Wednesday 15 March 2017

Melbourne II Day 5: Melbourne Museum & Flinders Street

As usual, we wanted to set off earlier this morning but ended up leaving only at 11am. That was really late as there were so many things to do at Melbourne Museum!

Melbourne Museum
(Address: 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia)
Entrance to the museum
(you can see the Royal Exhibition Building in the reflection)

We parked at the underground carpark, which charges the usual exorbitant Melbourne CBD prices (see the carpark charges here). However, I discovered that if you bought an IMAX ticket, the cost of parking is fixed at AUD 15 for the whole day (as compared to AUD 45).

It was the main reason why we decided to watch an IMAX show that day even though it costs approximately AUD 14 more per ticket. The Museum and IMAX Joint Ticket costs AUD 27 per adult and AUD 14 per child 3-16 years old (surcharge applies for feature length films) whereas the Museum Ticket alone costs AUD 14 per adult and absolutely FREE for kids under 16 years old! So awesome right?! =)

The IMAX shows that were showing when we were there
Clockwise from left: We decided on Under The Sea because it sounded like the easiest for my kids to understand;
The tickets you'll receive at the Museum counter. You'll need to exchange it for the IMAX tickets at the IMAX theatre next door;
The IMAX tickets that we received from the IMAX counter.

We started exploring the museum since we've got a few hours before the start of the show.

Welcomed by a large skeleton of a Pygmy Blue Whale in the main entrance
It's the largest display in the museum!

After viewing the bones of the Blue Whale, we viewed the bones of dinosaurs at the Dinosaur Walk!

Imagination brings these bones back to life at the Dinosaur Walk
Impressive collection of dinosaurs

If your kids are dinosaur fans, they will love this!
Mine are not and they still liked it =)

The dinosaur skeletons were not as large as the one at London's Natural History Museum but what they lacked in size, they made up for in quantity. It was quite a nice display and definitely worth bringing your kids to see it!

We ventured into a world of bugs next at Bugs Alive.

Bugs Alive
A collection of bugs, so many that I can't count (at least, I don't want to)
Left: Learning about the anatomy of an insect;
Right: These are probably leaf insects.
Spiders and termites! Yucks!

Let's just say I'm not a huge fan of insects so we didn't stay long and moved on to Marine Life.

Marine Life at Victoria's seas
Clockwise from top left: Under the sea!;
Interactive displays allow the kids to turn and be intrigued;
The corpse of the largest squid known to us found in the belly of a whale washed up to shore;
I explained to my girl that no one has ever seen this squid alive before because they live really deep down in the ocean where humans are not able to explore yet. She was quite amazed by that.

Next, it was the taxidermied animal display at Wild.

So many animals! They all look so alive!
Pretending to hop like a kangaroo and roar like a lion!
They look so alive that they remind me of Night In the Museum!

London's Natural History Museum also has a section with taxidermied animals, albeit with less animals. I don't think you can finish identifying all the animals here *laughs*

We took the lift to the second floor and continued our exploration of the museum.

More birds and snakes
Birds eye view of the Wild display
Another view from the top

You can also read about Darwin and Evolution but we were more interested in The Human Body.

The Human Body
Left: Explaining the different body parts and functions to my girl;
Right: Interactive displays that captured the attention of the kids.

Next was The Mind, the very thing that I spent most of my varsity life learning (#psychologytrained).

My best photo from the gallery because it was quite dark. I leave the rest for you to explore yourself when you visit.

The last gallery on the second floor was The Melbourne Story. You can't visit Melbourne Museum without learning the things that make Melbourne unique.

Clockwise from left: This horse was the star who won a lot of awards for Melbourne;
The Melbourne Story gallery;
The super old school carriage of the Big Dipper roller coaster ride restored to give you a feel of what it was like to ride a roller coaster back in the day.
Super cool carriage that looks nice but we won't actually want to be in it day to day because it's just too slow!
We love that they brought the Australian National Emblem to 3D with real taxidermied animals!

We ended our exploration with the Forest Gallery before heading to the IMAX theatres for our show.

Clockwise from left: Forest Gallery is on the 1st floor;
The kids can see what lies beneath a waterfall and landscape;
Underground roots and creatures;
Peering into the binoculars to see more.

The IMAX Theatre is located next door to the museum so it should not be difficult to find it.

Couldn't resist taking a picture with this huge 3D poster of my favourite Beauty and the Beast!
Wearing our 3D glasses in the theatre

The Under the Sea movie was vibrant and colourful but quite boring. The boy actually fell asleep halfway! Luckily we didn't pay for his ticket otherwise it would have been so not worth it.

After the show, we had our lunch at The Museum Cafe.

Left: Home-cooked lunch that the mum-in-law packed for herself and the kids because they don't eat Western food;
Right: The fish and chips and pasta that the hubby and I ordered (apologies that they were half-eaten, we were too hungry!)

There's a bumpy and colourful play area right next to the cafe so that your kids can entertain themselves while you eat

The girl kept bugging me about going to the Children's Gallery but who could blame her? It was such an awesome gallery!

Pauline Gandel Children's Gallery
(with a nursing room available as well)

The Children's Gallery was very whimsical, colourful and just so inviting for the kids! They couldn't stop touching, climbing and running the minute they set foot inside.

Playing in a half-real half-kiddy train
Clockwise from left: Super duper cute carriage;
An area for little kids to run about;
Plenty of activities to engage little ones;
Smaller taxidermied animals for the kids to look at.
My kids spent most of their time in this part of the Children's Gallery
They enjoyed climbing this "tree" structure in the middle
Left: This really cool windmill-looking thing actually spins when the kids sit at the bottom! Even the adults like us had fun pulling on the ropes to get it to spin!;
Right: Interactive touch-screen display that changes colour with a touch of little fingers.
This station is really cool! Whatever design your child creates on the touch screen will appear in the above display as a very realistic butterfly!
My girl loved this so much that she spent quite a lot of time here designing her butterflies.
Various activities that captivated my boy
This display was also really cool and interactive. The led lights surrounding the animals will light up when the torch is shone on it. The corresponding calls that the animal makes will also be sounded. Really fun!

We absolutely loved the museum and would have stayed on till closing (at 5pm), if not for the fact that I wanted to go see Flinders Street Station. On hindsight though, I realised we should have just stayed till closing and left viewing the other landmarks to another day because it was simply too rushed (*sigh*). Oh well, all the more reason to bring the kids back to Melbourne Museum again the next time that we visit Melbourne! =)

We left at around 4pm and walked for about 5 minutes through Carlton Gardens to the nearest tram station to board the City Circle Tram (see a map of the route here). The City Circle Tram brings you to all the famous Melbourne city landmarks and best of all, it's FREE!

Boarding the Circle City Tram

It took about 10-15 minutes for the tram to arrive at Flinders Street Station.

The iconic train station looks as grand in person
This is a real working station and not just for show so be prepared to be shoved during peak hours

We hopped back onto the tram and passed other landmarks as we made our way back to Melbourne Museum.

Clockwise from left: Parliament House;
Immigration Museum;
Ethad Stadium;
St Paul's Cathedral (located diagonally opposite of Flinders Street Station)
Melbourne Star Observation Wheel

We also passed by the SEA Life Melbourne Aquarium but did not visit because we had already been to SEA Life Sydney Acquarium.

It was a pretty long journey back to the museum and we finally arrived at Carlton Gardens about 45 minutes later!

Walking through Carlton Gardens

We stopped at the Royal Exhibition Building, located directly in front of Melbourne Museum, for some photos.

Royal Exhibition Building
(Address: 9 Nicholson Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia)
They were hosting the Melbourne Fashion Festival so we saw many fashionable people walking into the building. Very cool =)

We thought (naively) that we can get back to the museum before it closed but unfortunately we didn't. Oh well, there's always next time.

We returned home for a good home-cooked meal and turned in early because we were really exhausted!

Continue to >> Melbourne II Day 6: Brighton Beach, St Kilda & Luna Park
<< Back to Melbourne II Day 4: Pure Peninsula Honey & Myuna Farm


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Melbourne, Australia 
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