On The Go: Melbourne Museum

This post is part of Telstra’s Connect on the Go Story.  I’m being a tourist in my own town…

Where we went:

Melbourne Museum
Nicholson Street
Carlton Gardens

Here’s a map

When I was a kid, a visit to the Museum was a big deal. It didn’t really matter how many times we went, because the Museum was a familiar friend. We knew the exhibits we loved the most, the route we would take to get to them, which buttons to press to make things spin or growl or light up.  We had a whole ritual involving walks there with our Nanna, snacky chocolate bars in pockets and post-Museum cafeteria lunches at Coles afterwards. Nice.

It’s this sense of affection and familiarity that I think ALL people should have when they visit their city’s Museum.  It should be a regular ritual to pop in and admire the old favourites or marvel at the new.  It should not be a special treat, but rather a much looked forward to part of life.  That’s how we approach it, anyway…!

We live very close to the Melbourne Museum and are lucky enough to visit 3 or 4 times a year. It’s only $10 admittance for adults and concessions or kids are free. Win!  Yesterday I took my camera and my youngest kid along and here are the results…

Here’s what we love the most:

The sneaky, playful turtle in the rainforest.
The creepy glow-in-the-dark orb weavers.
All the paraphernalia from the Kew Asylum.
The Little Lon exhibition
The fantastic Top Design exhibit : especially the work of Eloise McCullough, Zoe Blow and Zeniya Vreungdenhil
The horrible spider sounds
The rows and rows of butterflies and beetles
The amazingly vast geology section
The whale skeleton
The dinosaurs: especially the flying ones
The colourful tucked-up little birds
The huge amount of animals in the science and life section
The sausage rolls


We wandered about and talked about who had previously touched the things we were looking at, how they might have lived, where their descendants were now.  We flipped through the ‘Family Album’ and found a dog that looked like ours and a photo taken near our house. We decided that 10 year olds running around being obnoxious was bad, but that it was okay for 3 year olds to do it.

We ate sausage rolls and chicken sandwiches.  We sipped orange juice (him) and coffee (me).  We noticed all kinds of things suspended from the ceiling and cascading down the walls. Nice.

Going to the museum is kind of like taking a mini holiday. You forget your real life and step back in time. You put yourself in someone else’s shoes and gain a fresh new perspective on life. That’s a very good thing, in my book.

When was the last time you went to a Museum? What are you favourite Museum-y things?

x Pip

  • http://twitter.com/ruthbruten GourmetGirlfriend

    we REALLY love the Museum.
    We are SOOOO lucky to have this amazing resource in our city aren’t we?!
    Set in amongst one of Melbourne’s most beautiful city parks.
    We love it because a LOT of activities are prohibitively expensive foro ur big family but this one costs hardly anything at all & it is really super nice.
    My childhood memories of Museums are dark scary places but Melbourne’s museum is so super light & nice to be in.
    So glad you and Ari had an ace outing.

  • JessB

    Yay, I love the Museum! I volunteer there, so I get to visit lots for free!

    My first favourite thing to see is the turtles in the Forest Gallery. You can almost always see the fish, as they tend to hang out together in schools, and as they move you can see the flash of their silver bellies, but the turtles are more retiring. On my birthday when I visited, it was a really hot day, and because we were there in the afternoon, the pool was in full sun, so there were two turtles on rocks in the sun and one in a patch of warm water. That was great!

    And my second favourite thing to see is the Science and Life gallery, with all the stuffed animals. It’s so interesting! I could hang out there for ages.

    • http://www.justbaustralia.com.au/ Pip @ JustB

      Oh the turtles are GREAT! I really love the Museum. I love the same things that YOU love, Jess!!! x

  • http://www.facebook.com/kylie.rogers.397 Kylie Rogers

    We love it too. I had a membership when I lived there and took the kids there often. We always went to the forest gallery first to see if the Bower bird was around

  • Karen

    I love the museum. My family never went when we were kids, so my first visit wasn’t until I was a uni student to Melbourne Museum when it had just opened. I love the bug displays, the animal room (it’s like a walk-in encyclopaedia) and we also love the children’s courtyard where the kids can play quoits, skipping or hoola hoops. We go about 4 times a year. Such a special place.

    • http://www.justbaustralia.com.au/ Pip @ JustB

      Oh nice. Gosh. I used to love the KID bit of the Museum… my kids won’t go in there any more. They are too big, apparently… Sigh. x