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Melbourne Museum

  • Museums
  • Carlton
Melbourne Museum
Photograph: Robert Blackburn

Time Out says

This vibrant and award-winning museum is as big and beloved as the Triceratops it houses

A glorious, sprawling space filled with themed displays, interactive areas, IMAX cinemas and no end of surprises, Melbourne Museum rewards first-time visitors and repeat patrons equally.

For recent initiates, the sheer scope of the permanent galleries (including exhibits dedicated just for kids) can be intimidating, but for those who aren't intent on digesting it all on one visit, the greatest treasures can be the tiniest and, like history itself, the most enlightening of surprises lurk in the dimmest corners and darker recesses.

Victoria's history is vividly evoked through artefacts, art and well-carved prose. Its ancient past is rekindled in the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, which presents Indigenous stories through objects, music and the voices of those past and present. Victoria's recent history is equally enjoyable, with the stuffed hide of Depression-era hero thoroughbred racehorse Phar Lap still one of the most popular exhibits with young and old alike.

Don't leave without a visit to the newest permanent exhibition Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs. The centrepiece of the exhibition is Horridus: Melbourne Museum's 67-million-year-old Triceratops fossil. Horridus holds the impressive title of being the most complete real dinosaur fossil in any Australian museum. 
Next, pop into the taxidermy room. As well as the traditional pinned insects and dinosaurs, the Museum also has an open-air atrium teeming with plants and animals absorbing and refracting light. Stuffy this museum certainly ain't.

And if you think you have seen it all, think again. The Melbourne Museum also houses an impressive collection of rotating exhibitions. This summer head to the Tyama: a Deeper Sense of Knowing exhibition and the Pink Diamonds exhibit showing until the end of January, or the Naadohbii: To Draw Water exhibition which is on until the end of March 2023, featuring work by First Peoples artists globally about environmental, political and cultural connections to water.

Explore more of Melbourne this summer by ticking off the 101 things to do in Melbourne at least once in your life.  

Jade Solomon
Written by
Jade Solomon


11 Nicholson St
Up to $15
Opening hours:
Daily 9am-5pm

What’s on

Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature

  • Exhibitions

While a trip to Hogwarts or London's Natural History Museum may not be within reach, Melbourne Museum's newest exhibition brings the magic closer to home. Step into a world where mythical creatures and real animals converge at Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature, which is exclusively on display until October 8. For both the young and young at heart, this spellbinding exhibition unlocks the mysteries of the natural world and uncovers how real animals inspired mythical worlds and creatures from beloved Warner Bros books and films. You’ll recognise magical critters from the fan-favourite film series Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter, which are brought to life with custom-made models, props and original artworks from Bloomsbury Publishing. These are in good company with precious wildlife specimens and artefacts from the world-leading scientific collections of London’s prestigious Natural History Museum. Venture deeper into the Fantastic Beasts exhibition gallery and you’ll enter the wilderness where the boundaries between reality and enchantment begin to dissolve. You can explore the incredible behaviours both real and other-worldly creatures share, and learn about the many animals facing similar threats to the magical beings in the wizarding world. As you bid farewell to this mystical universe, you can chat with scientists who will teach you how to protect our biodiversity for the future.  Prepare to be spellbound as Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature takes you on an insp

Relics: A New World Rises

  • Exhibitions

From two veritable Lego masterminds (and winners of the hit reality TV show competition) comes a unique and playful exhibition, combining intricate Lego creations with antique artefacts.  Relics: A New World Rises is the latest exhibition at Melbourne Museum that combines large-scale LEGO creations with vintage treasures to create an innovative spectacle.  Set in the year 2530, the exhibition imagines a post-human world where tiny Lego people have risen from the ashes and craft their civilisations inside forgotten human objects and vintage treasures. The exhibition was born from the masterminds of Channel 9's Lego Masters winners of season two, Jackson Harvey and Alex Towler, who've designed ginormous building block creations in unusual and unexpected places with a retro-futuristic theme.  Visitors will wander in awe at highly-detailed, entire Lego cities under the hood of a Beetle car, a vintage jukebox, a piano, arcade game machines and so much more.  “The Lego minifigures are the plastic puppets of our stories, and we’ve had so much fun constructing hundreds of narratives with them," says exhibition creative director Jackson Harvey. "We hope people are able to find these stories, and create some of their own. Relics is a very weird love child between an antique shop, the Lego movie and Blade Runner.” The perfect combination of nostalgic and playful, the exhibition is sure to impress and delight the whole family. Find out more on the website.  Looking for more things to

Nocturnal: Museum After Dark

  • Exhibitions

Venture out as night falls and immerse yourself in the many wonders of our world at Melbourne Museum, welcoming those of us with nocturnal tendencies after dark. The museum will open it's doors after closing time for Nocturnal: Museum After Dark, a series of exclusive adults-only evenings, held on the second Thursday of each month. Explore the exhibitions and be enlightened by tours, curator talks and trivia, or enjoy a bev and a boogie with DJs soundtracking the night. Each event has a different theme and highlights one of the fascinating exhibitions, so there's something different to discover each time.  The first event in the series is on September 14, when Nocturnal: Far Fetched will take you on a journey where the real meets the imagined. In the Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature exhibition, you'll come face-to-face with extraordinary creatures from Harry Potter and the wizarding world. Plus, test your smarts with the Museum Masterminds trivia challenge, hosted by comedian Atlanta Colley.  On October 12, Nocturnal: Tiny but Mighty will immerse visitors in the captivating world of Relics: A New World Rises, telling the story of a post-human world where Lego minifigures rise from the debris to create intricate civilisations within discarded human artefacts.  Nocturnal: Smoke & Mirrors will invites attendees into a world of animal camouflage and natural illusion on November 9. Expert talks and tours will take visitors on a journey to explore the quirky and unexpecte

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