Marvellous Melbourne Museum

September 16th, 2007   •   10 comments   


One of Melbourne’s foremost cultural destination, the Melbourne Museum is both an architectural icon and a wonderful repository of natural history. Located next to the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens, the museum is part of Museum Victoria which is Australia’s largest public museum organisation. Touted as the biggest museum in the Southern Hemisphere, the museum was housed in a modern monolith of massive proportions.

Built in the 1990s in the modern style, the museum was designed by Denton Corker Marshall and constructed at a cost of A$250 million.
This huge whalebone measuring 18 metres from end-to-end belonged to a pygmy Blue Whale washed ashore.

Ethan posing with an Australian dinosaur skeleton (Amargasaurus cazaui) at the entrance.

More dinosaurs at the Evolution Gallery of the museum. I believe they include a Tarbosaurus (a theropod predator similar to T-Rex), Pteranodon, Diplodocus, and a duck-billed Hadrosaur.

Stuffed critters never looked this good. This display came complete with lighted panels that explain the origins of the various native animals.

One of the most fascinating galleries was the one on insects. This panel shows how they truly rule the world rather than us!

Giant blow ups of a spider fangs help to illustrate how different invetebrate mouthparts work in their feeding process. Hairy!

Some of the exhibits were alive too, like this real live bee hive complete with buzzing bees and dripping honey.

Of course, Ethan had to get into the action by trying out this bee dance complete with step-by-step instructions.

Interactive panels like this revolving display at the Marine gallery help to engage little fingers and minds.

Every shark has its day, and here’s an exhibit showing how different their jaws can be. “The better to eat you with my dear….”

A giant squid lies placidly in its watery grave with an interesting caption on top. No prizes for guessing that its the Sperm Whale (nothing to do with err… you know) that was its chief predator.

Kids could mix and match different parts and organs of the human body here. An excellent educational tool which captured Ethan’s attention.

Large backlit panels help to bring the Australian forest vividly to life.

What’s even better is that the museum has a real forest – right in the middle! Now this is what I call a Living Museum!

One of the highlights at the museum was its Children’s Gallery. This tall giraffe shows the scale of sizes.

More taxidermised animals on display. This one had them chirping, growling, and squeaking at the press of a button.

Soft toys like these help to delight a 3.75 year old toddler…

… as do these giant-sized Lego bricks in the outdoor play area.

Finally, our intrepid explorers decide to do some fossil searching themselves. Now who says that museums are boring?

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  1. posted on Sep 16, 2007 at 2:38 AM

    wow the museum looks cool!

    When I was at Perth I also enjoyed walking in the museum there.

    I think there’s something in foreign museums that our local ones are lacking…
    (coincidentally, today’s zaobao talks about the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity in NUS)

  2. posted on Sep 16, 2007 at 3:33 AM

    Wow that is one of the most creatively-designed museums I have ever seen. A real forest in the midst of it? Now, THAT is cool.

    Spot the “headless” kangaroo in the photographs! Boy, is it huge.

    What I find most amazing are the insect facts. There are so many of them that it creeps me out a little.

    Great job at capturing the highlights of this museum, Walter!

  3. posted on Sep 16, 2007 at 4:22 AM

    woah, I like those dinosaur parts…I did rem visiting a museum in Chicago and there was this dinosaur named Stella…not Artois ;)…

    She was real big…and then I think we did see some Egyptian artifacts too…woah, I learnt so much about the Egyptians…

    speaking of which, I gotta visit our local museum soon..hmmm..

  4. posted on Sep 16, 2007 at 8:33 AM


    Which museum did you visit in Perth? I think we do have some neat ones here in Singapore too, though of course the scale usually isn’t as large. My wish is that we have a great natural history museum in Singapore one day, to display the amazing biodiversity that this region has.

  5. posted on Sep 16, 2007 at 8:34 AM


    Thanks for your compliments! It was a fabulous find to see the living museum integrated into the artefacts, stuffed animals and fossils. They had real insects too, which were creeping crawling in their showcases. Truly awesome.

  6. posted on Sep 16, 2007 at 8:36 AM


    Hmmm… Chicago does have some nice museums too, though I haven’t had the chance to visit the museums in the States yet. I have heard and read so much about some of them though, like the American Museum of Natural History which is featured in Night at the Museums.

    Yeah, you must visit our local museums. They provide a great perspective of unique facets of our heritage, culture, art and science. Entertainment and enjoyment that goes a little deeper I would say. 😉

  7. posted on Sep 18, 2007 at 3:41 PM

    A lovely museum. At this rate, I am getting more and more envious of Ethan. His parents bring him to such lovely places to learn about the world.

  8. ed
    posted on Sep 19, 2007 at 12:52 AM

    If Singapore had that kind of space or land like Australia I bet our zoo will be alot bigger. Whenever I visit zoos overseas when I get the chance, I realised how spacious their enclosures are.

  9. posted on Sep 20, 2007 at 4:33 AM

    Nah, see how interesting and interactive the museums in Western countries are! You can learn a few things from them.

    The Singapore museums still have lots of room for improvement.

  10. keeyit
    posted on Sep 21, 2007 at 3:34 AM

    I like the photos of the giraffe..

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