In a nation that’s quite frankly sports-mad, you really can’t miss this outstanding and interesting museum, located within the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). It tells Australia’s sporting story from its early beginnings to the present, celebrating memorable moments and achievements in just about every sport you can think of, from basketball and boxing to hockey, rugby, tennis, and everything in between. It also includes the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, and Champions Racing Gallery. The huge collection includes Australia’s first-ever Olympic gold medal, Ian Thorpe’s swimsuit, and the Malvern Star bicycle that Hubert Opperman rode in his record-breaking 24-hour cycling marathon in Sydney in 1940. Recognition has been given to Australia’s first Paralympic gold medalist and first female Paralympian in a new addition to the Paralympic display. There’s lots of interactive areas, and even room for kids to bowl a ball or two. Allow 1 hour (more if you are a real sports fanatic).
During MCG major event days, including the AFL Grand Final, Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test, and Anzac Day football, access to the museum (at half-price) is restricted to patrons holding an event ticket. Opening hours on weekends when events are being held within the MCG arena vary, so check the website.
Tours of the MCG run every half-hour daily from 10am to 3pm. Tickets include admission to the museum. Tours leave from Gate 3 in the Olympic Stand on non-event days only.