The Listies totally serious 100% fact filled guide to the Melbourne Museum

The Listies take you on a LOLtastic tour of Melbourne Museum to see shark dentists, dinosaur salesmen and the insect Oscars!

Rich (the smart one) and Matt (the other one) welcome you as they venture forth to discover the secrets of the Learnadome (what Matt calls the Museum). At all the stops on the way encounter the bizarre, the interesting, the ridiculous and funny side to Melbourne Museum in this surreal and hilarious audio guide.

This guide is suitable for humans aged 5 to 500 million (dinosaurs allowed). Most hilarious for children aged 6–12 and their adults!

View the full transcript

Let's get started!

To do this tour you will need your own headphones and device. It takes about an hour to do walking around the museum or you can listen along at home or on the way.

Use our handy map and the pictures on this page to hunt for the next stop, then press play or listen completely out of order for a hilarious tour – both is ok. Please take as long as you like and enjoy yourself! It is totally fine to get distracted by other cool stuff along the way.

Just one last piece of advice: please don’t actually eat the plants. 

The map

Find your stop number below. Printed maps available at the ticket desk!

Stop 1: Welcome to the Learnadome

Head to the Blue Whale display just to the left of the entrance on the ground floor.

Blue Whale skeleton mounted on display in the Lower West Galleria, Melbourne Museum.
The Blue Whale skeleton is your first stop!
Blue Whale skeleton mounted on display in the Lower West Galleria, Melbourne Museum
"The bones are on display so we can see how animals are put together, to see how their skeleton differs from our own. So we can observe evolution, experience the size and heft of another creature, so we can learn." – Rich (the smart one)

Stop 2: Dean’s Dino Warehouse

You will find Dinosaur Walk just next to the whale’s tail.

Entrance to the Dinosaur Walk, Science and Life Gallery.
Next stop Dinosaur Walk. Can't miss it!
The Listies, comic duo Richard Higgins and Matt Kelly in Dinosaur Walk exhibition, promoting their Melbourne Museum Audio Guide App.
Don't panic! Skeletons only during this walk.
Protoceratops andrewsi (Cretaceous) from the Dinosaur Walk gallery at the Melbourne Museum.
Protoceratops – a relative of the much larger, three-horned Triceratops.

Stop 3: The Buggies

After you finish Dinosaur Walk head into the Bugs Alive! exhibition.

Entrance to the Bugs Alive exhibit in the Science and Life Gallery.
Third stop: the Bugs Alive! exhibition.
The Listies, comic duo Richard Higgins and Matt Kelly in Bugs Alive exhibition, promoting their Melbourne Museum Audio Guide App.
We're here... are you?
Dorsal view of female Agrotis infusa, Bogong moth.
The Bogong Moth can be found in urban areas, forests and woodlands of southern Australia.
Murray Banded Huntsman
The Murray Banded Huntsman. "Not all spiders use their silk to make webs. Huntsmans use their silk to secure themselves and construct egg cases." – The Moth

Stop 4: Hearts of stone with Dr Sandy Stone

When you come out of Marine Life head back towards the whale but turn right before you get there and go into Dynamic Earth.

Entrance to the Dynamic Earth exhibition.
The entrance to "The Rock Room", also known as Dynamic Earth.
Block of sandstone with plant remains, from Kirrak, Victoria, on display at Dynamic Earth exhibition.
A block of sandstone found in Victoria. Occasionally host of the popular show Touching Hearts of Stone.
Detail of carbonate display in the Dynamic Earth exhibition at Melbourne Museum.
The pink specimen in the middle is an example of calcite (calcium carbonate), the principal mineral component of limestone.

Stop 5a and 5b: Megafauna

Cross over Dinosaur Walk and enter 600 Million Years for part A, then head out towards the whale and walk to the other end of the museum to find Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre – First Peoples Gallery for part B.

Diprotodon optatum dinosaur skeleton model on display in the 600 Million Years exhibition at Melbourne Museum.
Part A: check out the Diprotodon display at the entrance of 600 Million Years. Diprotodon was one of the biggest marsupials ever. It was a giant koala that roamed Australia 40,000 years ago.
Diprotodon display in Our Story section of the First Peoples exhibition in Bunjilaka.
Part B: Find the Diprotodon display in the Our Story section of the First Peoples exhibition in the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre. It's to the left as you enter First Peoples, past the language map and up the small stairs.
Right upper incisor #2 of Diprotodon, featuring possible human markings (detailed).
Check out the upper incisor (tooth) of a Diprotodon, featuring possible human markings! This may be evidence of the coexistence of megafauna and aboriginal people in Australia. Megafauna existed from approximately 1.6 million years ago until extinction some 46,000 years ago.

Stop 6: Dinner Outdoors

Exit the First Peoples Gallery and turn left. Go through the glass doors and you will find Milarri Garden. If these doors are locked then you can also head out of the top doors from the Forest Gallery and follow the walkway to your right to the top of Milarri Garden.

Bunjilaka's Milarri Garden's pond.
Welcome to Milarri Garden. Milarri means 'outdoors' in the Boon Wurrung and Woi wurrung languages. The plants in Milarri are mostly indigenous Victorian plants significant to the Aboriginal people of south-eastern Australia.
The pink fruits of Syzygium smithii (Acmena smithii), lilly pilly in Milarri Garden.
The pink fruits of the Lilly Pilly.
Boy watching the eels being fed by staff in the Milarri gardens.
If you happen to visit Milarri Garden at 1.45pm... stay and watch a writhing mass of hungry eels gobble up their lunch!

Stop 7: Better Homes and Bowers

When in Milarri Garden, follow the path around the top of the garden and head along the walkway to the top doors and into the Forest Gallery. The Bowerbird nest is just next to the old brick chimney.

View of the Forest Gallery.
And this is the Forest Gallery – a piece of Victoria's mountain landscape complete with tall eucalypts, ferns, rare plants and wildlife. Sorry, no unicorns.
The Listies, comic duo Richard Higgins and Matt Kelly in Forest Gallery promoting their Melbourne Museum Audio Guide App. Matt is wearing headphones, Richard is holding blue bottle cap and pointing to Matt's blure t-shirt.
We found the Bower! Remember: look for the BLUE THINGS!!
Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus).
Look out for the Satin Bowerbird around the Forest Gallery!
Young male Satin Bowerbird, Ptilonorhynchus violaceus in subadult plummage.
A younger male Satin Bowerbird in its bower, surrounded by BLUE THINGS!

Stop 8: Seven seasons in one day

Explore the rest of the Forest Gallery while you listen.

Ferns and mist in the Forest Gallery.
Just like a real forest, the Forest Gallery changes through the seasons as birds nest, flowers bloom, fungi fruit and berries ripen.
Maroonhood (Pterostylis pedunculata).
Maroonhood, a species of orchid.
Growling Grass frog - Litoria raniformis from southern Victoria.
You might see (or hear) a Growling Grass frog on your travels!
The Listies, comic duo Richard Higgins and Matt Kelly in Forest Gallery promoting their Melbourne Museum Audio Guide App. Matt is wearing headphones.
Aboriginal people of the Kulin nations recognised seven seasons by the life cycles of plants and animals; you can find a reconstruction of their seasons along the Forest Gallery path. Which season are you in right now?

Stop 9: The Melbourne Room

Head up to the first floor and make your way into Melbourne Story. Find the Little Lon house at the back of the gallery and check under the beds for the bedpan.

Phar Lap exhibit in the Melbourne Story Gallery.
As you enter the Melbourne Gallery, you'll see the famous race horse Phar Lap.
The Big Dipper carriage from Luna Park on display in the Melbourne Story Gallery.
Jump in for a ride on The Luna Park Big Dipper!
Melbourne Story Gallery featuring the Coach by Cobb & Co, 'Royal Mail', circa 1880.
This horse-drawn, 17-passenger stage coach is believed to have been built in about 1880 and used to carry Melbourne's mail.
Little Lon display in Melbourne Story exhibition.
You'll find the toilet in the Little Lon house at the back of the gallery. Check under the beds!

Thanks for listening!

See you next time...

Short-finned eel, Anguilla australis
Come back soon my friend!


Written, Devised and Performed by Richard Higgins & Matt Kelly
Sound Designer and Mixer: Andrew Callaghan
Recording Engineer: Ryan Ritchie
Executive Producer/ Company Manager: Vanessa Rouse
Listies photographs: Andrew Wuttke

The Listies totally serious 100% fact filled guide to the Melbourne Museum is supported by the City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program.

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