Australian National Sports Museum & MCG Tour Review

Melbourne VIC Australia
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This is a two for one deal. You can see the Australian National Sports Museum or do the MCG Tour. As you are already there its easier to take the discount ticket for both & spend a few hours.

For those who don’t know the MCG is the Melbourne Cricket Ground & it has been around almost as long as Melbourne has. Cricket is played during the summer but in the winter it is all AFL also known as Aussie rules. If you aren’t from Australia & have never heard of Cricket or AFL fear not there are big displays at the Sports Museum.

The MCG was redeveloped to be used as the main stadium for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. It was also the main venue for the 1956 Olympic Games.

I was lucky enough to take a tour of the MCG a few years ago before the redevelopment & see many of the old areas including the long room in the old members stand. The new development has produced a fantastic stadium but its misses the character of the old buildings.

The MCG tour lets you stand on the actual playing surface, only on the edge. Do this on match day & you get a $5000 fine & a kick up the bum as they throw you out of the ground.

The guides are mainly members of the MCG & each have a great story to tell as they take you around the public areas & behind the scenes. We got to check out the members long room, walk thru the dressing rooms, check out the media rooms & the corporate boxes. One of the best parts was hanging out in the players area where all the Aussie cricket stars wait for their turn at bat.

The Australian National Sports Museum is under the MCG & you get a free audio tour as part of the entry price. Just key in the number on the display case to get some more background on the exhibit & hear interviews with the people involved.

In the lower part of the museum there is a large area covering AFL – the sport is mainly played in Australia but Melbourne is the home of it with 10 of the 16 national teams based here – Sydney only has one team.

The displays cover the history of the game & the teams & stars from years gone by. There is an interactive area where kids of any age can practice their Footy skills. This area also has a soccer goal shoot area which I kicked into next week a few times.

There is a bow & arrow display I couldn’t get to because another big kid wouldn’t get off it. The cycle race is fun to try especially when the kid you are racing can hardly reach the pedals.

Cricket gets a big area of the museum because it is the summer sporting religion in Australia. There are some fantastic displays & interactive stuff to try out.

A large area is set aside for the history of Australia at the Olympics. The displays include histories of the games & how australia did at them. There are lots of items from the games from tickets to gold medals to pins to the racing suits & everything in between. One of the cool displays is the Olympic relay torches.

Many other sports from this sport mad nation get a look in at the museum but the best one for me was the Jack Braham Formula One car he built & won the world championship in. You have to be an F1 fan to know what I am talking about.

The MCG can be seen from Federation Square in the CBD so you can walk down there or take a train or tram to check out the museum & MCG tours. Signs direct you to the correct gate. Check out the MCG website & combine the visit with a game on match day.


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Address Melbourne VIC Australia
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