The Wizarding World is easily one of my favourite franchises. From the original Harry Potter films to the most recent Hogwarts Legacy game and of course, the Fantastic Beast films. Whilst I can experience the digital content as much as I want, there are no physical experiences that are easily accessible in Australia, or even in Melbourne. Thankfully, a new experience has opened, bringing part of the Wizarding World to Melbourne.
In association with Museum Victoria, comes Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature. A fun new exhibition that explores how nature and cultural mythology inspired the beasts and lore within the Wizarding World.
Hosted at the Melbourne Museum, The Wonder of Nature is a small but fun and informative exhibition. With pieces from London’s Natural History Museum collection alongside props and artworks from both Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter franchises, the exhibit places these pieces side by side. From exploring the mythology of Unicorns and their link to the real-life sea creature, the Narwhal, to cultural mythology of Mermaids and how they inspired the design and persona of the Mermaids in the Harry Potter series.
There is also a select collection of film props from the Fantastic Beasts films, including Newt Scamander’s full costume from the first film, and even some of the items from his magical suitcase. Alongside the props are some interactive displays. You can spray some musk to attract an Erumpent, watch the moon light up a pair of cute looking Mooncalves, and even catch some Bowtruckles climbing a tree.
My favourite discovery was the interactive display of the Niffler den. A digital display with a selection of buttons that performed different interactions. From summoning the Niffler from hiding by tempting it with some shiny objects, to turning it upside down to shake out all the treasure. However, the most interesting part was learning about the real-life counterpart to the fictional beast, the Adélie penguin. This particular penguin collects rocks and hoards them to build up their nest. Now I finally understand why I adore Nifflers so much! I love penguins and to draw this link makes so much sense!
The exhibition took us about an hour to walk through. That included taking photos and reading as much as we could. You could easily do it in less time than that, but I would say a full hour is as much time as you would need. The space also has a bit of magic that you just have to experience for yourself! There is even a giant Dragon head to take some fun selfies with.
Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature is one of those rare opportunities where the Wizarding World comes to Melbourne. The unique link between fact and fiction was both fun and informative, and seeing some of the incredible film props up close was truly amazing. As you exit, there is the standard gift shop with a mix of exclusive exhibit items and some pop culture goodies to purchase. I grabbed a set of exhibit specific magnets to add to my collection.
So, grab your wands and head on an adventure to the Melbourne Museum to experience this fun little exhibition before it vanishes!
Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature is on at Melbourne Museum until October 8.
For tickets and more information, please visit the Museum Victoria website here: