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Melbourne is a great place to get your fix of culture and art. It is one of the biggest cities in Australia and has a wide and varied choice of museums, from small, specialist ones that focus on particular subjects to huge, general museums containing a wide-ranging selection. Over 100 galleries cover every aspect of local and international art, from classic to contemporary. Some items on display are extremely valuable, so make sure you have good travel insurance cover if you have a tendency to be clumsy! Here are some of the best museums and art galleries in the city.
Victoria’s state museum is huge, and packed with enough fascinating displays and exhibitions to keep you busy for days. If you only have a few hours to visit the museum, it is best to plan out beforehand which areas you want to concentrate on. See life-size dinosaurs and other animals, including the famous racehorse, Phar Lap, walk through a real, living forest and enter the world of dreams in the Mind and Body Gallery.
Old Melbourne Gaol
One of the most famous Australians ever, Ned Kelly, was imprisoned in the oldest building in the city; Old Melbourne Gaol. Visitors to this award-winning museum can see an exhibition dedicated to him, spend time in the cells and even be arrested in the Crime and Justice Experience. The grimly historic building is even creepier on a night-time, candlelit tour.
National Sports Museum
Sport plays an important part in Australian life, so it is not surprising that there is a museum devoted to it. The National Sports Museum covers a wide range of sports, including cricket, boxing, tennis and golf, and has sections devoted to the Summer and Winter Olympics. As well as loads of exhibitions, holograms and displays, there is an interactive area that lets you join in with famous sporting action.
National Gallery of Victoria
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria, and houses the National Gallery of the state. The huge complex is spread over two galleries containing nearly 70,000 works of art. It includes the largest collection of Australian art in the world, as well as an impressive selection of international art.
Australia Centre for Contemporary Art
Just five minutes away from the National Gallery of Victoria, a distinctive and spectacular building houses the Australia Centre of Contemporary Art. This public gallery is free to visit, and runs a varied program of new exhibitions with associated talks, tours and workshops.