Please note the southern section of Surviving Australia will be closed from Monday 15 May to make way for our new permanent Pasifika Gallery opening in October 2023.

Curious about the difference between kangaroos and wallabies? Scared to death by Australia’s snakes and spiders? Wanting to know more about the extinct Tasmanian Tiger?

Surviving Australia is all about the weird and wonderful creatures we share this immense continent with, and their extinct predecessors. Exploring the fascinating and sometimes scary birds and animals living in our waterways, oceans, mountains and deserts, this gallery will answer your questions about Australia’s unique wildlife. Learn everything you need to know about deadly snakes, spiders, aquatic creatures and extinct megafauna like the giant Diprotodon.

You'll even discover the friendly – and not-so-friendly – creatures that reside in the typical Aussie backyard and watch first-hand stories from researchers in the field.

New to Surviving Australia in 2020 is ‘Climate Change’ – an interactive display that asks not how we will survive Australia, but how Australia will survive us! Learn about the causes of climate change, what life in Australia will look like in 2040 if we don’t take action, and what you can do to make a difference.

Do you have what it takes to survive in Australia?

Exhibition highlights

Climate change exhibition 8 October 2020

Climate Change display

We’re all feeling the heat, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Explore the impacts present and future – there’s no Planet B!

Surviving Australia Exhibition

Meet the megafauna

From about 15 million years ago, many animals around the world began evolving into larger and larger forms, reaching their peak in the last two million years. These animals are known as the ‘megafauna’. See real fossils of a variety of Australian megafauna that are now extinct.


Monotremes – the great survivors

Monotremes have been around longer than any other group of living mammals. The oldest known monotreme lived alongside the dinosaurs – 115 million years ago. Unravel the platypus’ long lineage and find out about the 15-million-year fossil record of echidnas.

Rufous bettong

Urban nightlife

You might be surprised how many nocturnal animals there are – find out about the lives and specialised adaptations some of the bats, owls, gliders, possums and spiders that come out at night.

Surviving Australia Exhibition

Penguins galore

There are 17 species of penguin in the world and they all live in the southern hemisphere. Examine the many special adaptations of these quirky birds.

There's no Planet B!

New to Surviving Australia is ‘Climate Change’ – an interactive display that asks not how we will survive Australia, but how Australia will survive us!

Learn more

The Australian Museum is COVID Safe

To help keep our staff, visitors and community safe, the AM has COVID-19 protocols in place, including physical distancing, increased cleaning and hygiene practices. Facemasks are encouraged.

View our full COVID-19 safety information here.

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