If you want to gain a more comprehensive insight into the history of Melbourne, make the short tram ride from the CBD to the Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building. It follows the development of society and cultures in the city from its indigenous Aboriginal communities to modern-day settlements and has recently been awarded the title of “Best Tourist Attraction”.
Don’t miss a visit to the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Centre and the dedicated children’s museum, with plenty of hands-on activities to keep young visitors entertained. The Melbourne Museum also features a free Discovery Centre and an IMAX theatre that shows movies and documentary films in 3D.
The Melbourne Museum is surrounded by the beautiful Carlton Gardens and stands adjacent to the Royal Exhibition Building, which was constructed in 1880 to host Melbourne’s International Exhibition. It was also here that the Commonwealth Parliament of Australia initially sat in 1901 and it was the first building in Australia to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While some sections of the building were destroyed by fire and subject to demolition through its history, the main hall of the Royal Exhibition Building, which is known as the Great Hall, managed to survive. Today it is still used for special events and exhibitions such as the Melbourne International Flower and Garden show, even though a modern equivalent (the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre) has been built in Southbank. If you want to learn more about the role it has played in Australia’s history, you can join one of the guided tours which are conducted by the Melbourne Museum.