Australian War Memorial
Lonely Planet review for Australian War Memorial
In a stately position, overlooking Anzac Pde and Lake Burley Griffin, the magnificent war memorial is Australia's most visited museum, and one of the finest in the country. This genuinely moving memorial provides a fascinating insight into how battle forged Australia's national identity, with an enormous collection of pictures, dioramas, relics and exhibitions that detail and humanise wartime events. For military-history fans, there's also plenty of weaponry and uniforms – most of the heavy machinery is arrayed in Anzac Hall, which features an impressive sound-and-light show. Entombed among the mosaics of the Hall of Memory is the Unknown Australian Soldier, whose remains were returned from a WWI battlefield in 1993 and who symbolises all Australian war casualties. Even if you're not a history buff, the engaging and affecting contents of this massive edifice are sufficient for two full days of exploration.
There are free 90-minute guided tours; alternatively, purchase the Self-Guided Tour leaflet ($3).
Along Anzac Pde, which is Canberra's broad commemorative way, there are 11 poignant memorials to various campaigns and campaigners.
The memorial's new cafe, next door to the main building, combines excellent food with a lovely view.