What would it be like if dinosaurs roamed Circular Quay, chomping on the street lights en route to Sydney Opera House?
At the entrance to the Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family exhibition in the newly renovated Australian Museum, exhibition-goers get to walk past this very sight. It sets the tone of this interactive and educational exhibition – giving a modern day context to creatures which roamed the earth 65 million years ago.
And if you want to experience it yourself, book in quick. It closes on March 14.
The most striking element of the exhibition are the displays of fossils, and replicas or casts of dinosaur skeletons, including a series of five skulls, and the imposing frame of 12m long Canadian T-rex ‘Scotty’. But it’s the interactive elements which really take this exhibition to the next level – they’re as engaging as they are educational. It’ll be hard to get the kids to leave!
Crack open a dinosaur egg, feed the baby and match it to a time period at the giant interactive screen. This has been installed in a low table, perfect for kid-sized access. Or jump on the sensors to mimic the meteor which is believed to have been the beginning of the end for the dinosaurs.
The shadow of T-rex Scotty is projected onto the wall behind the giant cast of his skeleton. Watch him move and wait for the roar.
Or read the displays and learn about current research into the tyrannosaur family. There are now believed to be 33 different species, including some with feathers.
It’s exciting, unexpected, and not as scary as it sounds. It’s interactive but not immersive. The space is divided into partitioned sections, so if things get too overwhelming, move into the next room. And Scotty’s roar isn’t that loud!
And don’t forget to check out the museum’s permanent dinosaur exhibit afterwards and say hello to Minmi, Queensland’s very own dinosaur.
The exhibition hall is down a long escalator but there’s pram parking a few metres away. There are lifts too.
Attendance at the exhibition is timed and even with restricted entry it can get pretty busy in there. Consider stopping for a snack break prior to entering the exhibition itself. There are tables and a coffee kiosk close to where the tickets are scanned, and a café on level 2.
What to do after the exhibition?
The children’s Prehistoric Playground is excellent, almost like a (very) mini-Questacon, with a paper plane net, a big fan to fly homemade helicopters into the sky, and the opportunity to colour in a dinosaur, scan it in and see it come to life on a big screen. Older children might enjoy a walk through the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition. Or make a booking for lunch at No. 1 William upstairs. The view is fantastic.
Tyrannosaurs – Meet the family
Where: The Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney
When: Exhibition closes on March 14, 2021
How much: Adult $20, Concession $16, Child $10, children aged three and under are free. There are discounted tickets for museum members.
Photo credit: Alistair MacDougall