Something’s a-buzz at Melbourne Museum…it’s Bug Lab!

Discover the world beneath your feet with Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers, an exhibition which brings the secret world bugs to life.

Learn about and admire these tiny creatures with interactive hands-on activities, incredibly life-like large-scale sculptures and immersive soundscapes.

The exhibition presents six large-scale bugs: Orchid Mantis, Bombardier Beetle, Jewel Wasp, Dragonfly, Japanese Honeybees and Katipo. They are special bugs because they have evolved to have ‘superpower’ abilities, including camouflage, mind control, super speed, swarm intelligence and deadly venom.

The exhibition also brings the facts about how bugs are the leading inspiration for cutting-edge technologies such as fly-like collision-tolerant drones, nanotechnology based on butterfly wings and 3D printed objects created from silk.

There are also four immersive chambers where you can learn more about these bugs and the experience of seeing bugs close up and magnified to immense proportions is quite spectacular.

Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers is a creative collaboration between Weta Workshop, the five time Academy Award-winning creative studio behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Avatar and District 9, and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in New Zealand. As such, you’ll notice how some of the text has been translated into Maori and there’s references to Maori culture.

The exhibition is set out in one large room, with plenty of space for prams (and little people) to roam.

Note that it is dimly lit, some of the bugs are very freaky when magnified to super-size and there’s a lot of ambient ‘squelchy’ noises…all of which may add up to scary sensory overload for a young child.

Older children who can read will have plenty of opportunities to learn from the numerous information plaques and to deep-dive into the activity tables, while younger kids will just enjoy the displays and hand-on activities. There’s also a bug slide at the entrance!

Visitors to Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers can also enjoy the 45 min documentary made on the life of a bug at Melbourne Museum’s IMAX theatre ‘Bugs: Might Micro Monsters 3D at $10 per person.

Watch more about Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers here.

HOT Tips:

  • allow 30-60 minutes for under 5s, up to 2 hours for older kids who can exerpience every activity table and read every plaque;
  • museum visitors can also see the permanent exhibition Bugs Alive!
  • Join Museum Members for discount entry;
  • Members will get the exhibition to themselves at an exclusive preview on Sat 1 July 8-10am;
  • visit the Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery before/after for more family-friendly play;
  • for an extra $10, can head to IMAX Melbourne to view Bugs: Might Micro Monsters 3D;
  • Specially commissioned by Melbourne Museum, a group of large-scale bug puppets that represent each of the bugs featured in Bug Lab will be let loose in the museum on Sundays in August and September between 1 –3pm.

Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers, Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson St, Carlton 13 11 02

Friday 23 June till 15 Oct 2017
Daily 10am–5pm

From $14 per child to $70 per family. Family is recognised as 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children, where the children are aged between 3–16 year





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