The 10 Best Museums in Victoria

Ah, Victoria! A place where the past and present mingle like old friends at a garden party. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find that a visit to one of Victoria’s many museums is like stepping into a time machine. You’re whisked away to a world where history breathes life into the present. Let’s embark on a journey through the top 10 museums that are the heart and soul of this vibrant Australian state.

1. Melbourne Museum

First up, the Melbourne Museum is a cultural powerhouse. It’s a place where you can lose yourself in the rich tapestry of Victoria’s natural and cultural history. From the complete blue whale skeleton that greets you in the entrance to the living forest gallery, it’s an immersive experience. The museum also houses the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, a space dedicated to the history and culture of the First Peoples of Victoria.

Art aficionados, rejoice! The NGV isn’t just a museum; it’s a visual feast. As the oldest and most visited gallery in Australia, it boasts an impressive collection that spans thousands of years. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, the NGV’s diverse array of art will leave you spellbound. Don’t miss the stunning stained glass ceiling in the Great Hall – it’s a masterpiece in itself!

3. Scienceworks

Got a curious mind? Scienceworks is your playground. This interactive museum makes science fun with hands-on exhibits and live demonstrations. It’s a hit with kids and adults alike. The lightning room will give you a hair-raising experience, while the planetarium offers a journey through the stars. It’s a place where you can’t help but feel the buzz of discovery in the air.

4. Immigration Museum

Victoria is a melting pot of cultures, and the Immigration Museum tells the stories of those who’ve made this state their home. Housed in the historic Old Customs House, the museum offers a poignant look at the migrant experience. You’ll find tales of hope, hardship, and the shared dreams that weave through Victoria’s diverse community.

5. Heide Museum of Modern Art

Heide is a sanctuary for modern art lovers. Nestled in the leafy suburb of Bulleen, it’s as much about the art as it is about the story of John and Sunday Reed, the patrons who once lived there. The museum’s sculpture park and kitchen garden are just as captivating as the art exhibitions themselves. It’s a place where you can ponder the meaning of art and life in equal measure.

6. Sovereign Hill

Step back in time to the gold rush era at Sovereign Hill. This open-air museum in Ballarat recreates a 1850s mining town, complete with costumed characters and working shops. You can pan for gold, watch a gold pour, and even ride in a horse-drawn carriage. It’s a living history lesson that’s as entertaining as it is educational.

7. The Johnston Collection

For a touch of elegance, The Johnston Collection is a hidden gem. This museum showcases the antique collection of William Johnston in his former residence, Fairhall. The twist? The displays are constantly changing, as guest curators are invited to rearrange the collection. It’s a unique blend of art, antiques, and interior design that’s always full of surprises.

8. Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)

Film buffs, gamers, and digital culture enthusiasts, ACMI is your haven. Located in the heart of Melbourne’s Federation Square, it celebrates the moving image in all its forms. From classic films to cutting-edge interactive exhibits, ACMI explores how the moving image shapes our society. It’s a multimedia journey that’s sure to captivate.

9. Old Melbourne Gaol

If you’re intrigued by tales of outlaws and justice, the Old Melbourne Gaol won’t disappoint. Once home to notorious bushranger Ned Kelly, this former prison offers a chilling glimpse into Victoria’s penal history. Night tours are available for the brave souls who dare to explore the gaol after dark. It’s a haunting reminder of the thin line between order and chaos.

10. The Polly Woodside

Last but not least, The Polly Woodside is a maritime museum with a difference. This restored 1885 tall ship is moored in the Yarra River and offers a hands-on experience of seafaring life. Climb aboard and you’ll feel the deck beneath your feet, just as sailors did over a century ago. It’s a nautical adventure that’s anchored in history.


  • Are all these museums suitable for children?

    Absolutely! Most of these museums have interactive exhibits and activities designed for young minds. Scienceworks and Sovereign Hill, in particular, are family favorites.

  • Do any of these museums offer free admission?

    Yes, the NGV has free entry to its permanent collection, and many others have certain days or times when admission is free or discounted.

  • Can I buy tickets online for these museums?

    For sure! It’s often easier to purchase tickets online, and sometimes you can snag an early bird discount or special offer.


In wrapping up, Victoria’s museums are more than just buildings with artifacts; they’re vibrant hubs of culture, history, and art. Each one offers a unique window into the soul of this diverse state. Whether you’re marveling at the Melbourne Museum’s natural wonders, pondering modern masterpieces at Heide, or stepping back in time at Sovereign Hill, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. So, next time you’re in Victoria, make sure to add these top 10 museums to your itinerary. You’ll come away with a deeper appreciation for the stories that shape this corner of the world.

Remember, these aren’t just places to visit; they’re experiences to be lived. And who knows? You might just find yourself coming back for more. After all, a day at the museum is a day well spent. So, go on, dive into Victoria’s rich tapestry of museums – your adventure awaits!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.