I visited Melbourne's City Museum today. I was a bit disappointed. I have seen it all before. I know all about the gold rush, most stuff about early Melbourne. The early days caretaker rooms in the basement were were a bit interesting but clearly not authentic and a mish mash of periods.
I didn't realise in advance, but the newest temporary exhibit is two days away from opening, so I only had to pay $5 rather than $8.50.
A rather flouncy woman who looked awfully like Oz actor Kerry Armstrong greeted me and showed me the areas to head to in the building. She was a new version of the old Como House style guide. She spoke gorgeously, but her clothes and the way they fitted was weird. Hair and makeup were perfect if perhaps a bit heavy.
Downstairs were the vaults where gold used to be stored. Most of them had a video presentation about Melbourne. One interesting vault showed panorama photos of Melbourne in its early days where significant buildings were pointed out.
I started watching a vid upstairs about cable trams in Melbourne and quickly realised I have seen it already on Youtube. I suppose it was better to see on a bigger screen.
In circumstances like this, I look around for something interesting. I noted the windows in the caretaker's area looking outside. At one end of the central basement vault where most exhibits were closed, I saw in a dark and creepy room a light or ventilation shaft to the outside. It looked like a skinny kid could crawl in quite easily.
In summary, I think City Museum is pretty poor and it disturbed me that so many foreign visitors to Australia were paying to see it. Our big museum in Carlton is marvellous, as is Spotswood Science Museum, the Immigration Museum and the Police Museum. Even the State Library temporary exhibits are excellent.