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National Capital Attractions Association

National Archives of Australia

OPEN: 9am–5pm daily

ADDRESS: Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes

PHONE: 02 6212 3600

WEB: www.naa.gov.au

ADMISSION: Free

archives /’akaivz/, n.pl. 1. a place where public records or other historical documents are kept.

For a genuine taste of Australian history, the National Archives is always full of surprises. Nestled in the trees in one of Canberra’s original old buildings behind Old Parliament House, its distinctive arches lead visitors to a bright and airy interior of polished wooden floors and creamy walls.

Around those walls and in the galleries are exhibitions and displays that draw on the National Archives’ vast and amazing collection of files, photos, posters, maps, plans, films and audio recordings. Visitors soon discover that government records are anything but mundane!

The key attraction here is Australia’s ‘birth certificate’ — two interdependent documents: Queen Victoria’s Royal Commission of Assent signed in 1900 and the original Constitution.

The National Archives is a delightful spot to while away a nostalgic hour.