Australian War Memorial Canberra – changes & 2022 renovations information

The Australian War Memorial is a popular Canberra attraction – but major renovations are now taking place over an extended period – see what the changes have affected here

Australian War Memorial inner courtyard

Australian War Memorial inner courtyard

The Australian War Memorial is undergoing major renovations

Canberra is home to several free-admission National Museums and Galleries, and one of the biggest attractions is undoubtedly the Australian War Memorial (AWM).

The AWM is now undergoing major renovation work which directly affects the visitor experience – and this is expected to continue as a rolling renovation project stretching over several years to 2026.

Australian War Memorial 2022 renovations

Australian War Memorial 2022 renovations

War Memorial entry is still free – but tickets must now be booked

You’ll need a session ticket to access the Australian War Memorial, however this is an easy and quick online procedure you can do with a smart phone.

You can even book tickets when you arrive by scanning the QR code on the wall of the War Memorial car park, and then fill in the form on the two minute walk from the car park to the Museum entrance.

War Memorial visitor tickets cover blocks of two hour sessions, however if you would like to stay longer, you can simply apply for more tickets by returning to the entrance ticket booths.

You’ll also need extra tickets to attend the Last Post Ceremony which takes place each evening at around 4:40pm in the centre courtyard.

What’s changed in the Canberra War Memorial in 2022?

The most noticeable change to the Australian War Memorial is that the front of the building where the main entrance & staircase is normally located is fenced off to the public.

Where do I enter the War Memorial?

Australian War Memorial temporary entrance & aviation hall

Australian War Memorial temporary entrance & aviation hall

This means the iconic Canberra Anzac Parade view (and photo often taken at the front doors of the War Memorial), looking down Anzac Parade and stretching all the way down across Lake Burley Griffin to Old Parliament House/Museum of Democracy and Parliament House up on its hill isn’t currently possible to see other than an obstructed foreground view from the upper level of the outdoor courtyard.

However the War Memorial’s building now has a new, temporary, entrance located to the Eastern side of the building, allowing access to this popular Canberra tourist attraction.

What galleries are still open?

The World War 2 galleries

The World War 2 galleries

Inside, galleries such as the World War 1 and World War 2 galleries are open as relatively normal.

Watch our video of the WW2 walk-in flight simulator

Watch this video to see the interactive walk-in flight simulator of an air battle Lancaster bomber located inside the World War 2 gallery in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra

There are some pandemic adjustments such as previously hands-on installations now being removed or becoming non-contact.

World War 1 and 2 galleries are open

World War 1 and 2 galleries are open

The large aviation hall is now where visitors access the building, and has markedly reduced in size. There is no public access to the upper viewing level, and there are fewer aircraft available for viewing.

The gift shop has also been relocated to the aviation hall.

Australian War Memorial Poppys Cafe

Australian War Memorial Poppys Cafe

The internal cafe above the aviation hall is now closed and removed, however the stand-alone Poppy’s cafe located outside of the temporary Museum’s side entrance is open for business as usual and offers hot meals, snacks, cakes and drinks.

Can you still access the inner courtyard, Roll Of Honour & Tomb?

Australian War Memorial Tomb of The Unknown Soldier

Australian War Memorial Tomb of The Unknown Soldier

Yes. The grand inner courtyard with its Roll of Honour and Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier are all still open and accessible to the public.

The Roll Of Honour lines the sides of the central courtyard. This is the inscribed names of hundreds of thousands of soldiers’who didn’t return from the wars.

You’ll find each war’s name inscribed along the sides of the courtyard too, above the central pool with the never-ending flame set within it.

At the Mount Ainslie end of the courtyard, a staircase leads up, into the stunning Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier.

The central courtyard is accessible as normal throughout the day, closing with the galleries at around 4:10 in preparation for the Last Post Ceremony.

Can I still watch The Last Post Ceremony?

War Memorial Roll Of Honour

War Memorial Roll Of Honour

Yes, but now you’ll need an additional (free) ticket.

The Last Post Ceremony runs for around twenty minutes, and include’s one lost soldier’s story reading, wreath laying, a bagpipe musical piece and the iconic Last Post salute played by a sole military Bugler.

My girls were approached by museum staff to lay a wreath and were honoured to take part.

You can view each night’s Last Post Ceremony on the Australian War Memorial’s YouTube channel.

Watch our video of the Last Post Ceremony

Watch this video to see what the daily Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra is like.

Where can I park at the Australian War Memorial?

The War Memorial currently offers free parking in the AWB’s own underground car park beneath Poppy’s Cafe on the Eastern side of the main building.

Should I wait until after the renovations to visit?

No! These renovations will stretch over years – that’s a long time to wait to see such an iconic Canberra attraction.

Whilst the Australian War Memorial’s renovations are a major project and do have significant impact upon visiting tourists’ experience of the attraction, this is still a wonderfully meaningful and unique attraction, and a Canberra must-see.

The sheer volume of historic items on displays can easily fill hours of fascinating, sometimes sobering viewing.

With the renovations being long-term, don’t delay a visit as it’s always valuable and worthwhile.

When the renovations are complete, it will be of great benefit to the War Memorial and future visitors.


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Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia

Canberra War Memorial Roll Of Honour

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