Treasures Illuminated at the Australian Museum

Treasures Illuminated is the Australian Museum's newest visitor experience. A permanent light and sound show takes place twice daily at 11am and 2pm bringing to life many of the extraordinary artefacts that make up the 200 Treasures of the Westpac Long Gallery.

Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney, NSW 2010, Sydney, NSW


-- Daily at 11am and 2pm --

One of the greatest collections of treasures in the nation’s history comes to life in an extraordinary new “light and sound” show to be unveiled at the Westpac Long Gallery in the Australian Museum on 26 November, 2018.

A world of spectacular storytelling and discovery awaits tourists and visitors in a new museum experience, Treasures Illuminated, a stunning audiovisual showcase of priceless objects selected from the AM’s collection of 21 million scientific specimens and cultural objects.

Twice daily at 11am and 2pm visitors will be ushered from the ground floor of the Westpac Long Gallery to the balconies above to watch the seven-minute production, which uses cutting-edge digital animation, laser projection and 3D mapping to bring the history and scale of our natural world to life in a cinematic-style experience. 

Treasures featured include:

  • Australia’s first bank note. Issued by the Bank of NSW (now Westpac) in 1817, this note, integral to the establishment of the Australian economy, represented stability, uniformity and trust.
  • Krefft’s chair. Gerard Krefft, one of Australia’s first and greatest zoologists and palaeontologists, fell out with the Museum’s trustees and was dismissed as curator in 1874. He refused to leave and barricaded himself inside the Museum until he was forcibly evicted – still seated in the ornate leather chair.
  • Captain Cook’s cape. An exquisite item of ceremonial regalia, made of thousands of feathers, given to Cook on his fateful voyage to Hawaii in 1778-79 by chief Kalani’opu’u.
  • ‘Eric’ the opalised pliosaur. Eric, as he has been dubbed, an aquatic carnivorous reptile, swam in a vast inland sea around 110 million years ago. As the sea retreated, perfect conditions were created for the formation of opal, Australia’s unique national gemstone – opalising Eric’s bones.   
  • Elk herd. Huge and magnificent Irish elk, with antlers that grew to 3.5 metres wide, which once roamed the prehistoric grasslands of Asia and Europe.
  • Lamond butterflies. The flying jewels that have brought colour and enchantment to our world and inspiration to countless artists, writers, designers and researchers.

26 Nov 2018 - 01 Feb 2020
09:30 am - 10:30 am
Age Group
Ages 3-5
Free after general admission ($15 for adults, Children 0-15 FREE).
Location and Details
Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney, NSW 2010, Sydney, NSW