Skip to main content


Alternative building access

The main entry doors to our building in Canberra are being upgraded.

Alternative public access will be available throughout this period via a temporary rear entrance and wayfinding signage will help direct visitors to this entrance.

Please contact our reception on (02) 6246 1111 if you have any accessibility requirements or need any assistance.

AIATSIS building, temporary alternative access

Temporary alternative access to the AIATSIS building in Canberra. 

Opening hours

  • Our front reception desk is open 9am to 5pm on weekdays, excluding public holidays and Christmas shutdown. 
  • Our Reading Room is currently open to the public, Monday to Friday between 10.00am to 1.00pm.


AIATSIS is located on Acton Peninsula in Canberra, adjacent to the National Museum of Australia. We are within walking or cycling distance from the city centre and the Australian National University.

Visitors can access our main entrance foyer and exhibition space, as well as search the AIATSIS Collection and conduct their own research in our Stanner Reading Room.

Physical address 51 Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Acton ACT 2601

Visiting and accessing the AIATSIS Collection

The Reading Room is open to the public, Monday to Friday between 10.00am to 1.00pm. Appointments can also be made for visits between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). We require one weeks’ notice to make an appointment and can take two appointments per day.

We can have collection materials such as sound, film, video, manuscripts and rare print material ready for appointments. Some materials require permissions clearance before your visit. To make an appointment please complete our online request.

Booking an appointment allows us to prepare additional collection materials such as sound, films and video recordings, manuscripts, and rare print material ready and ensure any permission clearances can be completed before your visit. A minimum of one weeks' notice is required for an appointment to ensure we can prepare materials and undertake any clearances. 

Conditions of entry

Getting here


Please note that pay parking applies at Acton Peninsula between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). It does not apply to motorbikes or accessible parking spaces. 

The cost of parking is $3.30 per hour for short-stay spaces (those closest to the National Museum of Australia and AIATSIS entries) or $15.00 per day for long-stay spaces (those furthest from the building entries). You can also purchase a discounted five day ticket for $72.50.

More information about parking on National Land in the ACT is available from the National Capital Authority.  

Bus services

There are a range of bus routes that operate to the AIATSIS and the National Museum of Australia and nearby through the ANU regularly. Bus routes, timetable information and fares are available from Transport Canberra.

The Culture Loop is a free bus shuttle service that operates 7 days a week from 9am - 5pm throughout the Parliamentary triangle to a number of cultural institutions.

  1. Canberra Centre
  2. National Museum of Australia (and AIATSIS)
  3. National Film and Sound Archive
  4. National Capital Exhibition at Regatta Point and Canberra and Region Visitors Centre
  5. National Library of Australia and Questacon
  6. Museum of Australian Democracy
  7. Australian Parliament House
  8. West Basin Carpark
  9. Canberra Museum and Gallery

Walking and cycling

There are a range of walking and cycling paths that lead to AIATSIS from the Australian National University (ANU), New Acton and the Canberra City and our building is just off the main path that traverses the entirety of Lake Burley Griffin.

There a range of bicycle racks available on Acton Peninsula outside AIATSIS and the National Museum of Australia.

Maps and further information about walking and cycling in Canberra is available from Transport Canberra

Visiting Canberra

More information about Canberra and the surrounding region including location details, facts and figures, how to get here and how to see the nation's capital is available from Visit Canberra

You can also phone the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre for further information about visiting Canberra. 

  • 1300 554 114
  • +61 2 6205 0044 (if calling from outside Australia)