Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery is in Launceston. We have made a few brief mentions about it before. But it’s such a fine place to visit in Tasmania, we thought it was high time we gave you more details. There’s actually two sites, but we’ll focus on the museum features at Inveresk this time.
Queen Victoria Museum: Phenomenal
Of course, we’ve already written an article dedicated to the Phenomena Factory section, which is pure, straight out fun for all ages. Check your balance in the perception tunnel; work out and earn some chocolates; battle against your mates on the machines and of course have a bash on the Thong-a-Phone. It’s a place to learn about science. Venture outside and share a secret message on the whisper domes.
The Blacksmith Shop
Across the courtyard from the main Queen Victoria Museum building is The Blacksmith Shop. The workshop looks like the blacksmith might have just downed tools and left for lunch! You can see the hammers and furnaces once used to forge metal into implements, railings and all sorts of industrial machinery. The sounds are amazing. I kept looking around, thinking I might actually see the blacksmith at work.
Railway enthusiasts will need to allocate extra time for the exhibition Transforming the Island: Railways in Tasmania. Casual observers will find the battle between the north and south of Tasmania over the rail roll-out quite bizarre. They have included props in the train, highlighting the transfer of horses and old automobiles. There’s another display showing how paint-mixing sticks were left to drape over the bench, setting into long, colourful drips. Again… down tools and off to lunch!
If you spend longer than anticipated at the Queen Victoria Museum, they do have a cafe on site. You can buy coffee and light snacks, and take a breather in a railway carriage. Choose Cafe has been designed to train and assist people with special needs, and young people with disabilities. Love that community initiative.
Near the cafe is the Launceston Planetarium which was updated and reopened at the Inveresk site almost two years ago. There’s currently two shows: Origins of Life and What Happened to Pluto. However, the Planetarium doesn’t open every day, and guess what? I went on one of those days off. I’ll just have to return again to gaze in wonderment at the stars!
You can be sure that permanent exhibition Replay: Sporting Life in Tasmania will be open though. This is a comprehensive display of the sporting history of Tasmania, including some popular heroes and events. There’s lots of photos and memorabilia, including some pretty fancy, old-fashioned uniforms. Tennis, cricket, football, sailing and motorsport all take their place, together with all forms of cycling; ranging from the penny farthing to modes a tad more modern.
Owners of modern caravans should be amused at the retro version in the Tasmanian Connections room. It’s a far cry from the elaborate vehicles seen in motorhome parks these days, but it’s very cute! It looks like some sort of cubby house. It adds to one of the six installations from this section covering the state’s social and natural science history, such as Tasmanian travel and transport.
If dinosaurs are your thing, there’s bones of many shapes and sizes here. The preserved wildlife showcase includes butterflies, Tasmanian devils, Tasmanian tigers, penguins, birds, seals, wombats… in fact all manner of species, great and small.
Queen Victoria Museum: Things to Do; Places to Go
A few ideas for things to do in Launceston when it’s raining, perhaps? Or maybe a quiet place, under a dome of stars, might be nice on a hot day in summer. No matter the weather… Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery gets the thumbs up.