The Australian city of Melbourne has a number of excellent museums. Here are details of just five of the museums that you can visit during a trip to Melbourne.
Melbourne Museum is situated in Carlton, a suburb of Melbourne, about 2km north of the city’s Central Business District. Its permanent collection is housed in eight galleries, one of which is designed to appeal to children aged between 3 and 8.
Highlights include the Forest Gallery, a rainforest environment in whch you’ll find living birds and animals, and the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, which contains a range of exhibits reflecting Aboriginal culture. The museum holds regular temporary exhibitions, and also has an IMAX cinema, a cafe and a shop.
Melbourne Museum is open daily between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. It’s closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day. Admission fees apply for adults, but children aged between 3 and 16 can visit free of charge.
2. The National Sports Museum (Melbourne Cricket Club, Yarra Park, Jolimont, Melbourne).
Situated at Melbourne Cricket Club, the National Sports Museum has more than 2,500 exhibits relating to the history of sport in Australia. You can learn about the history of thoroughbred horse racing in Australia in the Champions – Thoroughbred Racing gallery, find about some of the sporting legends who have been inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, the Australian Football Hall of Fame and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, and take part in a range of activities in the Game On interactive gallery.
The National Sports Museum is open daily between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. but it is closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day. On days on which major events are being held at Melbourne Cricket Ground, only visitors with tickets for the event will be admitted to the museum, and opening times may vary, so make sure that you check with the museum before visiting, to ensure that you will be able to get in. Admission fees apply.
3. Scienceworks (2 Booker Street, Spotswood, Melbourne).
Scienceworks is situated in the suburb of Spotswood, about 5km to the south-west of Melbourne’s Central Business District. It has a range of interactive exhibits relating to science and technology, and is a great place to visit for a family day out during your holiday in Melbourne.
Make sure you catch one of the 30-minute live shows in the Lightning Room, as you’ll get the chance to see the museum’s giant Tesla Coil, which can generate 3m long lightning bolts. Scienceworks is also home to Melbourne Planetarium.
Scienceworks is open daily between 10 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. It’s closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day. Admission fees apply, and additional charges apply if you want to see a show in the Lightning Room or the Planetarium.
4. Victoria Police Museum (World Trade Centre, Siddeley Street, Melbourne).
Victoria Police Museum contains a wide range of exhibits tracing the history of the Victoria Police Department. Its permanent collection includes items such as the remains of the car bomb which exploded outside of Russell Street Police Station in 1986, items belonging to the Kelly Gang and the death mask of Frederick Deeming, a British-born murderer who was convicted of killing his first wife, his four children and his second wife, and who some people have suspected to have been Jack the Ripper.
The museum also houses exhibits relating to the development of forensic science and to the men and women who lost their lives whilst serving the public as part of the Victoria Police Department. There are also regular temporary exhibitions.
The Victoria Police Museum is open Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. It is closed at weekends and on public holidays.
5. The Immigration Museum (Old Customs House, 400 Flinders Street, Melbourne).
Situated in the Old Customs House in Melbourne’s Central Business District, the Immigration Museum is packed with exhibits telling the stories of some of the State of Victoria’s immigrants. The museum’s permanent collection contains documents, photos and audio-visual material, and you can explore the museum’s large model ship exhibit to see what it woud have been like for immigrants travelling to Australia by sea.
The museum holds regular temporary exhibitions, and also houses a library, a shop and a cafe. You can also visit the Tribute Garden, which is located within the museum’s northern garden and features the names of immigrants from more than 90 countries.
The Immigration Museum is open daily between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. It’s closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day. Admission fees apply.
A number of airlines operate flights to Australia from the U.K., and you’ll find many hotels and guest houses to choose from. Many of Melbourne’s museums are in the centre of the city, so they are easy to get to by public transport, taxi or hire car.