Way back in 2012, Len Langan wrote a short piece about Tiagarra, declaring the Aboriginal Culture Centre and Museum “well worth a visit”. Unfortunately, the Devonport City Council has since listed the attraction as closed until further notice. That’s a shame. Photographer Benita Bell confirmed “the signs have fallen down” on the Tiagarra walk too. However, she was still able to capture this collection of images from the Mersey Bluff, including the historic rock carvings.

Tiagarra Walk - Mersey Lighthouse

Tiagarra Walk (photo by Benita Bell)

Devonport Tasmania: Tiagarra Walk

photos by Benita Bell

Tiagarra apparently means ‘keep’ or ‘keeping place’ and is located on the Mersey Bluff precinct in Devonport. Benita didn’t reveal to us the condition of the Tiagarra walk, so those planning to explore the rock carvings and middens themselves should probably proceed with caution. The Devonport City Council describes the Mersey Bluff Cultural Discovery Walk (Mersey Bluff Headland area west of Tiagarra) as taking 15 minutes at a slow walking pace.

There was once a hand drawn map on the front door of the Aboriginal Culture Centre and Museum pointing out twelve places of interest on the short Tiagarra walk. Despite the closure of the building, it would be beneficial for visitors if that map remained.

Tiagarra Walk - Aboriginal Culture Centre and Museum

Tiagarra Walk (photo by Benita Bell)

Walkers on the Tiagarra track should look closely to observe carvings of abalone, crayfish, periwinkles, an emu and a seal. There are also two midden sites in the region. Being one of the few Tasmanian sites where Aboriginal rock carvings have been well preserved, it would be wonderful to see access maintained.

Tiagarra Walk - Aboriginal Rock Carvings

Tiagarra Walk (photo by Benita Bell)

Tiagarra Walk - Rock Carvings

Tiagarra Walk (photo by Benita Bell)

Tiagarra Walk - Aboriginal Carvings

Tiagarra Walk (photo by Benita Bell)

Records show the carvings were discovered by a local school teacher in 1929 and the site was protected shortly afterwards, with the Tiagarra Culture Centre opened in 1976 by Sir Douglas Nicholls.

Keeping Place… Open?

When we received Benita’s photos, we wondered whether the attraction would be re-opened in the future. There was some talk of this happening back in 2014, as reported in The Advocate

An earlier article published by The Advocate detailed the lease of the Tiagarra centre by Six Rivers Aboriginal Corporation…

Hopefully talks will progress and both the Tiagarra walk and the Aboriginal Culture Centre and Museum will be once again open to the public.

Tiagarra Walk - Mersey Bluff

Tiagarra Walk (photo by Benita Bell)

Tiagarra Walk - Devonport Tasmania

Tiagarra Walk (photo by Benita Bell)

Benita Bell lives in Railton and owns Daydream Photography. For more information about Benita’s work, visit Daydream Photography online or follow Daydream Photography via Facebook. Alternatively, you can phone 0497 655 034 and speak with Benita personally.

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Map: Mersey Bluff, Devonport Tasmania

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