the largest remembrance in the country. Yet, it’s popular in Australia for it serves as the focal point of the nation’s commemoration of more than a hundred thousand Australians who died while serving their country.
Here are some of the fantastic facts about the Australian War Memorial:
The Memorial has Three Areas
This 14-hectare Memorial consists of three areas: the Commemorative Area or shrine that includes the Hall of Memory and the famous tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, Research Centre records, and galleries museum. Other memorials and monuments can be found on Anzac Parade.
102,000 Australians Listed on The Roll of Honour
Roll of Honour is located in the lengthy cloisters surrounding the Commemorative Area courtyard. These bronze plaques list the names of the 102,000 Australian men and women who lost their lives during war, warlike, and non-warlike services.
The Memorial Holds Records Since World War I
The Australian War Memorial Museum has been preserving official records relating to the Australian armed forces since the First World War. All these records are collected under the Australian War Memorial Act of 1980, which are accessible to the public in the Research Centre area.
Things to Know Before You Go to The Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is situated directly across the Parliament House and Capital Hill, with Lake Burley Griffin separating them. It’s only around a 10-minute walk from the center of Canberra. Still, you can also take buses from the city, which will stop outside the Memorial.
The Memorial is open daily to the public all year around. The ideal time to visit is in the morning when there are fewer visitors. You will also need to spend at least 2 hours appreciating a permanent collection and all the temporary exhibits. These exhibits include relics, uniforms, weaponry, models, machinery, dioramas, and many more, elaborating on Australia’s role in wars.
The two-hour visit is sufficient to give you a chance to enjoy the highlights. These include seeing the spectacular World War II show in Anzac Hall, a trench modeled after World War I in Discovery Zone, and restored military planes in Aircraft Hall.
However, if you want a moving experience, it would be best to visit right before the Memorial closes. Or during the Last Post Ceremony, which is organized daily at 4:55 pm.
The public can enjoy free entrance to the Australian War Memorial, and regular 30 to 90-minute tours are available all day. However, visitors must first acquire a free timed ticket to be eligible to enter the spaces and galleries as defined on the ticket at the specified time.
Visitors are advised to review the offered options carefully prior to making a choice. Also, it’s recommended to reserve the free ticket in advance to ensure free entry. While it’s free, visitors are subject to security inspections. They are also required to leave large-sized belongings in the cloakroom, which is free of charge.
Plan Your Trip to Australian War Memorial Now!
Visiting the Australian War Memorial Museum could be one of the many destinations you may include in your one-day trip to Canberra. Aside from making a stop at the Memorial, you may enjoy free entry to the National Gallery of Australia, which is only a 6-minute drive from the Memorial via Anzac Parade.