Unveiling Melbourne's Hidden Gems: Discovering the Best Museums
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Museums Melbourne Where History and Culture Collide
Come inside a world where history is alive and culture is celebrated in all its vibrant glory.
Welcome to the museums of Melbourne and their treasure trove of knowledge, creativity, and inspiration. These iconic institutions will transport you through time and across continents.
Like at the Melbourne Museum, you can delve into the depths of natural history and indigenous culture.
Whether you're a history buff or seeking a dose of inspiration, you can find places to explore in the museums.
Follow me as we uncover the hidden gems, fascinating stories, and captivating exhibits that make Melbourne museums places to visit for both locals and travelers.
And, you'll find indoor things to do in Melbourne.
You Can Find
- Best Museums Melbourne
- 1 Melbourne Museum
- Events and Exhibitions at Melbourne Museum
- 2 Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre
- 3 Old Melbourne Gaol
- 4 Immigration Museum
- 5 Sandridge Bridge
- 6 Australian Centre for the Moving Image
- 7 Scienceworks
- 8 Australian Sports Museum Melbourne
- 9 Shrine of Remembrance
- 10 Sovereign Hill Ballarat
- Tips for Visiting Museums in Melbourne
- Find Things to Do in Melbourne
Museum Experiences in Melbourne
Best Museums Melbourne
- Melbourne Museum
- Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre
- Old Melbourne Gaol
- Immigration Museum
- Sandridge Bridge
- Australian Centre for the Moving Image
- Australian Sports Museum Melbourne
- Shrine of Remembrance
- Sovereign Hill Ballarat
1 Melbourne Museum - showcasing natural history and cultural exhibits
You’ll find the Melbourne Museum situated in Carlton Gardens. I found it has a blend of natural history, creativity, indigenous culture, and interactive exhibits. You can go on a journey through time, and explore the evolution of life on Earth and the rich cultural heritage of Australia.
In the natural history exhibitions, I found displays of fossils, minerals, and animal specimens. Like shells, butterflies, and Phar Lap. And, I could get up close and personal with the dinosaur fossils. The immersive exhibits bring the natural world to life, which offers a hands-on learning experience for you.
You’ll find the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that explore various aspects of Australian culture, from sports to fashion.
Currently, Horridus is in town. And you can meet Horridus the Triceratops fossil from Montana, USA, which was unearthed after 67 million years in 2014.
You can wander around the Forest Garden and Gundel Gondwana Garden.
Events and Exhibitions at Melbourne Museum
You'll find a program of events and exhibitions at the Melbourne Museum. Check for upcoming events, including the popular Night at the Museum series.
I subscribe to their email newsletter. And, usually go to a major exhibition that is on between about April and September. This year, we went to Fantastic Beasts™ The Wonder Of Nature, and you can read about my experience. And, you'll find it's on to 18 October 2023.
Previously, we went to exhibits about the Vikings and Tutankhamun.
2 Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Wominjeka means welcome to First Peoples. Inside the Melbourne Museum, you can visit Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
You’ll find art and learn about the history and traditions of Australia’s First People, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples. You’ll find ancient artifacts, artworks, Dreamtime stories, traditional practices, and interactive displays.
And, you can wander in the Milarri Garden which contains mainly indigenous plants.
3 Old Melbourne Gaol
I've visited the Old Melbourne Gaol several times, although it's been a while. You'll find it in the heart of the city around the corner from the State Library of Victoria.
You can visit the former prison which is now a museum. Explore its cells and step into the gallows. And, you can learn about the crimes and punishments of the past.
In addition, the Old Melbourne Gaol holds events like ghost tours.
4 Immigration Museum - exploring the stories of migration to Australia
You'll find the Immigration Museum located in the old Customs House. And, it provides you insight into the diverse stories of migration that have shaped Australia.
Immerse yourself in the interactive exhibits, personal stories, and thought-provoking displays. As you experience the Immigration Museum.
On the second floor, you'll find the permanent exhibition, "Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours". Delve into the complex nature of identity and the journey of self-discovery that migrants take. And, trace your own family history.
You'll find temporary exhibitions are also on display which provide a platform for dialogue and reflection.
Address 400 Flinders Street
Open 10 am to 5 pm daily, closed Good Friday and Christmas Day
5 Sandridge Bridge - Travellers Exhibit
The Sandridge Bridge was originally a railway bridge. And, you can walk on it now over the Yarra River.
You'll find the sculptures of travelers on the bridge which has glass panels with the names of countries where people migrated from to Australia.
6 Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) - celebrating film, TV, and digital culture
At Federation Square, I found the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. The Centre is a destination for film and digital media enthusiasts.
ACMI holds temporary exhibitions that explore various aspects of TV, film, and culture. And, I've been to a couple of temporary exhibits like the one on Tim Burton.
I've been to Scienceworks with my kids and then with my grandkids. And, you'll find it in Spotswood.
It ignites curiosity in you and inspires you to play with science by using hands-on and interactive experiences.
You can explore chemistry, physics, biology, and astronomy. I remember going to the planetarium on primary school trips when it was at the Melbourne Museum. Now the planetarium is at Scienceworks.
I like how I have experienced going out with my camera and photographing the Milky Way and the stars at night.
8 Australian Sports Museum Melbourne
If you are a sports enthusiast you'd want to visit the Australian Sports Museum. You'll find the museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, more affectionately known as the MCG.
In the museum, you'll feel the rich sporting history of Australia. Explore cricket. Australian rules football, and the achievements and memorabilia of some of Australia's athletes.
Immerse yourself in interactive exhibits, engage with displays, and learn about the sporting culture that is deeply ingrained in Melbourne's identity.
9 Shrine of Remembrance
The Shrine of Remembrance honors the sacrifices and service of all Australians in war. And, it's a place of reflection.
I found the shrine in King Domain Park near the entrance to the botanic gardens. And, I walked up the steps to the shrine.
In the galleries, you can explore the military history of Australia including the World Wars, Vietnam and Korean conflicts, and peacekeeping missions.
Step back in time and see the Shrine of Remembrance as the architecture is based on the Parthenon in Athens and the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus. Can you see the resemblance?
10 Sovereign Hill Ballarat
I have been to Sovereign Hill many times over the years by car.
You can experience Victoria’s Gold Rush era of the 1850s. And, you’ll find it’s an outdoor museum with costumed townsfolk. working craftspeople and schools.
So, you can take a journey through the bustling main street, witness a gold pour, pan for gold, and explore underground mines.
In my post, you can find more things to do in Ballarat.
Tips for Visiting Museums in Melbourne
Here are some tips for visiting Melbourne's Museums
1 Check the rules and regulations for visiting, photography guidelines, rules for touching exhibits
2 Plan your visit: opening hours, ticket prices, do you need to pre-book tickets or can buy them at the museum, concessions, discounts, special exhibition and events and prices
3 Bag size restrictions. Is there a cloakroom available?
4 Guided tours. Are there guided tours, and what times are they?
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Find Things to Do in Melbourne
For more information go to my travel guide page on Melbourne.
Are you looking for other things to do, read my post on activities in Melbourne.
Go on a mystery picnic in Melbourne, and find out more information about the picnic experience.
Which type of museums interest you?