Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Our principal facility since 1981 is on Larrakia Land at Bullocky Point in Darwin, home to internationally renowned cultural and scientific collections and research and exhibition programs.
MAGNT also operates the historic Fannie Bay Gaol in Darwin, the Museum of Central Australia incorporating the Strehlow Research Centre in Alice Springs, Megafauna Central and the Alcoota Fossil Bed site north east of Alice Springs.
MAGNT also manages the historic Lyons Cottage on Darwin’s Esplanade and the Defence of Darwin Experience at East Point in Darwin.
MAGNT attracts over 300,000 visitors annually to our sites.
Set in a scenic location overlooking Fannie Bay, MAGNT Darwin on Larrakia Country is home to internationally renowned artistic, cultural and scientific collections and research programs.
Each year MAGNT presents a dynamic program of internally-developed exhibitions, carefully curated from the collection, and the best travelling exhibitions from around Australia.
MAGNT Darwin is also home to the annual Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) —the most significant celebration of its kind in Australia.
MAGNT was founded in 1966, with the introduction of a Bill into the Legislative Council of the Northern Territory. Dr Colin Jack-Hinton was appointed the MAGNT’s first director, taking up the position in 1970.
It was first housed in the renovated old Town Hall (originally known as the Palmerston Town Hall) in Darwin’s central business district.
But on that fateful evening, Christmas Eve 1974, Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin, destroying the old Town Hall and damaging much of the MAGNT collection.
For the next few years both the staff and collection were housed in multiple buildings around Darwin, coming together for lunchtime lectures in the ruins of the Old Town Hall. After deliberation, approval was finally granted for the construction of a new purpose-built museum and art gallery at Bullocky Point, on the site of the old Vestey’s Meatworks. It was opened on the 10 September 1981.
Over the last few decades, MAGNT has grown to include six sites across Darwin and Alice Springs. MAGNT became an independent statutory body on 1 July 2014.