Ellaslist Reviews The Australian Museum
Mums & Bubs
By: Mandy Lowe, ellaslist explorer
Dinosaurs, Tassie Tigers and Emus…oh my! Since my eldest daughter started school it’s been a tradition in our house to go on an adventure into the city at least once during the school holidays. This must involve public transport, as I think getting there is half the thrill for my daughters. My youngest daughter has a love for dinosaurs at the moment, so off to the Australian Museum we went. Value for money is important, especially when taking the cost of raising a family into account. I was very pleased to find that several museums, including the Australian Museum, allowed children under 16 to enjoy them for free.
Public transport would be the best way to get to the museum and I know that’s what my kids love most anyway. A bus to Town Hall or the QVB would provide a short walk to get to the museum. Or if a train is more convenient, St. James, Museum and Town Hall stations are all an equal distance to the museum. NOTE: Museum station does not offer lift access.
Are they real mummy?
Given that we went during school holidays meant that there was a long line, but it went surprisingly fast. As soon as we paid we came to a table full of real, stuffed animals alongside an employee who was happy to chat and talk about the different animals. My youngest was keen to find ‘her dinosaurs’. She was pleased, though, at the different rooms and exhibits we had to pass through to get there.
We started with the Indigenous Australians section, learning how Australia began. My girls enjoyed seeing the different weapons and bags and learning how they were made. Even more interesting was the ghost work art in the Garrigarrang exhibit. Ghost work art is created using ghost nets (fishing nets) that are lost at sea. Some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities use these nets to create art as well as awareness of the dangers that leaving these nets pose. One of our favourites was this large fish.
We finally arrived at the dinosaur exhibit after Surviving Australia and Pacific. As you enter this exhibit the lighting immediately changes to dimness and you can hear lots of different sounds, roaring being the most notable, with lots of children screaming following each roar. We were able to see different bones and fossils, as well as lots of different dinosaurs. The most exciting was the sheer size of the dinosaurs. My oldest daughter can read now and was keen to could act as our tour guide through this.
Unbeknownst to us there was an activity happening because of school holidays. For $3 each child was able to choose an animal to make their very own totem. This was very welcomed as by this stage my daughters were ‘so tired’. Luckily each mustered up the energy to learn about and become a cassowary. This area provided a quite space for younger ones that were too little for the activity. We were heading to another exhibit when we noticed an area for children 5 and under. It is fully enclosed and provides heaps of hands on activities from reading to building to puzzles, as well as a large nappy changing area.
We Will Come Back!
We could have certainly stayed from open to close, but I would’ve paid for it around dinner time. After promising to come back, we had to make a quick visit to the museum gift shop. I was pleased to find lots of sales and inexpensive toys as well as some beautiful gifts. Each of the girls chose stickers and a bandana.
If you frequent the city regularly on adventures then I would recommend an annual pass. You could certainly come here several times a year and enjoy different visits every time. Wild Planet is the museum’s brand new permanent exhibition and it features over 400 animals under one roof!
- Print out or pick up a map to help plan you route through the museum. It also will tell you where toilet and change areas are
- There is an area outside of Kidspace with comfy seats to relax and have morning tea or lunch
- The museum is not hard to navigate with a pram (we took quite a large one and had no issues)
- There is a café on the rooftop, although we didn’t make it there
- Check their website before heading there for any extra activities that may be on offer
- Public transport is the best way to get there as the museum is across from Hyde Park and doesn’t provide for parking
- There are different talks and tours and chances to touch live animals depending on the day
- The museum often offer a ‘sleepover at the museum’ and they also host birthday parties and other special events
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 5:00pm every day except Christmas
Admission: Adult $15
Children under 16 FREE
I am Mandy Lowe and I am mummy to two beautiful, active girls, Marley and Violet. I was born and grew up in a small town in Maryland, on the east coast of the United States. Hot summers and very cold winters about sums it up. I have always enjoyed art and its many forms, although my output doesn’t always reflect my love for it. I played soccer as a teenager and went off to uni at 17. Not content with staying put, I came to Australia in 2005 to study early childhood education. It was then, at Macquarie uni, that I met my husband, Nathan. Lots of travel, a wedding and two children later, we are still living in Australia and I am a dual citizen. As a family we like to travel, swim, go orienteering, visit local parks and cafes, attending sporting events and playing games together. Fast forward nearly 10 years, I am enjoying being a stay at home mummy, cooking and baking, creating things for and with my daughters, volunteering at schools and running (I’m currently training for my second marathon). The beautiful chaos of our life is what keeps me grounded.