See. Do. Go. – Museums around Australia

by on May 31
in See. Do. Go.

See. Do. Go. is a monthly round up of family style destinations and activities all around Australia to give you some inspiration for your next family adventure.

This month See. Do. Go. is all about museums. Just about every major town has one. While some are “museums” in the loosest sense of the word (perhaps an excuse to hoard junk), most are interesting insights into the area’s history.  A good museum is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon learning all sorts of fascinating bits and pieces.  Many are now interactive, which suits the kids just fine.

This is but a small selection of museums from each state (metropolitan and rural).  Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section below.

Tasmanian Transport Museum

Image courtesy of the Tasmanian Transport Museum

Trains, buses and fire engines.  A little boy’s dream come true.  They probably work for some big boys too.  The Tasmanian Transport Museum has a large range of restored exhibits and train trips of the first (diesel) and third (steam) Sunday of each month.

Where: Off Anfield St, Glenorchy, Tasmania

Phone: 03 6272 7721

When: Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm

Cost: $8 adults & $4 children on train ride days (includes unlimited rides), other days $6 adults & $3 children

Water Wheel Creek Timber Heritage Experience

“Water Wheel Creek celebrates the uniqueness and beauty of our natural environment, while at the same time honouring the memory of those pioneers who used their ingenuity to open up the land and build communities.” www.waterwheelcreek.com.au

This outdoor museum in the beautiful north west of Tasmania (let’s face it – isn’t all of Tasmania beautiful) offers a choice of tours that present an account of the early timber industry in the state and it’s relationship with the natural environment.  There is a very yummy looking cafe on site.

Where: 1314 Mawbanna Road, Mawbanna, Tasmania

Phone: 03 6458 8144

When: Check the website

Cost: $15 adults, $5 children (5-16) & $35 family

Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition

The Titanic holds a great fascination for many people.  The tale of the extraordinary ship and that iceberg seems to have reached mythical proportions, especially in kids.  The discovery and raising of the Titanic has increased its legendary status even more.  This looks to be a fascinating exhibition for the whole family and is on our list of must do’s for the coming months.

“The Exhibition has been created with a focus on Titanic’s compelling human stories, told through authentic artefacts and exacting re-creations of the Ship’s interior. Delicate bottles of perfume, china bearing the logo of the elite White Star Line, even a piece of the hull of Titanic – these and many other objects collected from the wreck site offer poignant connections to lives abruptly ended or forever changed by one of the world’s greatest maritime disasters.” www.titanicmelbourne.com

Where: Melbourne Museum, Nicholson St, Carlton, Victoria

Phone: 13 11 02

When: on now until 17 October, 2010. Daily 10-5 (till 9 on Thursdays)

Cost: $24 adults, $16 children (3-16) & $66 family (2 adults & 2 children). Prices include general entry to the Museum

Coal Creek Village

Approximately 90 minutes south east of Melbourne is Korumburra, the home of Coal Creek Village.  Victoria’s coal industry began very near by.  Coal Creek Village is a picturesque outdoor museum full of wonderful old buildings and a lovely little park.  My favourite at these types of museums, hand-made boiled lollies, can be bought at the General Store.  From May to December Coal Creek is running night time ghost tours, which I imagine would be very spooky, given the surroundings.  These are for older kids and adults only.

Where: South Gippsland Highway, Korumburra, Victoria

Phone: 03 5655 1811

When: Thursday – Monday, 10-4

Cost: Free!

Dinosaurs – Australian Museum

What kid doesn’t love dinosaurs?  This exhibition has many lifesize skeletons and replicas to ooh and ah over, including Australia’s very own Muttabuttasaurus.

“Hear roars from the Mesozoic era and roam the eerily lit space looking, touching and experiencing the ancient world of dinosaurs as it’s brought to life with skeletons, skulls, teeth, claws and hundreds of other fossils. Learn how dinosaurs lived and died and find out which ones are still thriving!” www.australianmuseum.net.au

Where: Australian Museum, corner of College Street and William Street, Sydney, New South Wales

Phone: 02 9320 6000

When: 9.30- 5 every day

Cost: $12 adult, $6 child (5-15) & $30 family (2 adults & 2 children)

Pioneer Park Museum

An original settlers' cottage at the Pioneer Museum

This Griffith attraction is another fantastic outdoor museum focusing on early Australian heritage.  The “township” of the museum is quite large (11 hectares total). You could easily fill in an afternoon wandering around and speaking with the volunteer “towns folk”.  The grounds of Pioneer Park Museum are home to the Italian Museum, celebrating the contributions of the large immigrant population to the area.

Where: Remembrance Drive, Griffith, NSW

Phone: 02 6962 4196

When: 9-4:30 daily

Cost: $10 adults, $8 students over 15, $6 children (5-15), $30 family (2 adults & 3 children)

Queensland Maritime Museum

Old ships, canons, lighthouses and more are featured at the Queensland Maritime Museum.

“Welcome aboard Diamantina (nominated as a Queensland Icon) – a Royal Australian Navy frigate built in Queensland and commissioned in 1945. Tour the ship from stem to stern and from bridge to engine room. See the cramped quarters in which the crew slept and ate their meals.” www.maritimemuseum.com.au

Where: southern end of the South Bank Parklands and next to the Goodwill Bridge

Phone: 07 3844 5361

When: 9:30-4:30 daily

Cost: $8 adults, $3.50 children & $18 family (2 adults & 3 children)

The Tramway Museum

Tram rides all day long!  The Tramway Museum in the Adelaide suburb of St Kilda has trams from all over Australia.  Along with the trams that travel along the 2km museum track, many others are on display.  The kids can climb in and take rides to where ever their imagination leads.  The Tramway Museum is very close to the fantastic St Kilda Adventure Playground, so it’s easy to make a visit a full day outing.

Where: St Kilda Road, St Kilda, South Australia

Phone: 08 8280 8188

When: 12-5 Sundays and Wednesdays of school holidays

Cost: $10 adults, $7 children (4 and over) & $28 family

Mannum Dock Museum

Boats of a different kind are the star attraction at the Mannum Museum.  Home to PS Marion, a beautifully restored paddle steamer, the museum also features displays telling the history of this significant Murray River town.  On hour cruises on the PS Marion are available some days (at extra cost).  Dates and costs are available on the website.

“The Mannum Dock Museum of River History is a heritage attraction focusing on river history showing the preservation of life on the River Murray and surrounding areas.” www.psmarion.com

Where: Randell St, Mannum, South Australia (on the river bank)

Phone: 08 8569 2733

When: 9-5 Monday to Friday; 10-4 Saturday & Sunday

Cost: $5 adults, $2.50 children & $13 family

Alice Springs Desert Park

Guide with children. Image courtesty of Alice Springs Desert Park

The Alice Springs Desert Park brings together plants, animals and habitats of Australia’s vast deserts into one easily accessible place.  There is plenty of interactivity to keep kids entertained and many learning experiences for young and old.  If Alice Springs is a bit off your itinerary at the moment, you can still have a desert experience on their website’s great kids section.

Where: Larapinta Drive, Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Phone: 08 8951 8788

When: 7:30-6 daily

Cost: $20 adults, $10 children (5-15) & $55 family (2 adults & 4 children)

Diamonds to Dinosaurs

There’s something for the mums and kids in this exhibition at the Western Australian Museum!

“Journey through time from the origins of the universe 12 billion years ago to the birth of our Solar System and the evolution of life on Earth. On the way you can find a tube containing about 10 million pre-solar diamonds, see our world famous meteorite collection and rocks from Mars and the Moon.” www.museum.wa.gov.au

Where: James St, Perth, Western Australia

Phone: 08 9212 3700

When: 9:30-5 daily, except Wednesdays

Cost: Entry by donation

The Kodja Place

The Kodja Place, in Kojonup on the Albany Highway, is a wonderful blend of indigenous and European history of the area.  It’s made up of a gallery, the interactive Story Place, a traditional Mia Mia (camp) and a beautiful rose maze.

“… immersing the viewer in the culture of Kojonup, and powerfully showing the harsh realities of life for both Noongar [indigenous] and Wadjela [European] people living and working together during the last century.” www.kojonupvisitors.com

Where: 143 Albany Highway, Kojonup, Western Australia

Phone: 08 9831 0500

When: 9-5 daily

Cost: $6 adult, $3 children, $16 family (2 adults & 2 children)

Share your favourite family friendly museum in the comments section below!

Happy travels,

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