Explore real CSIRO science at our Discovery Centre in Canberra.

Visit our Discovery Centre to learn about CSIRO history and experience hands-on science.

The CSIRO Discovery Centre offers an interactive journey through CSIRO and Australian science history.  ©Daniel Boud

About Canberra's CSIRO Discovery Centre

The CSIRO Discovery Centre offers an interactive journey through CSIRO and Australian science history. It is one of Canberra's major attractions and is definitely worth adding to your list of things to do when you visit the city. The attraction presents science in an entertaining way to educate visitors of all ages about the fascinating world of research and innovation.

The exhibition is self-guided and allows visitors to immerse themselves in stories of Australian research and its value to society. A highlight of visiting the Discovery Centre is the showcase of national research collections managed by CSIRO, including using scientific techniques to classify real shark eggs and the opportunity to get hands-on with real specimens. The centre opened in May 2000.

Please contact the Discovery Centre if you wish to bring a group for a visit.

An onsite cafe is situated adjacent to the Discovery Centre. It is open between 7.30am and 4pm. Be sure to stop by for lunch or a coffee.

Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday from 9am - 4:30pm
  • Closed on weekends and public holidays

Entry costs

  • $10 adults
  • $7 children, students and concessions
  • $30 families (includes two adults and up to three children)


See CSIRO Discovery Centre location and map for how to get there. The entrance to the Discovery Centre is clearly marked at our Black Mountain site in Canberra.

New Exhibition – Earthlight: Lunar Hub

Available to people aged 13 years or older

A new immersive virtual reality experience, Earthlight: Lunar Hub is on offer at the CSIRO’s Discovery Centre. Visitors to the exhibition can experience life as an astronaut by exploring a lunar space station, walking on the Moon’s surface and seeing breathtaking views of Earth. The simulation runs for approximately 20 minutes and is available to people aged 13 years or older. The cost is $28 per person which includes the general $10 Discovery Centre admission fee ($25 per person for concessions). Bookings are essential . This exhibition has been funded by ACT Government as part of the commemorations for the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing. 

School visits to the Discovery Centre

We welcome school groups to the CSIRO Discovery Centre during opening hours. We offer three 90 minute facilitated programs for school groups. Costs apply and bookings are essential.

Please contact us at school.booking@csiro.au to book, or for more information on our programs and the CSIRO Discovery Centre.

Students at a display at CSIRO Discovery Centre

We welcome school groups to the CSIRO Discovery Centre during opening hours. We offer three 90 minute facilitated programs for school groups.  ©Daniel Boud

Discover CSIRO

Suitable for all ages

A popular and engaging exhibition-based program covering all general capabilities of the curriculum, focusing on ICT capability as well as critical and creative thinking. Students participate in an interactive activity to discover how CSIRO's innovations in science, technology, engineering and maths have influenced their lives. The program covers cross curricular priorities ranging from Sustainability to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures. Students will also have an opportunity to explore the exhibition.

Ecology Lab

Suitable for Years 5-10

This open inquiry workshop sees students collaborate to design and conduct their own environmental investigations. Using a variety of real fieldwork tools and digital technology, students will develop science inquiry skills and an understanding of the challenges facing scientists and taxonomists working in the field. In this curriculum linked program, students collect and analyse their own data as well as consulting field guides and resources such as the Atlas of Living Australia to explore their findings. A portion of this program takes place outside.


Suitable for Years 5-10

This program combines inquiry based learning and design thinking to enable students to re-imagine Lego NXT robots to create innovative solutions. Working collaboratively, students will explore basic programming concepts before coming up with creative ways to use their robots for a new purpose. This workshop aligns to real world CSIRO robotics applications and the Australian Digital Technologies and Design and Technologies Curriculum. This program is suitable for students regardless of programming ability or experience.

Collections Forensics

Suitable for Years 7-10

CSIRO is the custodian of a number of collections of animal and plant specimens that contribute to national and international biological knowledge. In this session, students work in teams to try and solve a mysterious crime that has occurred to the CSIRO collections. The task includes experimenting, analysing data and using skills in entomology, chromatography, soil analysis, fingerprinting and hair and fibre analysis.

DNA to the MAX

Suitable for Years 10-12

A skills based workshop that draws on prior knowledge about DNA to cement student understanding. In groups students will investigate a food adulteration scam where three cereals that claim to contain CSIRO’s super grain – BARLEYmax, are not delivering the stated health benefits. Students will learn pipetting techniques and run their own gel electrophoresis with samples of different brands cereal DNA. They will analyse and compare the DNA profiles from their gels to determine which companies have been misleading on their packaging.

Discovery Centre

CSIRO Discovery Centre

Phone +61 2 6246 4646
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