Day time at the museum

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Museums are stuffy places, right? Dusty relics behind glass cases, boring, dull, unless you are a science geek.

Not Melbourne Museum

The building is controversial, a very modern contrast to the Royal Exhibition Building next door. As a lover of Victorian architecture, I can see why one is more pleasing to the eye, just a stroll around it in its beautiful setting, surrounded by parkland and fountains is uplifting. What a great place to escape to from the office at lunch time, with a picnic.

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However if you have a few hours to spare, preferably a day, a visit to the Melbourne Museum is a great way to spend a rainy day, or even a blistering hot one when you need to find somewhere cool. And this place is cool, in so many ways.

We joined a free guided tour, once more led by a volunteer, that lasted an hour. This is more of an orientation tour, that points out the highlights. I would highly recommend you join one if you can, as this museum is huge and has so much to see and do.

As has been the case so often in Melbourne, we were part of a small select group of four. I can only presume that the demand rises during the holiday period. Early December, you pretty much get personal tours. Fine by me.

So what’s to see and do? The short version.

There’s Phar Lap, a famous racehorse, a very popular exhibit. Lots of bugs and spiders, real ones, including tarantulas seized by customs and excise.

I was moved to tears to hear and read about the removal of Aboriginal children from their families in order to ‘civilise’ them. I guess this is acknowledged here as is their cultural heritage. Bunjilaka Koori Voices

And the technology would entertain the most determinedly bored child who hates museums. Interactive screens like giant iPads that enable you to discover more about the exhibits, the 3D experience and the lifelike dinosaurs that react to human movement amused us for hours!

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And there are models of dinosaurs. Yes, those are antlers. Well it is nearly Christmas.

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So if you are in Melbourne, this is a must see! Well worth the ten dollars. If you are a local, buy an annual pass, you won’t regret it. If you spend a day, bring a picnic as there is an outdoor terrace, and frankly the food in the cafe wasn’t very enticing in my opinion. Or have an early lunch in Carlton Gardens, join a tour, then spend the rest of the day exploring the museum. It’s not pretty from the outside. With the Imax theatre tacked on, at an angle, it is all very modern and a little bit ugly. However, put aside all this and cross the threshold. This is a building designed to showcase what’s inside. And it does it very well indeed. Oh, and you can follow them on twitter @melbournemuseum

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This entry was posted in Australia, Melbourne, Travel and tagged , , by Travelling Coral. Bookmark the permalink.

About Travelling Coral

I started blogging in 2011 to record some of the highlights of the round the world trip I made with my husband Phil. On the 5 month trip we visited California, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Malaysia and Thailand. We met some fantastic people, saw amazing things and ate some lovely food. Yet while enjoying these new experiences I became acutely aware of the inequality in both first and third world countries. The gap between the rich and the poor on the streets of LA and KL was the same. On my return home, I realised that this inequality existed in the UK. I had to leave the country to see it for what it was. Food banks were opening in every town and city. I read the now famous blog, A Girl Called Jack and got more interested in how food poverty impacts the lives of so many people in my home country. And I got angry. And wanted to do something about it. Now, I work for Smethwick CAN, a charity bringing people together to tackle poverty, increase aspiration, provide opportunity and support the most vulnerable. One of the projects is a foodbank. Food poverty is shocking in any country, yet over a third of edible food still ends up in landfill. No one should go hungry, yet children are going to school without breakfast. Parents are skipping meals to feed their children. Foodbanks are a sticking plaster not a cure for food poverty. So, in addition to working for a charity that is supporting people in crisis, I volunteer for The Real Junk Food Project. They intercept food that would normally be thrown away, and cook it and serve it in a Pay as You Feel Cafe. I am still adjusting to life back at home in Birmingham, England, I have terminal Farsickness. To keep it at bay, I drag my husband and sometimes the son on shorter trips both in the UK and overseas. I now post random stuff that interests me. This includes travel, food and well being. The writing keeps me sane. Long term travelling is my goal.

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