Back in Tassie (11) – so many wonderful museums

Despite being by far Australia’s smallest state in terms of population and production as well as land area, it has an amazingly full choice of public services and facilities.  Perhaps it developed that way because Tasmania’s two largest cities were the first to be settled by Europeans who brought with them public buildings, government, hospitals and newspapers, to mention just a few of the pleasures of the developed world.

Because I am interested in history and am a details person, visiting museums is an important part of many holidays.  Like the Australian mainland, the Island State with its half-million inhabitants is rich in museums.  MONA is at the top of the tourist list: its creation has done wonders for Tasmania’s tourist trade as the well-heeled, the trendy and the curious fly over for a long weekend “to see MONA”.

At the top of the list for me are the 3 maritime museums, each of which struggle with loyal volunteers and minimal government support; yet each has preserved and put on display a representative and interesting collection.  There are general interest museums and art galleries in both Hobart (the state capital) and Launceston (the largest northern city).  There are museums on convictism at several of the state’s 5 World Heritage listed convict sites (of which we visited four, plus several of the state’s 19 convict probation stations).  There are many local museums of course, like the Channel Heritage Centre I mentioned in an earlier post.

Enough chatter.  Here are some of the museums we enjoyed most during our 3 months in Tassie.

There is little that remains of Hobart's Cascades Female Factory... but it is a neglected and important part of Australia's convict past. Its remains are being carefully restored to see, the its story is beautifully reenacted.
There is little that remains of Hobart’s Cascades Female Factory… but it is a neglected and important part of Australia’s convict past. Its remains are being carefully restored to see, the its story is beautifully reenacted.
Hobart's Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is housed largely in restored heritage buildings. The external lift is one of the world's oldest.
Hobart’s Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is housed largely in restored heritage buildings. The external lift is one of the world’s oldest.
This was the first display that caught our attention and admiration at Hobart’s Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Beautiful on both counts!
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Many Tasmanians including a nephew are allergic to Jack Jumper ants, indigenous to the State and one of the world’s most aggressive and dangerous. We learnt more about them as the Tasmanian Museum.
The Tasmanian Museum devotes a large space to Antarctica because of Hobart's strong links with that continent.
The Tasmanian Museum devotes a large space to Antarctica because of Hobart’s strong links with that continent.
The northern Tasmanian city of Launceston has reason to be proud of its Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, housed in a city building and recently recycled railway workshops. Its bicycle wall was eye-catching!
The northern Tasmanian city of Launceston has reason to be proud of its Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, housed in a city building and recently recycled railway workshops. Its bicycle wall was eye-catching!
The Queen Vic Museum has a dinosaur display that is a favourite of the little people.
The Queen Vic Museum has a dinosaur display that is a special favourite of the little people.
This poster at the Launceston Queen Victoria Museum features the work of a well-known Tasmanian photographer. I bought my first camera from his Hobart shop in 1962!
This poster at the Launceston Queen Victoria Museum features the work of a well-known Tasmanian photographer. I bought my first camera from his Hobart shop in 1962!
Hobart's Tasmanian Maritime Museum celebrates many aspects of this port city's maritime history, notably the iconic ferries of the May brothers.
Hobart’s Tasmanian Maritime Museum celebrates many aspects of this port city’s maritime history, notably the iconic ferries of the O’May family.
The Tasmanian Maritime Museum in Hobart includes this model of the 1965-built Sydney - Tasmania ferry, Empress of Australia. We travelled to Tassie several times on "the Empress" when it was later put on the Bss Strait service.
The Tasmanian Maritime Museum in Hobart includes a model of the 1965-built Sydney – Tasmania ferry, Empress of Australia. We travelled to Tassie several times on “the Empress” when it was later put on the Bass Strait service.
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