The Tasmanian Museum. I’d suggest it’s one of the best attractions to visit in Hobart. Do you believe me? 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 if my suggestion held up.
There was a school holiday program underway at the museum, but in the interests of a fair trial, my group went independently 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 was called Ningenneh Tunapry, which translates to mean “give knowledge and understanding”. It was essentially a celebration of indigenous history and culture, including a really big bark canoe! There was also another room entirely dedicated to Tasmanian Aboriginals.
This was where we got to touch stuff… usually frowned upon, for obvious reasons. But in here: encouraged! There were 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 were mounted birds in an interactive seascape scene, and the big one – the Tasmanian Tiger display. No, you can’t touch that one! There was also video footage of the last captive tiger pacing back and forth in his cage, which I found a little disturbing.
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 was lots of historical information displayed for those having the time and opportunity to read it.
Islands to Ice Exhibition
Wow! This was a fantastic, interactive room that bombarded the senses. The exhibit was everything Antarctica: a 3D movie experience, oceans and currents, bird and sea-life displays. And the highlight: a big, wet patch of ice that we could stick our hands on to melt patterns. Really! If you only have time to visit one exhibit: Islands to Ice at Tasmanian Museum.
The art gallery section often has photographic displays apparently, which is a personal preference of mine. I love those amazing black and white, formal “old-time” photos standing proudly alongside more contemporary works. But that’s just me, being all geeky.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG)
At the time of writing:
- open daily 10:00am to 5:00pm (except Good Friday, Christmas and ANZAC Day)
- main entrance via Dunn Street car park, Hobart
- located between the CBD and Constitution Dock
- metered parking nearby, entry via courtyard cafe
- general admission is free (donations always welcome)
- special, touring exhibits may charge individual fees
- all essentials provided: cafe, shop, cloak room, toilets
- wheelchairs available from the information desk
- guided tours 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 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 visit Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery online.