Available again mid-2020Monday - Friday
Group visitsMust be booked in advance
Free general admissionFor local primary and secondary students
Online resourcesFree audio tours & games
We're building a better museum
The Australian Museum will be closed to visitors and for school excursions from 19 August 2019 for approximately 12 months, to enable us to start work on our major renovation, Project Discover.
Curriculum-linked education programs
The Australian Museum is Australia’s first museum and home to the largest collection of natural and cultural specimens in the southern hemisphere.
Through immersive and object-based experiences, the Australian Museum’s education programs spark curiosity, develop scientific understanding and enhance cultural awareness in students of all ages.
General admission is FREE for children under 16 and local secondary school students thanks to a NSW Government initiative. Tertiary, concession and tourist groups incur a cost. Educator led programs and guided visits are available for an additional charge.
Bookings are required for all groups.
The Australian Museum re-opens mid-2020.
Make a booking enquiry
Please complete the form below by providing the following information:
- Name of the school/organisation
- Full contact details (postal address, full name of contact, email and phone)
- 3 possible dates for the visit (in case your first preference is not available)
- Estimate time of arrival and departure
- Number of students/children
- Number of teachers/adults/concession
- School year/level/age of the students/children
- For education groups, which educator led program and/or self guided exhibition visit you're interested in
Contact Group Bookings Office
School visit information
Students need to be supervised at all times while at the Australian Museum. There is no set supervision ratio, however we allow free entry for teachers and accompanying adults at the following ratios:
- 1:4 for pre- and primary school groups
- 1:10 for secondary school groups
- 1:15 for tertiary or English language student groups.
- 1:1 for students with additional needs
Additional teachers or accompanying adults above these ratios will incur a cost.
A booking confirmation will be provided by email once your booking is confirmed.
Cancellations made within 7 days of your booking date and “no shows” will incur the full cost for the booking.
Cancellations must be made in writing (by email to Group.Bookings@austmus.gov.au) and you will be provided written confirmation of the cancellation.
Payment can be made on the day by cash, cheque (made out to the Australian Museum), EFTPOS or credit card, or alternatively an invoice can be provided after the visit. We are unable to process individual payments for students/adults in the group.
Planning your visit
There is more information on getting to the Australian Museum including details of parking and public transport available here. There is limited street parking for buses on College St, near St Mary’s Cathedral.
- Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your booked session, to allow time to get through admissions, cloak bags (if required), use the toilets etc.
- When you arrive you will need to provide admissions staff with your booking confirmation number, school name and student numbers for the day. If you have booked through an external provider, you will need to provide the name of this organisation.
- A Museum staff member will be on hand to greet your group. They will brief the students about how to move around the Museum and direct you to areas of the Museum you intend to visit.
- In the event of a late arrival to the Museum or a booked session, some parts of the session may need to be cut from the program to keep to the scheduled finish time.
- Students are encouraged to take photos, video and/or audio to record their excursion. Some temporary exhibitions do not allow photography but you will be advised of this on arrival.
- Teachers and supervising adults are required to stay with their groups at all times.
- Disciplining of students remains the responsibility of teachers and supervising adults accompanying the group.
- There is limited bag storage available on site. It is recommended that students just bring a small carry bag with the essentials for the day, however if required, storage can be provided depending on availability.
Please note, we are unable to provide group bag or cloaking facilities during school holidays. Please ensure that your group comes prepared to carry all personal items during their visit if it is school holidays.
- There is no space for large groups to have recess or lunch inside the Museum. There is undercover outdoor space –The Garden – which is accessible from William Street. Alternatively, Hyde Park is just opposite the Museum across College St and Cook & Philip Park is across William Street. In the event of wet weather, we can provide a space for students to eat within the Museum.
- Create Consultants operate food and dining options on site at the Australian Museum. For groups, lunchboxes can be ordered up to 5 working days before your visit. For details, and to order, please contact email@example.com or 9320 6182.
- Please let us know when booking if your students have any additional needs or learning difficulties so we can plan to accommodate where possible during the visit.
- The Australian Museum provides access to all areas for those in wheelchairs and mobility vehicles. Further information on accessibility is available here.
Information for teachers
We recommend teachers and education group leaders familiarise themselves before their visit. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request your free teacher pass.
Set the context and establish baseline knowledge
Pre-visit activities are designed to set the context, share topic knowledge that students already have, and pre-teach any relevant concepts that students will need when they visit the Museum.
Discuss and record the objectives of the excursion
Objectives, relating to knowledge, skills and/or attitudes make the purpose of the excursion clear and assist the students to be more focused during their visit. .
Timetable the Museum visit
We recommend you discuss with the students exactly what they will be doing, including:
- how they will get to the Museum
- what time they will leave school
- what time they will arrive at the Museum
- what exhibition(s) they will see
- how long they will spend in each exhibition
- what activities they will be expected to complete at the Museum
- when breaks for recess and lunch will occur
- the names of all teachers and other accompanying adults who will be present on the excursion
- what time they will leave the Museum
- what time they will arrive back at school.
For younger students, or those who have never been to a museum, it is important to consider the following issues in preparation for their visit.
What is a museum?
- A permanent institution open to the public.
- A place that collects and conserves many kinds of things.
- A place with objects and specimens that provide material evidence of people and their environments to help scientists research and understand the world we live in.
- A place with collections that visitors can study, learn about and enjoy.
What do you expect to find at a museum?
- The building may be historical and/or large and impressive.
- Exhibitions - these often contain displays of real objects and specimens but they may also include models, information and labels, computer interactives and hands-on exhibits.
- Visitor facilities - including a shop, cafe, toilets and information/admissions desk.
- People - including museum staff, and visitors such as students, families and tourists.
We recommend 6 students or less per group. A student can then be given responsibility for one of these roles:
- leader - to organise and encourage the other group members
- reader - to read activity instructions and display information to the group
- scribe - to write down the group's responses to each activity
- spokesperson - to report the group's findings to the rest of the class
- navigator - to guide the group around the displays and the Museum
- photographer - to record interesting aspects of their excursion.
Comparing new and old knowledge
When you return to the classroom, you could:
- ask each group to report on one activity they completed
- encourage the groups to comment on their findings and discuss any questions
- discuss how the information that students found during their visit differs from their expectations before the visit and focus on how their understandings have changed.
Reflecting on and using new knowledge
Some options for consolidating student learning are to have students:
- report their answers to questions formulated during discussions and activities before they visited
- conduct further research or debate any issues that arise in discussions after their visit
- use their findings to write information reports or make a presentation
- collate the information gathered at the Museum into a class booklet
- make posters, models or displays.
The document Venue and Safety Information for School Excursions was written by the Museum for risk management planning.
Please note that the information provided in this document is current as of September 2016.
All Australian Museum education staff hold a valid NSW Office of the Children's Guardian (OCG) Working With Children Check. This involves undertaking a national criminal history check and a review of findings of workplace misconduct and is cleared by the NSW OCG.
If further information is required please telephone the Booking Officer on (+612) 9320 6222.