The Tasmanian Museum.  I would suggest it’s one of the best attractions to visit in Hobart.  But who’s going to believe me?

Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery

Not wanting to show bias to my personal favourites, I enlisted the assistance of two junior researchers.  Their job was to judge if I was just a geek (their word), or my suggestion really held up.

Tasmanian Museum Entrance
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Entrance to the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery

There is a school holiday program conducted at the museum, but in the interests of a fair trial, my group went in to tackle the exhibits head on.  The results, I’m happy to report, were unanimous and support my original assessment – thumbs up for the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart.  Here’s our short-list of favourites, in no particular order:

Tasmanian Aboriginal Gallery

The collection is called Ningenneh Tunapry, which translates to mean “give knowledge and understanding”.  It is essentially a celebration of  indigenous history and culture, including a really big bark canoe!  There is another room dedicated to Tasmanian Aboriginals on the first floor.

Zoology Gallery

This is where you get to touch stuff – usually frowned upon, for obvious reasons.  But in here:  encouraged!!  There’s all sorts of animal skins and furs to pat and stroke, as well as glass display cabinets filled with snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies.  There’s mounted birds in an interactive seascape scene, and the big one – the Tasmanian Tiger display (no, you can’t touch that one).  There’s also video footage of the last captive tiger (they are now extinct) pacing back and forth in his cage, which I found a little disturbing.

Convict Gallery

Following a visit to the Port Arthur convict settlement, this was another reminder of Tasmania’s colonial heritage.  Guns for the uniformed guards;  pick axes and shackles for the prisoners.  There’s lots of historical information displayed if you have the time and opportunity to read it.

Tasmanian Museum Portrait
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TMAG – Guard Portrait displayed in Convict Gallery

Islands to Ice Exhibition

Wow!  This is a fantastic, interactive room that bombards the senses.  The exhibit is everything Antarctica:  a 3D movie experience, oceans and currents, bird and sea-life displays and the deal breaker:  a big, wet patch of ice that you can stick your hands on to melt patterns.  Really!

Tasmanian Museum Ice Sculpture
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Interactive Ice Sculpture at the Tasmanian Museum

If you only have time to visit one exhibit:
Islands to Ice at Tasmanian Museum.

Tasmanian Museum Bird Display
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Antarctica bird-life from the Islands to Ice Exhibit

The art gallery section often has photographic displays – a personal preference of mine.  I love those amazing black and white, formal “old-time” photos standing proudly next to more contemporary works.  But that’s just me being all geeky.  Anyway…

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) facts:

  • open daily 10am-5pm (except Good Friday, Christmas & ANZAC Day)
  • the main entrance is via Macquarie Street, Hobart
  • located between the CBD and Constitution Dock
  • metered parking is available nearby, entry via courtyard cafe
  • general admission is free (donations always welcome)
  • special, touring exhibits may charge individual fees*
  • all the essentials are catered for: cafe, shop, cloak room, toilets
  • wheelchairs are available from the information desk
  • guided tours are provided periodically free of charge

The guided tour is on my to-do list;  so far my game plan has been to wander aimlessly on my own.  Actually to be honest, the wandering is usually rushing, to see as much as possible in the pinch of time I have in between other engagements.  This is both good and bad, because:

(a) there’s always things to come back to see next time around; but

(b) I always leave wishing I had more time at the Tasmanian Museum right now!!

*For more information about special exhibits,
visit Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery site.

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