Australian Museum

The Australian Museum looks so imposing you might think it won't be much good for the kids.

Don't make that mistake. Don't be afraid to take them.

For adults there are a million intriguing stories to discover ... while for children of any age rest assured they'll have the time of their lives.

Front entrance to Sydney's imposing Australian Museum.

How can this be so? There are all the usual exhibits of a musty old museum - Egyptian sarcophagus, stuffed animals, insect collections, skeletons and geological samples.

Let the kids touch and feel

But the Australian Museum is "cool" for the bigger kids and a hoot for the little ones. It's hands-on educational, diverse and full of interactive stuff.

There are fossils and many other things that the kids can touch and pick up. They're allowed too, so parents don't need to be on edge.

This is a fine Natural History museum and it's a great place to be - especially on a rainy day! Don't miss their really interesting section on Australian indigenous culture. It covers Aboriginal history, folk stories and customs.

Skeletons tops at Australian Museum

Aussie native animals, fish and all manner of insects are well represented. And skeletons from everywhere – including dinosaurs – are a special highlight.

For those who like minerals and precious gemstones, you're in for a major treat too.

Of course I'm just scratching the surface of what's here. There are more than 18 million objects at the Museum, collected over 180 years. Established in 1827, it's Australia’s oldest museum.

Where is it?

The Australian Museum is on the corner of College St and William St in central Sydney.

It's opposite St Marys Cathedral and just across the road from Hyde Park. By train it's only 7 minutes walk from three stations - St James, Museum or Town Hall.

Any coffee, lunch?

The museum has a cafe where you can get some very welcome lunches and refreshments.

After an hour or two it's the place to rest your feet for awhile.

Use the museum WiFi to send emails - then take in more wonderful exhibits.

Awesome dinosaurs

Let's get back to all those bones. You can't miss them. And boy, they make a big impression. As you enter the museum you gaze up at the skeleton of a whale. So huge!

Go into the dinosaur room and the skeletons are awesome.

There are nice touches of humor in the way some of the skeleton exhibits have been put together.

There's a man in a rocking chair. He's accompanied by a dog and cat who are apparently watching a mouse. And in the bloke's bird cage is a canary. You guessed it ... all are skeletons. 

Pictured: The very popular horse and rider exhibit dubbed "The Bone Ranger".

The visitor is central to the museum experience here. The gentle humor makes things more memorable and assists in the learning.

There's a special Kidspace area for the under fives, with all manner of objects to feel and hold. These can be anything from stuffed wallabies to turtle shells and coral. They also have spaces to crawl in and out of, dress-ups and books. (A feeding and changing area is available for babies).

Much effort has gone into keeping kiddies stimulated and entertained. In the Search & Discover area they can look at things under a microscope.

Spiders and sharks "come alive"

At the dinosaur displays children really get involved and touch everything. And there's an interactive table with spiders, sharks and other "nasty" creatures which kids make "come alive".

Many of the exhibits have windows and openings at the eye level of young kids - revealing to them things like hidden animals. Digging for dinosaur bones is another turn on.

The Surviving Australia exhibit is a favourite of tourists from around the world. All those animals and insects which can give you a nasty sting or kill you have a place here - from saltwater crocodiles to jellyfish.

More information about the museum, special exhibitions, and prices at the Australian Museum website.

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