I have heard about Reliquaire. Both Roger and Michelle have mentioned what a wonderful and unusual place it is, suggesting it would be a good place to visit. And when Lorraine McNeair contacted Think Tasmania reinforcing their thoughts, it was time to put a plan into action.

Reliquaire - Latrobe Tasmania
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Reliquaire: trove of treasure in Latrobe, north west Tasmania

Reliquaire Request

Plan A was to ask one of the regular team to visit Reliquaire in their travels. They’re such an amazing, dedicated group of writers and photographers, that plan would have definitely happened. Eventually. But sometimes we want to speed up the process; not just wait around for the perfect opportunity to present itself. Plan B was to encourage Lorraine to write something about her beloved Latrobe. And as it turns out, she was quite open to the idea. This is the scenario that played out…

Lorraine: Have you visited Reliquaire in Latrobe? An absolutely wonderful treasure chest to explore, along with the wonderful Bell’s Parade, the Axeman’s Hall of Fame (where the Information Centre is situated) Warrawee and the two Sunday markets: one in the main street, and the other, a Makers’ Workshop, at the Axeman’s Hall of Fame. Lots more to see, too.

Me: Thanks for contacting Think Tasmania, Lorraine. Are you the owner of Reliquaire? I hate to admit it, but I haven’t been to the store in person. I follow the Reliquaire Facebook page and Roger Findlay (one of our writing team) has made a comment about the store following the publication of an article about Devonport. If you follow Think Tasmania at all, you’re probably aware that we only write feature articles about places we have actually experienced first hand. I’m hoping now that we have a few extra contributors, we might be able to cover more territory between us, including all the places you have mentioned.

Lorraine: No, I am not the owner of Reliquaire. I am a volunteer at the Latrobe Information Centre, and I tell visitors about these places. Often interstate visitors stay in Latrobe the night before they go back on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry, and they often want to know about places they can visit close by. I have no financial interest in Reliquaire, neither do I know the owners. But it is just such an unusual place with objects of diverse interest to many people.

MeThanks for sharing your local knowledge, Lorraine. It’s terrific to hear people so passionate about their area, and I would really love to write about them for Think Tasmania. I’m sure there’s a whole list of great article potential in the region. Of course, if you or anyone else would like to submit an article as a guest, I could give you more information about how that works.

Lorraine: Tania, I would like to write some articles if that’s okay. I have travelled all over Tasmania, found some wonderful places, and would like to share them.

And the rest is history. Lorraine contacted Kim & Sylvia Christie, the owners of Reliquaire, and told them of the plan. She then went to visit the shop in person, and wrote this piece for us…

Reliquaire: Hidden Delight in Latrobe

by Lorraine McNeair

The town of Latrobe, on the north west coast of Tasmania, has many hidden delights. One of these is Reliquaire. Famed for its uniqueness, Reliquaire is said to be the only one of its kind in Australia, and maybe the world. I personally have not seen the likes of the goods for viewing and sale, and I have travelled all over Australia. You are greeted at the door by a tasting of home-made fudge, and if you have a thirst, then coffee and tea are available.

Reliquaire - Tasmanian Treasure Trove
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Reliquaire: unique store in Latrobe, Tasmania

The educational toy range is like no other I have seen, and the life-size, hand-made dolls are incredible. On the walls you will find art by a north west artist; and in another area are antique-like fittings for restoration. As well as the hand-made dolls, there are lots of teddy bears, puppets, and Venetian masks. There are antiques to view, and lots of items suitable for gifts.

Reliquaire - Dolls, Teddies & Puppets
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Where do the owners of Reliquaire get this stuff?

Do not visit Latrobe without a visit to Reliquaire! It is about half-way up the main street, and is situated in an old (but tastefully renovated and painted) hotel.

Very good advice, Lorraine! And hopefully this is the first piece of many that you’ll go on to write and be published as feature articles with Think Tasmania. It’s exactly the sort of thing people want to read about; and it’s also what attracts more people to the region.

Reliquaire: Endorsements Everywhere

Roger also has this to say about the treasure trove/gallery in Latrobe

I was in the chair at a Devonport dentist. He knew that I was a tourist and proceeded to charge me double for a simple filling! He had travelled the world but he had never been in a shop like Reliquaire.

Reliquaire - Shrine for Sacred Relics
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Shrine for sacred relics, Reliquaire

The shop is situated on the main street of Latrobe just twenty minutes from Devonport and, if you’re travelling with kids, this is the place to go. Adults will wonder at the variety and colossal amount of stock that adorns the floors, walls and ceilings of this 20 room building. How do they stocktake?

The cost of the filling and the good advice made my day for without it I would never have known that Reliquaire existed.

French: Shrine for Sacred Relics

I searched for the meaning of “Reliquaire” and found it’s a French word used to describe a container or shrine in which sacred relics are kept. Seems a pretty appropriate name, by all accounts. I also did a little research of my own, checking the Reliquaire online store. I was won over instantly because they have a “Babushka” category! One of the few keepsakes I treasure is a set of the nesting dolls I bought on a long-ago trip to Russia. Of course there is a great variety of other categories.

Reliquaire - Babushka Dolls
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Reliquaire sell adorable Babushka Dolls

Thanks to Lorraine for sharing her passion for Latrobe and Tasmania, starting with Reliquaire. Hopefully she hasn’t been too overwhelmed with the volume of story ideas streaming in for the region. I’m sure her tourism colleagues will be very happy with her contribution. And if you would like to submit a guest article about a place that is special to you, you know what to do. Contact Think Tasmania and we’ll help you get started.

The photos of Reliquaire have been provided by Kim and Sylvia. Their amazing store is open 10am – 5pm 7 days a week (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday). Phone: (03) 6426 2599 for more information.

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