Giganotosaurus News: The Australian Museum Is Finally Reopening - And Entry Is Free!

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We’ve finally got the giganotosaurus news we’ve been waiting for! After shutting it’s prehistoric doors over the last 15 months for a huge $57.5m renovation, The Australian Museum will reopen to the public on Saturday 28th November 2020.

Discover Project Discover

Australian Museum
Artists Impression

The epic transformation, dubbed Project Discover, is the most extensive renovation the historic museum has undergone in decades, converting back-of-house areas into 3,000sqm of new public space and adding improved amenities, a new Museum Shop, a second café, an expanded Members Lounge and cloaking. Plus, there's even more to roar about - for the upcoming launch, general admission for the public will be FREE.

“The Australian Museum is now a truly civic space for Sydney, one which we all will be able to visit often and be incredibly proud of as it reinforces NSW’s reputation as a world centre for cultural experiences and creative industries, as well as for science and innovation," Minister for the Arts, The Hon Don Harwin MLC, said. “The Museum is at the cultural and scientific heart of the city. Project Discover propels this iconic institution into a new era.”

A Whole New World

Australian Museum
Artists Impression

Australia’s first museum, originally founded in 1827, The Australian Museum is the region’s leading natural history and culture museum and among the best in the world. Director and CEO, Kim McKay AO, who led the vision for Project Discover, said the “top to bottom” transformation is a game-changer that will open up new and exciting possibilities for the museum.

“Without doubt, the heart of the Museum is the new Grand Hall, which is the length of three tennis courts. Now that general admission is free, it will become a popular meeting space and new after-hours event space for Sydney. Like a public square, we will be able to host music and performances as well as provide a place to relax and contemplate, discuss and debate, enjoy a coffee and experience an exhibition,” she said.

“We can’t wait to welcome visitors back to our revamped and reopened Museum providing friendly, accessible and fun spaces for the public to learn about the richness of life, the Earth, and culture in Australia and the Pacific.”

Australian Museum
Artists Impression

“We’ve done work on every floor of the Museum through Project Discover. From the basement Touring Exhibition Hall which connects to the Grand Hall above by escalators, to the new cloaking and amenities, the Members Lounge and education rooms on the lower ground level, to the expanded entry plaza and Museum Shop extending from the back of Crystal Hall on ground level. The Museum has been completely transformed.”

“All the Museum’s public spaces have been renovated, making circulation around the building much easier. There are new gallery spaces and new bathrooms on every floor and a new family friendly café on Level 2,” she said.

The AM’s touring exhibition hall has almost doubled in size and the first exhibition to enter the new blockbuster gallery is Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family, an updated version of one of the museum's most popular exhibitions. The popular Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition will also return to the Grand Hall exhibition space in time for reopening.

Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family

Australian Museum

While general admission to the new AM will be free, visitors will be able to purchase tickets to attend major international exhibitions, including the major opening exhibition: Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family

Focusing on the king of the dinosaurs, T.rex, and its eclectic Tyrannosaur family, this unique exhibition utilises the latest technology including immersive projections, animation

and artificial intelligence, and features a colossal collection of skeletons, skulls, fossil eggs and even fossilised dinosaur dung, revealing the stories and science behind these astonishing carnivores.

Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Exhibition

Australian Museum
Photo by Matt Wright

This year’s Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition explores the changing nature of regional ecology and the impacts of climate change – one of the key focuses of the transformed AM. Admission to the exhibition is included with general admission to the AM, which will be completely free as part of reopening.

For The Pint-Sized Palaeontologists

The popular Search and Discover and Kidspace areas of the museum have been temporarily converted to a Prehistoric Playground where children of all ages can engage in creative play. This brand-new stomping ground offers hands-on activities for little dinosaur buffs to investigate what fossils can tell us about our world and how birds evolved for flight from feathered dinosaurs. They can also help clean real dinosaur fossil bones and colour an Australian dinosaur that will come to life in a digital prehistoric setting. 

But Wait... There's More!

As amazing as it sounds, the extraordinary redevelopment isn't done yet! Ms McKay has hinted at two new galleries within the next 12 months and plans to upgrade and expand other existing galleries as well.

“The Australian Museum has an extraordinary collection of over 21.9 million objects and specimens, which is the largest in the southern hemisphere. Project Discover is just the first step - we want to continue to evolve our galleries and show more of this inspiring collection to the public,” she said.

COVID-19 Safety

The AM is committed to keeping visitors and staff safe and has achieved the NSW Government’s ‘COVID Safe’ industry standard by demonstrating adherence to the respective Government and public health guidelines and the implementation of new safety measures.

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