Sir David Attenborough is arguably the voice of our generation.
Not only for his easily identifiable narrations, but also for his outspoken activism regarding the safeguard of our planet and protecting its future for generations to come. I have always adored the documentaries Sir Attenborough has created over the years, and now, I get to experience his work with a new immersive experience.
The BBC Earth Experience has found its way to the Melbourne Convention and Entertainment Centre. The immersive experience is a display of 70 minutes of condensed documentary footage from the BBC Earth series. Complete with bespoke narration from Sir Attenborough, the footage is projected onto geometric walls in an open space. With couches and beanbags available in the space, it’s easy to find a spot and just soak it all in as we travel around the world, visiting each of our world’s seven incredible continents.
I didn’t know what to expect upon entering this experience and I must say, I was completely surprised. I was concerned that the large screens and moving images would be a bit too ‘in your face’ but it was actually rather soothing. The footage from BBC Earth is utterly stunning and the large projections really accentuate the skill and effort that went into making it. The soundscapes are calming, even Sir Attenborough’s voice, comes in at just the right moments to describe what we are watching and identify the animals that are being shown.
The 70 minutes of footage is on loop, and there is no start or end point to the experience. You can stay as long or for as short a time as you wish. But it is highly recommended that you stay for one full cycle. When I entered the space, the footage was in the African Serengeti, following a pack of cheetah cubs. Once I watched the full sequence and saw the cheetah cubs again, it was time to move onwards to experience what else was on offer.
Outside of the main viewing hall are several other smaller experiences, but they are by no means less exciting. There is a creepy crawly room, complete with an interactive button that is sure to surprise or even scare you. The Vista Stage is a viewing platform with a large 180-degree projection displaying footage that flies over each of the continents. The idea is to see what it feels like to fly over the incredible landscapes, and I really did feel like I was soaring high above.
There is a room filled with screens covering the walls and ceiling, displaying images of the Micro Life that populate our planet. Each screen is illuminated by a glowing hue to match the colours of the footage, creating a wonderful kaleidoscope of colours. I could have honestly sat in there for ages, it was so calming. There is also Water World, an interactive, digital, underwater aquarium complete with a sensor that reacts to your movements.
On your way out of the experience, you venture back through the main projection hall. It was hard not to just pick a spot and watch it all over again. Although BBC Earth Experience is advised to take about an hour, I easily spent twice as long exploring and soaking it all in. But once you do finally make it out, there is a green screen photo booth to capture some memories with your loved ones to take home.
The photo opportunity is completely free and if it is quiet enough, you can take as many as you wish, whether it be solo or group photos. With multiple animal frames to pick from as your template, it is easy to take a few. You can even share them to the large screen in the gift shop for others to see!
The biggest take away from this whole experience is that our plant is majestic and the animals within are even more spectacular. But the future is bleak and without action, these beautiful landscapes and environments will change in ways that will make it impossible for some species to survive in.
This message is perfectly summed up by a single dark room as you exit. With a projection of our beautiful planet sitting amongst the stars, visually awe inspiring alongside a hard-hitting message from Sir David Attenborough, this is a message that will hopefully inspire every patron that will take it home with them to tell their friends and family about, putting into action their own plan to make a difference.
BBC Earth Experience is not only visually stunning, but also very educational. I felt grateful to Sir David Attenborough to have witnessed so many wonderful moments that I otherwise would not have seen if not for this exhibition. I really hope that not only families but many schools take advantage of seeing BBC Earth Experience whilst it is here.
BBC Earth Experience is on now at the Melbourne Convention and Entertainment Centre, with sessions running daily up until the 28th of April 2024. So, you have no excuse not to go!
For more information and ticketing, visit:
Photography by Michelle Grace Hunder.