Treasures of the Natural World heads to Melbourne

MM Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly courtesy of The Trustees of the Natural History Museum LondonFor the first time in Australia and exclusive to Melbourne Museum, the Natural History Museum London’s international blockbuster exhibition Treasures of the Natural World will open on 12 June 2021 after being postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“Victoria is honoured to host this extraordinary blockbuster of an exhibition,” said Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson. “I’m sure tens of thousands of Victorians and interstate visitors will flock to the Melbourne Museum to experience the wonders of Treasures of the Natural World and hopefully inspire people to protect our greatest treasure: the natural world itself.”

Visitors to Melbourne Museum will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close to over 200 rare scientific, historic and culturally significant objects and specimens curated from the collections of the Natural History Museum, London, one of the world’s most enduring and prestigious museums, and to hear the stories of discovery that revealed the mysteries of the natural world.

The exhibition has been more than one year in the making, with Museums Victoria and Natural History Museum curators and conservators working remotely to bring to life an international exhibition that features extraordinary specimens, artworks and objects from one of the most extensive natural history collections in the world.

“I am delighted that we are bringing these rare and extraordinary objects from one of the world’s finest museums to Melbourne this winter,” said Lynley Crosswell CEO & Director of Museums Victoria. “Every object in Treasures of the Natural World is fascinating, telling a unique story about humankind’s changing relationship with nature and the environment.”

“These stories can inspire us to consider our own connection to the natural world, and the role each of us can play in helping to preserve life on our planet.”

Treasures of the Natural World is a captivating experience bringing to life a rich record of the world around us. From a 400,000-year-old hand axe found alongside the bones of a woolly mammoth and the birds that inspired Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution to the great thinkers of science and culture known and unknown including Charles Darwin, Mary Anning and Richard Owen, who have provided insights into the big questions of life.

Visitors will learn more about the profound changes in our understanding of the natural world, with narratives and themes throughout the exhibition inviting visitors to reflect on their relationship with the environment.

Melbourne Museum’s interpretation of the exhibition includes the addition of First Peoples narratives, representing an important step in acknowledging the complex history of some of these objects and respecting the deep knowledge and connection First Peoples have of and with the natural world.

“I am thrilled that our beloved Treasures of the Natural World exhibition is now able to open at Melbourne Museum after all the hard work and challenges this past 12 months has thrown at us all,” said Dr Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, London.

“I am confident that for visitors to the Museum it will absolutely be worth the wait and I hope these objects, the very best of our collection, inspire people to care and protect the natural world around us.”

Treasures of the Natural World is a timely and important exhibition that celebrates the extraordinary biodiversity of life and the importance of museum collections and research to help us make sense of a world that is rapidly changing around us.

Treasures of the Natural world
Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton
Exhibition opens Saturday 12 June 2021
Entry fees apply

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing Butterfly – courtesy of The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London