Melbourne: Your guide to museums

Hi Pals,
Recently I was looking at maps [which I have a habit of doing] and noticed that there are a few museums near my work that I’d never even heard of. It got me thinking, how many museums are in Melbourne?

IMG_1222
Wikipedia listed around 40 museums, Airbnb said 30 but only listed 23 and TripAdvisor lists 64 if you tally them all up. I’m slowly going to them all and adding photos.
I had to remove the Art Galleries/Museums because it was too much – it’ll be in a separate post.

What classifies a Museum?
The International Association of Museums defines it as follows:
A non-profit making, permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of the study, education, and enjoyment, material evidence of people and their environment. 

So with that, here’s a list of Museums in Melbourne that are worth some time.

I’ve included a KEY to make the information more user-friendly!
Information: ⏰ Times  📆 Dates 📍Address
Transport From Flinders unless otherwise specified * 
🚃 Train  🚌 Bus 🚊Tram 
Other: 💰 Cost. 🍺 Happy Hour 📝 Things to note.
🔗 All title links are to their main websites.


Within this article they’re categorised under:
The Top Choices: Highest ranking among TripAdvisor.
The Artistic: Galleries, Exhibition, Collection museums.
– The Personal: Museums based on people/persons.
– The Cultural: Museums based on a person’s culture, religion or country.
– The Transportation: Museums based on transport.
The Heritage Listed: Museums that are heritage listed buildings.

The Top

Melbourne Museum

⏰ 10:00 – 17:00
📍11 Nicholson Street, Carlton
🚊#86 #96 *from Bourke St.
💰Adult: $15.00 | Concession + Child – Free.
📝 The largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Melbourne Museum should be your number 1 stop out of all Museums within Victoria. It has visitor guilds available in German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Spanish. They have a café, a pop-up restaurant, and store available too. Often have a range of exhibits on for extra, you can also wander around here for a few hours and see their most popular exhibit;  Phar Lap, Australia’s wonder horse.

Shrine of Remembrance

⏰ 10:00 – 17:00
📍Birdwood Ave, Melbourne
🚊#1 / #3 / #6 / #16 / #64 / #67 / #72 
💰F
ree + Donations appreciated.
📝 Last entry 4.30pm | Tours Daily 11am and 12.45pm
“The Shrine of Remembrance is the National War Memorial of Victoria, a monument dedicated to all those who have served in the armed conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australia has participated.”

National Sports Museum

⏰ 10:00 – 17:00
📍Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne.
🚊#75 – Joliment / MCG. 
💰Adult: $35.00 | Concession $29.00 | Child $18.00 (Under 5: Free)
Examines the contribution that sport has made to the development of our uniquely Australian culture. These exhibitions offer visitors an insight into Australia’s extremely diverse sporting history.

Old Melbourne Gaol

⏰ 9:30 – 16:30
📍377 Russell Street, Melbourne.
💰Adult: $28.00 | Concession: $23.00 | Child: $15:00
📝 Last entry suggested at 15:30
Inside this Gaol, dangerous criminals were held alongside petty offenders, the homeless and the mentally ill. It also held Ned Kelly (whose armour you can find at the State Library Victoria) until his death.

Scienceworks

⏰ 10:00 – 16:30
📍2 Booker St, Spotswood
🚃Werribee / Williamstown to Spotswood Station.
💰Adult: $15.00 | Concession, Child – Free.
Scienceworks is a popular science and technology museum that features modern interactive exhibitions, the Melbourne Planetarium, and the Lightning Room (extra cost.) Majority of Victorians would have gone here on a school excursion, so if you want to re-live that, or live it for the first time – this is your place! I would suggest only going if you have young children with you.

The Artistic

National Gallery of Victoria

⏰ 10:00 – 17:00
📍180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
🚊#1 / #3 / #6 / #16 / #64 / #67 / #72 
💰F
ree General Entry + costs for Exhibitions.
📝 Oldest and most visited art museum in the country.
“The Gallery hosts a wide range of international and local artists, exhibitions, programs, and events; from contemporary art to major international historic exhibitions, fashion and design, architecture, sound, and dance.” 

Michaels Camera Museum

⏰ 09:00 – 18:00 | Sundays: 11:00 – 17:00
📍 Cnr Elizabeth & Lonsdale Sts, Melbourne CBD.
💰 Free
📝 The worlds largest camera museum!
“Voyage through time which includes some of the most recognised, rare, unique and iconic cameras since the late 1800’s”

Wunderkammer

⏰ 10:00 – 18:00 | Sat + Sun : 10:00 – 16:00
📍 439 Lonsdale St, Melbourne CBD.
💰 Free
Specialises in Antique science and natural history objects.

ArtVo – Immersive Gallery

⏰ 10:00 – 17:00
📍26 Star Cres, Level 1, The District, Docklands
🚊 #70 > District Tram Stop.
💰 
Adult: $28.00 | Concession: $25 | Child: $18
📝 The first of its kind in Australia.
An immersive gallery where you’re encouraged to touch and interact with the artworks? Count me in! There are over 11 themed zones to explore.

The Australian Cartoon Museum

⏰ 10:00 – 17:00 (Closed Mon + Tues)
📍440 Docklands Dr, Docklands VIC 3008
🚊 #70 # 75 #Free City Tram 
💰 
Free

“A comprehensive research collection documenting Australian printed cartoon art”

Australian Music Vault

⏰ 9:00 – 20:30 | 09:00 – 17:00 Sunday
📍100 St Kilda Rd 
💰 
Free

This shows the history of Australian Music, from interactive hands-on experiences to digital and iconic objects – you’ll see the showcase of our talented performers.

The Dax Centre

⏰ Wed + Thurs + Fri: 12:00 – 17:00  | Closed Sat – Tues.
📍30 Royal Parade, Parkville
🚊 #75 > Jolimont Station
💰 $5.00
“It conducts learning programs to promote mental health and well-being utilising an archive of over 15,000 items of art created by people with lived experience of mental ill-health or psychological trauma.”

The Personal

The Johnston Collection

⏰ 8:00 – 18:00 | Closed Sat + Sun
📍152/154 Hotham St, East Melbourne VIC 3002
🚊 #75 > Jolimont Station
💰 
Adult: $25.00 | Concession: $23.00
📝 Tours; 10:00 | 12:00 | 14:00
The Collection is the legacy of William Robert Johnston (1911-1986) an antique dealer and collector of beautiful things which showcases his collection over his life.

Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre

⏰  10:00 am – 16:00 pm | Closed Sat + Sun
📍 362 Albert St, East Melbourne
🚊 #11 #12 # 109 *From Collins.
💰 Free – Donations Welcome.
“The Mary MacKillop Museum tells the story of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, her life and work and the work of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.” It’s nearby St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Grainger Museum

⏰  12:00 am – 16:00 pm | Closed Sat
📍 University of Melbourne, 13 Royal Parade
🚊 #19 > University of Melbourne/Royal Parade
💰Free – Donations Welcome.
Percy Granger (d.1961) holds this ‘autobiographical museum’ as one of Australia’s greatest musicians. He built, curated and funded it whilst supplying all the material to illustrate all facets of his life.

The Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anesthetic History

⏰ 10am to 16:00 (it does advise bookings essential)
📍 630 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.
🚊 #3/3a #16 #64 #67 > Union St/St Kilda Rd
💰Free – Donations Welcome.
“Founded in 1935 by Dr. Geoffrey Kaye (1903 – 1986), the museum chronicles the history of anaesthesia, intensive care and pain medicine. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive anaesthetic history collections.

The Historical

Old Treasury Building Museum

⏰  10:00 am – 16:00 pm (closed Saturdays)
📍 20 Spring St, CBD
💰 Free – Donations Welcome.
📝 Last admission is at 3:45pm
The Old Treasury Building is widely regarded as one of the finest 19th-century buildings in Melbourne. Holds original gold vaults that used to store the gold bullions during the gold rush eras.

Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre

⏰  10:00 am – 16:00 pm | Friday closes 15:00 | Sunday open 12:00.
📍 13 – 15 Selwyn St, Elsternwick
🚃 Sandringham > Elsternwick Station.
💰 Free – Donations Welcome.
The Jewish Holocaust Centre was the fulfilment of a vision by Melbourne Holocaust survivors to create a memorial to the millions of Jews.  It gives an introduction to the Holocaust, a brief documentary, a survivor testimony as well as reflection and farewell parts.

Shot Tower Museum

⏰ 10:00 – 19:00 |Thurs/Fri – 10:00 – 21:00
📍211 La Trobe St, Melbourne (via RM Williams Store in Melbourne Central.) 
💰Free.
Located within Melbourne Central it’s dedicated to the ‘Coops’ shot tower’ which is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and one of only three 19th century shot towers remaining.

 

The Cultural

Koorie Heritage Trust

⏰ 10:00 – 16:00
📍 The Yarra Building, Federation Square,
💰 Free

The only public collection in Victoria dedicated solely to Koorie art and culture comprising artefacts, pictures and photographs

Chinese Museum

⏰ 10:00 – 16:00
📍 22 Cohen Pl, CBD.
💰Adult: $11 | Concession / Child: $9
📝 Located within the heart of China Town, get some food before/after!
The Museum of Chinese Australian History was established in 1985 as a community-run, not-for-profit national institution to document, preserve, collect and research the history and culture of Chinese Australians and their descendants over 5 floors.

Immigration Museum

⏰ 10:00 – 17:00
📍400 Flinders St, CBD.
💰Adult: $15.00 | Concession, Child – Free.
📝It has visitor guilds available in Chinese, French, German Italian and Japanese.
Victorians come from more than 200 countries, speak 260 languages and dialects and follow 135 religious faiths.  Two floors of exhibition galleries that house temporary and permanent exhibitions to ask the questions; Why do people leave their countries of birth to live here? What is their experience in their new country? How do communities adapt to new arrivals?

Jewish Museum of Australia

⏰ 10:00 – 16:00 | 15:00 (Friday) | 17:00 (Sunday) |Closed Sat.
📍 26 Alma Rd, St Kilda
🚊   #3a / #67 – Alma Rd / St Kilda Rd. 
💰Adult: $12 | Concession $6 | Child: $6
📝 Closed many days in September due to Jewish Holy Days.
The Jewish Museum of Australia was established in 1977 by a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers which continues to promote understanding and appreciation of Jewish culture and people in the wider community.

Hellenic Museum

⏰ 10:00 – 16:00
📍 280 William St, CBD.
💰Adult: $10.00 | Concession + Child: $5  
📝Exhibitions are free with admission.  Hellenic is a synonym for Greek
By bringing together multiple artistic disciplines, historical objects, perspectives and ways of understanding, the Hellenic Museum aims to present a holistic experience of Greece, Greek culture and the contribution it has made and continues to make to contemporary society.

Italian Museum

⏰ 10:00 – 17:00 | 12:00 – 17:00 Sat. |Closed: Sunday + Monday
📍199 Faraday St, Carlton
🚊  #3a/ #5 / #6 / #16 / #64 / #67 / #72 
💰Free
Museo Italiano displays and interprets the experience of Italian migration and the culture created by Italians in Australia. The museum holds a library, a photographic collection, diplomatic documents, records of some families, organizations and businesses in addition to audio histories.

Islamic Museum

⏰  10:00 – 16:00|Closed: Sunday + Monday
📍15A Anderson Rd, Thornbury
🚊  #1 > The Avenue/Nicholson St
💰 Adults: $12 | Concession: $10 | Child: $8
“Through the five permanent galleries — Islamic Faith, Islamic Contributions to Civilisation, Art, Architecture and Australian Muslim History — the museum fosters a more nuanced and realistic understanding of what it means to be an Australian Muslim”

The Transportation 

Newport Railway Museum

⏰  Saturdays Only 12:00 – 17:00
📍 26 Champion Road, Newport
🚃 Williamstown to North Williamstown Station (22 mins)
💰 
Adults: $8.00 | Concession + Child: $4.00
📝 This museum holds 15 different locomotives ranging from different classes and find 3 examples of steam cranes.

Melbourne Maritime Museum

⏰  10:00 – 16:00
📍 2A Clarendon Street, South Wharf
🚊  #35 #70 #75  > Spencer Street
💰
Adults: $16.00 | Concession: $13.00 | Child: $9.50
The Polly Woodside was built in Belfast in 1885, the three-masted cargo vessel carried coal and wheat between England and South America.

Royal Air Force Museum

⏰  10:00 – 15:00 | Sat/Sun: 10:00 – 17:00 | Closed Monday
📍 Raaf Base Williams, Point Cook Rd, Point Cook
🚃 Werribee >Williams Landing Station > 🚌 #497Point Cook Road > Walk 15 Minutes.
💰 Free + Donations are gratefully accepted. 

The museum displays aircraft of significance to from its inception as the Australian Flying Corps to the present and houses a range of memorabilia.

HMAS Castlemaine

⏰  11:00 – 16:00 Sat + Sun only.
📍 Gem Pier, Syme St, Williamstown VIC 3016
🚃 Williamstown > Williamstown Station
💰 Adults: $8.00 | Concession + Child: $4.00
” HMAS Castlemaine is one of the sixty Australian-built Bathurst Class corvettes to serve throughout World War II, and is the last such vessel still afloat, having been restored by volunteers over four decades

The Heritage Listed

Labassa Melbourne

⏰ 3rd Sunday of the Month 10:30 – 16:00.
📍2 Manor Grove, Caulfield North
🚊 #3/3a | #16 > Orrong Rd / Balaclava 
💰Adults: $15.00 | Concession: $12.00 | Child: $9.00.
📝 Tours at 11:00, 14:00 and 15:00
Labassa is the most lavish of the few surviving nineteenth-century mansions and the magnificently restored interiors of the main rooms again impress all its visitors. 

Ripponlea Estate

⏰ 10:00 – 16:00
📍2 Manor Grove, Caulfield North
🚊 #3/3a | #16 > Orrong Rd / Balaclava 
💰$10 Adult | $7 Concession | $4 Children + Tour Tickets: $5
📝Last Entry 3:30pm
“Ripponlea is a large nineteenth-century mansion surrounded by 7 hectares of Victorian pleasure gardens. It is listed on the National Heritage Register because it is one of the finest examples of an original suburban estate in Australia.”

Como House

⏰ 9:00 – 16:00  | Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00
📍 Williams Rd & Lechlade Ave, South Yarra 
🚊 #58 > Como Ave
💰Adult: $15 | Concession: $12 | Child: $9
📝 Tours on Weekends at 11.00am, 12.30pm and 2.00pm.
“Built in 1847, Como is an intriguing mix of Australian Regency and classic Italianate architecture”

Ziebell’s Farmhouse

⏰ 2nd Sunday of the Month 13:00 – 16:00.
📍Gardenia Rd, Thomastown VIC 3074
🚃Mernda > Lalor. Walk 18mins.
💰
Adults: $4.00
📝 Tours 
at 11:00, 14:00 and 15:00
Built between 1851 and 1856, with 61 cm thick bluestone walls, the house is a typical German farmhouse design bluestone farmhouse and outbuildings, once part of the German settlement of Westgarthtown. 

Portable Iron House

⏰ 1st Sunday of the Month 13:00 – 16:00 (not Jan)
📍399 Coventry Street, South Melbourne
🚌#234 >  Montague St
💰Adult: $6 | Concession/Child: $4
📝 Tours at 11:00, 14:00 and 15:00
“The three houses in South Melbourne are among the last nineteenth century prefabricated iron buildings. With gold discovered in Victoria in 1851 accommodation was needed for the many migrants flocking to the colony. Iron houses met that need.”


 

Have you been to any of the above Museums? Have any I missed?
Let me know in the comments below!
As always, stay cool.
– Sarah.

Written by CerealSarah

A 27-year-old whose only direction in life seems to be going around the world.

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