View the Collection

Many specimens from the collection can be viewed in the foyer, which is open to the public.

The foyer at Geoscience Australia in Canberra.

Geoscience Australia's public areas are open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm, with the exception of public holidays. Over 700 of the most impressive specimens from the National Mineral & Fossil Collection are on display in the foyer. Admission is free, and there is free parking available on site.

Along with minerals and fossils, the foyer also features geoscience maps, interactive displays and historical scientific equipment. The public displays are designed for a self-guided tour experience.

For further details on what you can expect to see in Geoscience Australia's public areas, please see our facilities page or our TripAdvisor reviews.

TimeWalk

The specimen in the foreground is an orbicular granite that comes from Mount Magnet in Western Australia, and is approximately 2.7 billion years old.

The Geological Timewalk at Geoscience Australia in Canberra.

Geoscience Australia hosts a Geological TimeWalk within the landscaped gardens that surround the building. It is a physical representation of geological time which leads you on a 1.1 kilometre journey through the Earth's 4600 million year history, and represents the evolution of the Earth from its formation through to the present day.

Since the TimeWalk's installation in 2009, large rock samples have been collected from around Australia and put on display at locations along the walk that reflect their age. Each rock has a story to tell, with geological, economic, environmental and/or cultural significance.

Location

Boulder opal R22654. The specimen - along with many others from the collection - can be viewed on Google Arts and Culture.

Boulder opal from Queensland, Australia. Photo credit: Chris Fitzgerald.

Many of the specimens within the National Mineral & Fossil Collection have great scientific, historic, aesthetic, and social significance. To make the physical collection more easily accessible Geoscience Australia has collaborated with the Google Cultural Institute. This is enabling us to better showcase the collection-including some of our rare, fragile, and valuable specimens on the Google Arts and Culture online exhibit platform. As well as viewing the displays in 'Museum View' (using the StreetView technology) you can sort items in the online collection by popularity or colour.

Our current exhibits include:

All our online collection items, exhibits, and 'museum views' of Geoscience Australia's public areas can be found on our online exhibits page.

Geoscience Australia's foyer contains many of the National Mineral and Fossil Collection's most impressive specimens. This area is open to the public and is suitable for self-guided tours.

We periodically offer behind-the-scenes tours of collection archives. These tours go for approximately two hours, and are suitable for children 10 years and older. A limited number of tours are offered during National Science Week in August, and Earth Science Week in October.

For reviews of Geoscience Australia tour experiences, please see TripAdvisor.

Mineral specimens housed in the collection archive.

Mineral specimens housed in the collection archive.

Members of the public enjoying a behind-the-scenes tour of the collection archives during Science Week in 2018.

Members of the public enjoying a behind-the-scenes tour of the collection archives during Science Week in 2018.

Members of the public enjoying a behind-the-scenes tour of the collection archives during Science Week in 2018.