Melbourne Museum attracts thousands of visitors to explore its vast gallery space filled with Australian social history, culture, science, natural environment and pre-history.
There are many reasons why locals and visitors to Victoria's capital city need to visit Melbourne Museum, here are 10 to get you started:
10 Reasons to visit Melbourne Museum
Positioned in Carlton Gardens adjacent to the beautiful World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building sits Melbourne Museum, in all its modern architectural glory. Carlton Gardens sits on the north-eastern edge of the CBD in the suburb of Carlton, walking distance from Parliament Train Station, and ample car parking available at the Museum's underground carpark.
Designed by Denton Corker Marshall Architects with construction finishing in 2001, the Melbourne Museum's contemporary setting fits in with the city's urban environment and has become a cultural institution. The Melbourne Museum is the largest museum complex in the Southern Hemisphere with 80,000m2 of floor space spread over six levels, 40,000m2 of which are public spaces.
Year round activity
Melbourne certainly puts on its fair share of weather extremes from near freezing temperatures in winter through to scorching heat in the summer and the odd stormy downpour, although no forecast should dampen your visit to Melbourne Museum. Open every day of the year (except Good Friday and Christmas Day), Melbourne Museum will keep you dry and warm in winter, and its vast open space air conditioned galleries will keep you cool in summer.
Cheap day out
General admission to Melbourne Museum costs $12 for adults, and FREE for children under 16yrs and concession card holders. With seven main galleries, a Children's Gallery and a temporary exhibit gallery on three levels, Upper, Ground and Lower Level, Melbourne Museum proves to be a cheap, educational day out for all. Join MV Members and you will receive free general entry as well as discounted entry to temporary exhibitions and IMAX.
It goes without saying that a visit to the museum is not complete without seeing a dinosaur skeleton or two, and Melbourne Museum will not disappoint. The Science and Life Gallery features some gargantuan beast remains including Tarbosaurus (Giant meat eater, Tyrannosauridae) Mamenchisaurus, (Giant Sauropod) as well as Muttaburrasaurus introduced with the opening of an exhibit in 2010 called '600 million years', not forgetting many other pre-historic fossils found throughout the museum's 'Dinosaur Walk'.
Other permanent exhibits
Moving away from pre-historic fossils, the Science & Life Gallery also contains exhibitions including: Bugs Alive!, Marine Life: Exploring our seas, and Wild: amazing animals in a changing world.
In the Melbourne Gallery, the mounted hide of Phar Lap, a race horse that won the Melbourne Cup during the depression era, is exhibited, along with an exhibition about the history of Melbourne (The Melbourne Story) from the early 19th century through to the present day. The Evolution Gallery on the upper level features the exhibition 'Darwin to DNA' and the Mind and Body Gallery explores the human body including a world first exhibit about the mind called 'Mind: enter the labyrinth'.
In the Forest Gallery, you will find a living temperate Victorian forest environment, complete with live birds, reptiles, and other fauna. Not forgetting the indigenous communities of our land, the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre includes exhibitions by and about the Aboriginal peoples of Victoria, and the Te Pasifika Gallery highlights the history and watercrafts of Pacific Islanders.
Temporary exhibits are displayed in the Touring Hall, which in the past has featured all sorts of interesting displays such as Egyptian mummies, dinosaurs from China, 007: 50 Years of Bond Style, the Aztecs and more. Worth noting, temporary exhibits may incur additional entry cost.
The Children's Gallery found on the ground floor of the Melbourne Museum is aimed at children aged 3 - 8yrs. The Children's Gallery features sit down activities such as puzzles and colouring-in, plus hands-on fun with buttons to press, flaps to lift, dials to to turn, blocks to build, and more. With its own outdoor space too complete with skipping ropes, hop-scotch, stilts and hula-hoops, children can run a muck without getting told off for being too noisy.
School holiday activities
Low cost and free special events, craft workshops and live shows take place at the Melbourne Museum to coincide with the Victorian School Holiday breaks, offering new and exciting adventures to entertain curious minds. With previous themed school holiday activities including Egyptian hieroglyphs writing and creating bejewelled pharaoh pectoral pendants, plus live performances incorporating Aboriginal dreamtime themes the Melbourne Museum offers educational activities to suit any child. Find out what's on during the next school holiday break here.
IMAX Melbourne Museum boasts the world's third largest sceen, and features an array of 3D films to suit all ages and tastes. From the latest blockbuster movies to some of the most beautiful educational cinematography, IMAX delivers one of the best on-screen 3D experiences you can get. Tickets are not cheap, although a Melbourne Museum and IMAX combination entry ticket will get you the best value.
Visit Melbourne Museum at 11 Nicholson St, Carlton, Victoria. Open daily 10:00 am – 5:00pm, closed Good Friday and Christmas Day.