Here is part two of our visit to the West Coast Heritage Centre. As I went back over my photos, the website and the brochure I picked up I suspect that even though we spent two hours at the museum we missed a few things. There were displays of regional photos I don’t remember seeing and we did not go upstairs in the Post Office building shown below. Never mind. I’m sure we’ll go there again sometime.
One thing that we did see in that building was a display by the Freemasons. This room is set up as a Freemason’s meeting room. There was some information about the organisation to read as well.
In this much smaller building there were two displays, one of an old-fashioned Police Station and the other was a Courtroom.
The last building we came to was the one we were most looking forward to seeing. The old Gaiety Theatre. Inside the theatre you can see the auditorium and in another room, there is usually an old film from the Edwardian era running. We didn’t stop to watch but you can see a film about Ned Kelly the infamous Australian bushranger.
Other rooms in the building house displays of fashions and homewares. The main one of these is the Pioneer Women’s Room. I liked seeing some of the fashions displayed on mannequins. There was also a couple of pianos, a pianola, china, linens and furniture.
After we’d seen everything we wanted to see, we headed to the Gift Shop as Naomi wanted to buy some gem stones. This was our only small disappointment. The shop is very well arranged and well stocked but when we visited years ago there was a whole wall of different rocks and minerals for sale. In fact, for Naomi this was one of her main motivations to visit the museum again. There are still tumbled stones and minerals for sale but not as many. We’ve been in other places where the range is as good. However, as the museum is worth visiting in its own right we didn’t complain. We discovered that the Visitor Centre across the street also had stones for sale but it was closed so we’ll have to check it out another time.
Before we left town, we took a walk down the main street to look at the outsides of the buildings we’d been in. Mining has declined on the West Coast and along with Covid this has had an impact on the towns in the region. On a Sunday afternoon in Zeehan there wasn’t much open. It was also sad to see the fate of some of the other buildings that must have been as attractive as those that are now part of the museum. This one must have been very nice, perhaps it was a bank? Now there is not much more than the facade left. The side was clad in galvanised iron and when we peeked through the windows it was in ruins.
This hotel, where we had hoped we might get a meal was closed it looks rather like permanently.
This rather nice building appears to be in good condition but we didn’t go to have a close look at it to find out what it is.
I hope you have enjoyed this look at a very interesting museum. If you are planning to visit the west coast of Tasmania, I’d definitely recommend seeing it.
Where, When, How Much?
- Coming from the northwest as we did Zeehan is about 187 kms from Devonport using the Murchison Highway. From Hobart it is 298 kms using the Lyell Highway. Zeehan is about 45 minutes drive from both Strahan and Queenstown so it can easily be done while staying in one of those towns or there is accommodation locally.
- Currently the museum is open 7 days a week from 9am- 4pm but as always, it’s best to check prior to arrival. They have a website and a Facebook page and reply to messages pretty quickly. You can book online through the website.
- Admission; Adults $A25, Concession Card Holders $A20. Family Tickets are also available for $A30 & $A55 for 1or 2 adults and up to 5 kids. Tickets are good for the whole day.