Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum

Ask a question about 'Melbourne Museum'
Start a new discussion about 'Melbourne Museum'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Melbourne Museum is located in the Carlton Gardens
Carlton Gardens, Melbourne
The Carlton Gardens is a World Heritage Site located on the northeastern edge of the Central Business District in the suburb of Carlton, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia....

 in Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, adjacent the Royal Exhibition Building
Royal Exhibition Building
The Royal Exhibition Building is a World Heritage Site-listed building in Melbourne, Australia, completed in 1880. It is located at 9 Nicholson Street in the Carlton Gardens, flanked by Victoria, Nicholson, Carlton and Rathdowne Streets, at the north-eastern edge of the central business district...


It is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

, and is a venue of Museum Victoria
Museum Victoria
Museum Victoria is an organisation which operates three major state-owned museums in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; these are: the Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum and Scienceworks. It also manages the Royal Exhibition Building and a storage facility in Melbourne's City of Moreland.Museum...

, which also operates the Immigration Museum and Scienceworks Museum
Scienceworks Museum (Melbourne)
Scienceworks is a world renowned science museum in Melbourne, Australia. It is a venue of Museum Victoria which administers the cultural and scientific collections of the State of Victoria...


The museum has seven main galleries, a Children's Gallery and a temporary exhibit gallery on three levels, Upper, Ground and Lower Level and was constructed by Baulderstone Hornibrook.

The Touring Hall is where temporary exhibits are displayed. Past exhibits include mummies from Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and dinosaur
Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous , when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of...

s from China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. The Big Box is part of the Children's Gallery.

In addition, the museum has other facilities such as the Sidney Myer Amphitheatre and The Age
The Age
The Age is a daily broadsheet newspaper, which has been published in Melbourne, Australia since 1854. Owned and published by Fairfax Media, The Age primarily serves Victoria, but is also available for purchase in Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and border regions of South Australia and...

 Theatre. The Discovery Centre, on the Lower Level, is a free public research centre. The museum also has a cafe and a souvenir shop.

IMAX is a motion picture film format and a set of proprietary cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems...

 Theatre, which is situated on the Lower Level is also part of the museum complex. It shows movies, usually documentary films, in 3-D format.


The museum had its earliest beginnings in the Government Assay Office which on 9 March 1854, opened some displays in La Trobe Street
La Trobe Street, Melbourne
La Trobe Street is a major street in the central business district of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It runs roughly from east to west and forms the northern boundary of the CBD ....

. In 1858, Frederick McCoy
Frederick McCoy
Sir Frederick McCoy, KCMG, FRS was an Irish palaeontologist and museum administrator, active in Australia.-Early life:McCoy was the son of Dr Simon McCoy, M.D. and was born in Dublin; some sources have his year of birth as 1823, but 1817 is the most likely...

 who was Professor of Natural History at the University of Melbourne
University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is the second oldest university in Australia and the oldest in Victoria...

 was appointed Director of the National Museum.

The Melbourne Museum was originally located (along with the State Library
State Library of Victoria
The State Library of Victoria is the central library of the state of Victoria, Australia, located in Melbourne. It is on the block bounded by Swanston, La Trobe, Russell, and Little Lonsdale streets, in the northern centre of the central business district...

 and the old state gallery) in the city block between La Trobe, Swanston
Swanston Street, Melbourne
Swanston Street is a major thoroughfare in the centre of Melbourne, Australia. It is historically one of the main streets of central Melbourne, laid out in 1837 as part of the Hoddle Grid, the layout of major streets that makes up the central business district...

, Little Lonsdale
Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Little Lonsdale Street is located in the centre of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. A part of the Hoddle Grid, it runs roughly east-west. North of Lonsdale Street and south of La Trobe Street, Little Lonsdale Street's eastern end intersects with Spring Street while its western end intersects with...

 and Russell Street
Russell Street, Melbourne
Russell Street is a north-south street in the central business district of Melbourne, Australia, part of the Hoddle Grid laid out in 1837. At its southern end it intersects with Flinders Street and Federation Square, while at its northern end it becomes Lygon Street, a street famous for its...

s - the nearby Museum underground railway station was originally named after it, although following the move the station was renamed Melbourne Central. The State Library now uses all the space in that building, the gallery also having moved to the NGV
National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria is an art gallery and museum in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1861, it is the oldest and the largest public art gallery in Australia. Since December 2003, NGV has operated across two sites...


The current museum was opened on October 21, 2000 by the Premier of Victoria of the time Steve Bracks
Steve Bracks
Stephen Philip Bracks AC is a former Australian politician and the 44th Premier of Victoria. He first won the electoral district of Williamstown in 1994 for the Australian Labor Party, and was party leader and Premier from 1999 to 2007....


Main permanent exhibits

The main permanent exhibits include:
  • Science and Life Gallery - including a skeleton of a Diprotodon
    Diprotodon, meaning "two forward teeth", sometimes known as the Giant Wombat or the Rhinoceros Wombat, was the largest known marsupial that ever lived...

    (a giant wombat
    Wombats are Australian marsupials; they are short-legged, muscular quadrupeds, approximately in length with a short, stubby tail. They are adaptable in their habitat tolerances, and are found in forested, mountainous, and heathland areas of south-eastern Australia, including Tasmania, as well as...

    -like creature), and skeletons of dinosaurs such as:
    • Tarbosaurus
      Tarbosaurus is a genus of tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur that flourished in Asia about 70 million years ago, at the end of the Late Cretaceous Period. Fossils have been recovered in Mongolia, with more fragmentary remains found further afield in parts of China. Although many species have been...

      (Giant meat eater, Tyrannosauridae
      Tyrannosauridae is a family of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaurs which comprises two subfamilies containing up to six genera, including the eponymous Tyrannosaurus. The exact number of genera is controversial, with some experts recognizing as few as three...

    • Mamenchisaurus
      Mamenchisaurus was a plant-eating four-legged dinosaur, known for its remarkably long neck which made up half its total length. It is known from numerous species which ranged in time from 160 to 145 million years ago, from the Oxfordian to Tithonian ages of the late Jurassic Period of...

      (Giant Sauropod
      "Sauropodus" is the informal name given to an as yet undescribed genus of dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. It was a sauropod which lived in what is now Argentina. The type species was informally announced in 2001, but has not yet been formalized. Argentine paleontologist Edith Simon told...

    • Tsintaosaurus
      Tsintaosaurus is a genus of hadrosaurid dinosaur from China. It was about long, tall and weighed 3 tons. The type species is T. spinorhinus, first described by C. C...

    • Hadrosaurid
      Hadrosaurids or duck-billed dinosaurs are members of the family Hadrosauridae, and include ornithopods such as Edmontosaurus and Parasaurolophus. They were common herbivores in the Upper Cretaceous Period of what are now Asia, Europe and North America. They are descendants of the Upper...

    • Pteranodon
      Pteranodon , from the Late Cretaceous geological period of North America in present day Kansas, Alabama, Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota, was one of the largest pterosaur genera and had a maximum wingspan of over...

    • Gallimimus
      Gallimimus is a genus of ornithomimid theropod dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period Nemegt Formation of Mongolia. With individuals as long as , it was one of the largest ornithomimosaurs...

    • Hypsilophodon
      Hypsilophodon is an ornithopod dinosaur genus from the Early Cretaceous period of Europe. It was a small bipedal animal with an herbivorous or possibly omnivorous diet...

In 2010 a new exhibit called 600 million years of Victoria
Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

 that includes some more prehistoric animals such as:
    • Muttaburrasaurus
      Muttaburrasaurus is a genus of herbivorous ornithopod dinosaur, living in what is now northeastern Australia between 100 and 98 million years ago during the early Cretaceous Period. It has been recovered in some analyses as a member of the iguanodontian family Rhabdodontidae...

    • Tiktaalik
      Tiktaalik is a genus of extinct sarcopterygian from the late Devonian period, with many features akin to those of tetrapods . It is an example from several lines of ancient sarcopterygian "fish" developing adaptations to the oxygen-poor shallow-water habitats of its time, which led to the...

    • Anomalocaris
      Anomalocaris is an extinct genus of anomalocaridid, which are, in turn, thought to be closely related to the arthropods. The first fossils of Anomalocaris were discovered in the Ogygopsis Shale by Joseph Frederick Whiteaves, with more examples found by Charles Doolittle Walcott in the famed...

    • and many other prehistoric animals.
    • The Science & Life Gallery also contains the exhibitions: Bugs Alive!, Marine Life: Exploring our seas and two more exhibitions soon to open in 2010.
  • Melbourne Gallery - where the mounted hide
    Taxidermy is the act of mounting or reproducing dead animals for display or for other sources of study. Taxidermy can be done on all vertebrate species of animals, including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians...

     of Phar Lap
    Phar Lap
    Phar Lap was a champion Thoroughbred racehorse whose achievements captured the public's imagination during the early years of the Great Depression. Foaled in New Zealand, he was trained and raced in Australia. Phar Lap dominated Australian racing during a distinguished career, winning a Melbourne...

    , a race horse that won the Melbourne Cup
    Melbourne Cup
    The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major Thoroughbred horse race. Marketed as "the race that stops a nation", it is a 3,200 metre race for three-year-olds and over. It is the richest "two-mile" handicap in the world, and one of the richest turf races...

     during the depression era, is exhibited.
    • It also features an exhibition about the history of Melbourne from the early 19th century through to present day (called The Melbourne Story).
  • Large skeleton of a Pygmy Blue Whale
    Pygmy Blue Whale
    The pygmy blue whale is a subspecies of the blue whale found in the Indian Ocean and the southern Pacific Ocean....

  • Mind and Body Gallery - a gallery regarding the human body. It also features a world first exhibition about the mind (called The Mind: enter the labyrinth).
  • Evolution Gallery - the upper level features the exhibition 'Darwin to DNA'. The lower level feature Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world exhibition.
  • Forest Gallery - a living temperate Victorian forest environment, complete with live birds, reptiles, and other fauna
  • Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre - a gallery with exhibitions about the Aborigines
    Indigenous Australians
    Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

     of Victoria
  • Te Pasifika Gallery - an exhibition which highlights the history and watercrafts of Pacific Islanders
  • Children's Gallery - exhibitions aimed at 3 to 8 year olds.
  • Touring Hall - is where international touring exhibitions are displayed. A Day In Pompeii which was on display at Melbourne Museum from 26 June - 25 October 2009 was Melbourne Museum's most popular temporary exhibition. Past Touring Hall exhibitions include Hatching the Past: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies (30 May 2008 to 24 August 2008), The Great Wall of China: Dynasties, dragons and warriors (23 March 2007 to 22 July 2007), Spirit of the Games: the Opening Ceremony revealed (18 March to 23 July 2006), Dinosaurs from China (2005).
  • Public spaces - Outside the main galleries are various displays relating to Victoria's and Australia's history, including CSIRAC (an early computer built in Australia) and a Pygmy Blue Whale.

Festival Melbourne 2006

Melbourne Museum was one of the venues of Festival Melbourne 2006, a city-wide art festival held in conjunction of the 2006 Commonwealth Games
2006 Commonwealth Games
The 2006 Commonwealth Games were held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia between 15 March and 26 March 2006. It was the largest sporting event to be staged in Melbourne, eclipsing the 1956 Summer Olympics in terms of the number of teams competing, athletes competing, and events being held.The site...

, which was held in Melbourne. Among the exhibitions held in the museum were 'Common Goods:Cultures Meet Through Craft', which featured crafts made by artists from various Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 countries and 'CARVE:Indigenous carving practices', a series of demonstrations of traditional indigenous carving practices and techniques from Australia, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...


Besides that, there was a producers' market, 'Victorian Producers' Market', where the best produces from regional Victoria such as wine, cheese and others were sold. A cooking competition, 'Culinary Pro Am of the Commonwealth' was also held between top Melbourne chefs, each representing a Commonwealth country.

Another crowd drawer was the large screen on museum grounds where live actions of the Games were shown.

External links / References

37.803337°N 144.971445°W