A new children’s paleontology-themed outdoor garden at Melbourne Museum; Gandel Gondwana Garden, invites families to explore Victoria’s rich biodiversity.

Gandel Gondwana Garden, a unique exploration-based learning experience aimed at six-to-12-year-olds, draws on the finest museum research and knowledge, and includes sensory and cognitive learning opportunities for young visitors to interact with. The Garden further expands Melbourne Museum’s spaces for children, drawing connections between the much-loved Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery and the landmark Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs exhibition.

In addition to receiving investment from the Victorian government, the Garden has been generously supported by esteemed Victorian philanthropists and long-term Museum patrons, Mr John Gandel AC and Mrs Pauline Gandel AC, after whom the Garden has been named. Created in collaboration with members of Museums Victoria’s Yulendj Group of Elders, the experience is grounded in First Peoples’ knowledge, and visitors are encouraged to learn by observing the environment and paying attention to the stories of the landscapes.

Gandel Gondwana Garden is a living, breathing gallery. It will change with the seasons and, like the children it has been designed for, grow and develop over time.”

Lynley Crosswell, CEO and Director at Museums Victoria

Visitors will learn about the prehistoric animals, plants and habitats that have shaped our state’s natural world over millions of years. The name for the garden comes from the supercontinent Gondwana which connected most of the southern hemisphere, including Australia.

“The garden provides a unique learning experience, where visitors of all ages can explore the underlying principles of the natural ecosystems that make life on Earth possible, deepening their appreciation of nature and our vital role in it.”

A close up of a pohone being used at the Drama in Gondwana - 
The Hunt for the Lost Handbook activity at the at Gandel Gondwana Garden.

“We hope that the Gandel Gondwana Garden will be as sought-after and treasured adventure space as the Children’s Gallery. This is yet another space which will offer our younger generations an opportunity to engage, to learn, to explore, to develop their skills and their imagination – and to have fun along the way as well. By encouraging their thirst for knowledge and discovery, we are giving our youngsters, and this country, the best possible opportunity for a better future,” said donors John and Pauline Gandel AC.

Since Gandel Gondwana Garden’s opening, fun new experiences have launched for kids to engage with during your visit, and back at home. 

Have your little ones got what it takes to be the garden’s new groundskeeper? The groundskeeper’s handbook is missing, and without it, things are getting wild! Can you return the missing pages and restore order to the garden?

Join us in the Gandel Gondwana Garden at Melbourne Museum to solve puzzles and help animals in the free outdoor game, Drama in Gondwana: The Hunt for the Lost Handbook.

The Garden Guide is great for adults and families who want to learn more about the incredible plants featured in the five levels of the Gandel Gondwana Garden. Scan the QR codes on site with your own personal devices to read more about the exhibit around you.

Once your visit is done, take a peek at beautifully illustrated activities including a quiz, more science about the Australovenator for your budding paleontologists, and a guide to wildlife friendly gardens at home.

Gandel Gondwana Garden is the last of three major projects supported by the Victorian State Government aimed at creating world-leading experiences at Melbourne Museum for audiences from across Victoria and beyond. Gandel Gondwana Garden follows the award-winning Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs (opened March 2022), featuring Horridus, the world’s most complete and finely preserved Triceratops fossil, and hugely popular digital immersive experience Tyama: A deeper sense of knowing (opened July 2022).

More information and Gandel Gondwana Garden tickets are available here.

Images: Tobias Titz. This is a paid promotion with Museums Victoria.

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