Last chance to visit Australian Museum before 12-month closure for renovation and opening weekend of Powerhouse Museum's new Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition

Sydney, 9 August 2019: The Australian Museum and Powerhouse Museum are both offering FREE general entry to the public on the weekend of Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August 2019.

The free weekend will mark the final weekend before the Australian Museum (AM) temporarily closes to the public for its major renovation; and the opening weekend of the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum.

The AM will temporarily close its doors to the public from 19 August 2019 for approximately 12 months while work begins on “Project Discover”. The $57.5m renovation will significantly expand the AM’s public floor space and deliver a better experience for visitors including a major new touring exhibition hall; new flexible education spaces; Grand Hall and more public amenities

This year, the Powerhouse Museum will host the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2019 exhibition, opening to the public on 16 August 2019. Visitors to the exhibition will witness nature at its most dramatic, graceful and unexpected in this stunning collection of breathtaking photographs celebrating the natural heritage of the bioregions of Australia and New Zealand, the Antarctic and New Guinea.

Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2019 is produced by the South Australian Museum and is presented in partnership with the Australian Museum and Powerhouse Museum.

“I encourage all Sydneysiders to enjoy both of these wonderful museums and their world-class collections during our joint free weekend,” Kim McKay AO, Director & CEO of the AM said.

“With the AM’s renowned Westpac Long Gallery and its Dinosaur, Wild Planet, Surviving Australia and First Nations galleries, Sydneysiders will be able to experience the very best of science, natural history, and culture all for FREE,” Ms McKay said.

"We are excited to be partnering with the Australian Museum to present the annual photographic exhibition opening on the 16 August 2019. I am also thrilled to announce that the Powerhouse Museum will offer free general admission on 17 and 18 August,” Lisa Havilah, Chief Executive of the Powerhouse Museum.

Free weekend at the Australian Museum

Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 August 2019, 10 am – 5 pm

Free weekend at the Powerhouse Museum

Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 August 2019, 10am – 5 pm

Advance registration required – visit to book your free tickets

Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

At the Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo

16 August – 20 October 2019

Free with general admission (free general admission on 17 & 18 August 2019)


Media note:

Interviews with Australian Museum Director & CEO Kim McKay AO and artist renders of Project Discover available on request. More information on Project Discover available at

Interviews with Powerhouse Museum Chief Executive Lisa Havilah are available on request.

AM media contact: Shirani Glover 0401 915 234

Powerhouse Museum media contact: Alison Wares 0466 331 483