Sydney, 8 October 2021: The Australian Museum (AM) will reopen its doors to fully vaccinated visitors* on Monday 11 October in line with the NSW Government Reopening NSW Roadmap. After a temporary closure of more than four months due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the AM is thrilled to welcome the public back to explore its award-winning spaces, special exhibitions and popular galleries, all included with free general admission thanks to support from the NSW Government.

Exterior of Australian Museum building
0DCEF0AD85A74800 8CAA93C446C64BA0 Early morning shot Image: Abram Powell
© Australian Museum

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said reopening cultural institutions like the Australian Museum will help bring the City of Sydney back to life.

“Thanks to the impressive vaccination rates seen across our state, we are able to offer fully vaccinated people their dose of arts and culture again,” Minister Harwin said.

“The Australian Museum is a key attraction for the city of Sydney and reopening this iconic museum and our other cultural institutions is an important step in supporting the reactivation of Sydney’s CBD,” Minister Harwin said.

Australian Museum’s Director and CEO, Kim McKay AO, said the AM plays an important role in the community and is thrilled to announce reopening.

“Museums are good for the soul and for our city. We can’t wait to welcome visitors back and offer our transformed museum as a place for community, connection and an opportunity to expand our understanding of the world around us,” McKay said.

“Whether it’s learning about our nation’s history from First Nations voices in our ground-breaking Unsettled exhibition, witnessing the changing nature of our environment through the stunning images in the 2021 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition, or exploring our other permanent galleries, the AM provides room to roam, be inspired and feel refreshed,” she said.

Unsettled exhibition extended

The AM will reopen with the Unsettled exhibition, which has been extended through to 27 January 2022 in the AM’s exhibition hall. As part of its commitment to being a strong advocate for First Nations cultures, the AM is pleased to welcome visitors back to this First Nations-led exhibition, which gives an insight into the lived experience of First Nations peoples over the last 250 years. Unsettled originally opened in May and saw more than 21,000 visitors during its opening month prior to the COVID-19 lockdown. Thanks to the support of the Unsettled partners and donors, entry to this special exhibition will remain free, enabling even more people to see this powerful and moving exhibition.

Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition opens Saturday 30 October

The 2021 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition will return to the AM’s Hintze Hall from 30 October 2021. Celebrating the natural diversity and heritage of the Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and New Guinea bioregions, the exhibition features the works of professional, amateur and junior photographers from around the world. In line with the AM’s commitment to transforming the conversation around climate change, the environment and wildlife conservation, the exhibition provokes a better understanding of the changing nature of the environment and highlights the importance of protecting and preserving it. The 2021 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year is produced by the South Australian Museum.

New Collection, Care and Conservation Lab

Curious minds of all ages can now discover what the AM’s experts are working on in the AM’s new Collections, Care and Conservation lab located on the lower ground level. Heritage windows have been reinstated providing visitors with a close-up, behind the scenes view of the inner workings of the lab, where conservators help care for some of the 21.9 million objects and specimens from the AM’s collection.

Permanent galleries, exhibitions and other activities

Visitors will be able to explore the AM’s permanent galleries and exhibitions including the 200 Treasures exhibition in the Westpac Long Gallery, the Dinosaurs gallery, and First Nations galleries, which will all reopen from Monday 11 October. Two new audio tours for the 200 Treasures exhibition and Dinosaurs gallery will launch in time for reopening for visitors to enjoy using their own mobile devices and headphones. Live, acoustic music in Hintze Hall will greet visitors on weekends during the reopening period. From Monday 11 October, visitors will be able to discover treasures at the AM Shop and visit The Billabong Waterhole Level 2 café. The AM plans to reopen No.1 William rooftop restaurant from Saturday 16 October, offering visitors food, drinks and stunning Sydney views.

COVID-19 protocols

The AM will reopen with COVID-19 protocols in place including vaccination requirements* and mandatory face masks, in line with the NSW Public Health Order. To learn more about the AM’s COVID Safe measures, visit

*Upon arrival at the AM, visitors over the age of 16 will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or medical exemption. Visitors under the age of 16 do not need to be vaccinated provided they are accompanied at all times by a fully vaccinated adult.