Forgotten everything you learn during those school excursions? These eight museums will help you uncover stories about the people who made this city what it is today: a bustling hub of culture, coffee and sporting greats.
Must-see museums for visitors
A venue within Melbourne Museum, Bunjilaka was developed to empower Aboriginal people to interpret their own cultural heritage for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Here you can celebrate the vibrant cultures of Indigenous Australia with exhibitions about traditional performances, storytelling rituals and artworks.
This interactive science and technology museum is geared towards getting children excited about science through first-hand experiences. There are guided tours, changing exhibitions, demonstrations and special activities daily. The Planetarium, with its huge domed ceiling replicating the night sky, is always a huge hit. Over in the Sportsworks exhibit kids can try to beat Cathy Freeman or try out what it's like to snowboard. Scienceworks is also an autism friendly museum with social scripts and maps showing high and low sensory spaces in the museum available on their website.
Using first-hand accounts, real-life imagery and memorabilia, the true stories of people who have migrated to Victoria are recounted in this fascinating Melbourne museum. It's housed inside a magnificently restored building that, between 1858-70, acted as Melbourne's own Customs House, gateway to the fledgling colony.
Using interactive displays, prized artefacts and a rich program of educational events, this museum tells the moving and inspirational tales of Melbourne and Australia's Jewish community from the earliest days of European settlement. A special chapter of the Museum dedicated to Holocaust history has survivors sharing their stories, while elsewhere you'll find respected contemporary art exhibitions and displays and celebrations of Judaism's rich calendar of festivals and holy days.
Although the Hellenic Museum is relatively young, Melbourne’s Greek heritage goes way back. And the artefacts on display at the beautiful Hellenic Museum go seriously waaaaay back. We’re talking Corinthian Gobulars as old as 600 BC. These incredible portals into another time can’t be seen anywhere else in Melbourne – not in permanent exhibitions anyway. And to think all these objects are from one man’s private collection: art historian AD Trendall. Learn about the first Greek-Australians, some of whom arrived as convicts, early settlers and gold diggers. And others who arrived during the Australian Government’s migration scheme in the '50s and '60s.