Step into the Forest Gallery
Source: Museum Victoria
Discover the hidden stories of Victoria's mountain forests.
Step through the glass doors into a living verdant fern gully complete with waterfall and cool temperate rainforest plants.
Follow the pathway that leads under the creek and discover how water shapes the landscape and creates the conditions for forest life - take a close up view of small fish, frogs and skinks.
Emerge from the dark rainforest into the sunlight and smell the eucalypt trees while learning how plant species have evolved. In the creek you may see native fish and spiny crayfish that inhabit the water, and the elusive water dragon may be basking nearby.
Forest Secrets is alive with seasonal change - birds nest, flowers bloom and berries ripen. The local Kulin Aboriginal people have seven seasons marked by the life cycles of plants and animals. Have a privileged view of some forest animals inside a log, in the foliage or basking on the ground. Somewhere up in the trees is the Tawny Frogmouth, while tiny wrens and finches flit across the path and among the bushes. Listen carefully for the call of the male Satin Bowerbird trying to tempt the female into his blue decorated bower.
In a clearing huge timber poles come into view representing the impact of fire. Fire is a destructive force yet it is essential to regenerate the forest. A lone chimney reconstructed here following Black Saturday stands as a symbol of the devastation bushfire can cause, and a video display set within one of the blackened poles illustrates both the destructive and regenerative effects of bushfire. Seating platforms double as displays exploring human attitudes and impacts on the forest. Understanding how people think of and use the bush is central to managing it wisely.
Enjoy this refreshingly different exhibition and gain a new appreciation of our mountain forests.