Photo Thursday – Wild Oats XI – Maxi yacht

The Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Boxing Day means the start of two important sporting events in Australia, the Boxing Day Test  at the MCG and the start of the Sydney Hobart yacht race.  When I lived in Adelaide I used to think it would be interesting to visit Sydney at Christmas and see  the start of the race but for the past 11 years I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to see many of the yachts arrive in Hobart. Every year I try to get into the city so I can visit the waterfront and see the yachts. I’ve not yet been able to be present when the first one arrives but there are yachts arriving right up until New Year’s Eve so there is always something to see.

The most successful yacht in recent years has been Wild Oats XI. Wild Oats, built in 2005 is a maxi yacht and it is hard to believe just how big this type of yacht is. Hobart is a fairly low-rise city, no skyscrapers, so the maxi’s tower above many of the buildings.

Wild Oats XI
Wild Oats XI
Wild Oats 2005
Wild Oats 2005
Wild Oats
Wild Oats

Photo Thursday – Port Huon Wharf

image wharf
Port Huon Wharf, Huon Valley Tasmania

Port Huon Wharf was once a busy place where ships would call in to be loaded with locally grown apples for the UK markets. Now the wharf is owned by an aquaculture company and is popular with local fishermen.

Further Information:

Esperance River, southern Tasmania

image Esperance River
The Esperance River, Tasmania

We were introduced to a pleasant picnic spot beside the Esperance River for the first time today. We drove seven kilometres on a winding gravel road to reach it but it was definitely worth it.

Photo Thursday-Huon River at Franklin

When I first saw the Huon Valley I knew it was the place I wanted to live.People say “You can’t eat scenery.” when explaining why they need to move from the country to the city and suburbs. I know it’s true but I need to live in a place that is either beautiful or at least interesting in its ugliness. That’s why we chose to make our home here. I took this photograph at Franklin, the home of the Living Boat Trust and the Wooden Boat Centre.

image boats on Huon river
The tranquility of the Huon River at Franklin


The TMAG Now and Then

My First Visit

 The first time that I visited the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery was on a cold, blustery day in May 1998. My sister and I were visiting Tasmania for the first time and after an afternoon of exploring in Hobart the weather drove us indoors. A collection of buildings of varying ages on Hobart’s waterfront house the museum but the museum we visited that day bears little resemblance to the modern TMAG as it is now more commonly known.

On our original visit we spent an enjoyable couple of hours exploring the museum which turned out to be much more interesting than we expected. Two exhibits particularly stood out for us. One was about the “megafauna”; giant marsupials which once lived in Australia.  We learned about Zygomaturustrilobus, often referred to as the “marsupial rhino” that weighed half a tonne and its near relative Diprotodon. We could not help laughing  at the inscription next to the models of them which stated that these creatures were “unlikely to live in burrows”.

The other exhibit that I found particularly interesting was about the collapse of the Tasman Bridge. I knew about the disaster which occurred in 1975 when a ship collided with one of the bridge pylons but hadn’t realised the impact that it had on the people of Hobart over the next few years. It was some time before it was repaired and its loss caused major upheaval for many families.

image Tasman Bridge
The Tasman Bridge today

My Second Visit

Fifteen years have passed since my first visit to the museum. After moving to Tasmania in 2002 I often meant to go but didn’t. It is a shame that we are not tourists in our own towns more often. The museum has had major renovations in the past few years and in March this year the “new” museum opened its doors. My sister went and told me that she was disappointed in it. Museums have changed a  lot in the past twenty years or so. They seem to prefer lots of open space but they don’t always give the impression of having as much to see in them. We like the cluttered, treasure trove look of old museums but that’s just our ages showing I suppose.

Anyway I decided that I should form my own opinion so when I found myself in Hobart a few weeks ago with a couple of hours to spare I paid a visit.

image TMAG
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
image TMAG
The Museum and Gallery covers several buildings

The photos above show the Davey Street frontage of the buildings but the museum’s main entrance is now round the corner in Dunn Place. You first enter the courtyard through the Watergate. The Courtyard houses a cafe, the old Bond Store building which has three floors of exhibits and the entrance to the main part of the museum.

image brick wall

image dinosaur
Dinosaur in the courtyard
Entering the main hall on the ground floor I could immediately see that the building had been more or less gutted inside to create a large open space. It looks very dramatic but I have to say I’m not really keen on this myself.

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The ground floor, the staircase must have been part of the old museum layout.

From this hall I wandered about looking at different things. I was sorry to find that the megafauna display was gone as was the Tasman Bridge one. Of course exhibits change over the years but I like social history and had been hoping that something about the incident would still be there. There are several permanent exhibitions as well as frequently changing ones. I did like “The Power of Change” the room that housed amongst other things some old equipment from the Cadbury chocolate factory at Claremont.

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Equipment from the Cadbury factory at Claremont

“The Thylacine: Skinned, Stuffed, Pickled and Persecuted” is an exhibition about the thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger which believed to be extinct. I’ve seen film footage before of the last thylacine at the Hobart Zoo before it died and it always makes me want to cry.

Thylacines at the Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, 1910.
Thylacines at the Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart, 1910. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Islands to Ice ” is another permanent exhibition dealing with Tasmania’s role in Antarctic exploration.

Temporary exhibitions that I missed but would like to have seen were “On Their Own: Britain’s Child Migrants”. The stories of the children who were sent to Australia some never to see their families again are heart-rending although there are also stories of others who made good and had happy lives in Australia. This has been a very contentious issue in both Britain and Australia for the past few years. This is an Australian National Maritime Museum traveling exhibition in association with National Museums Liverpool UK so if you live elsewhere in Australia it may come to a city near you.

Another one I missed was “Artists With Conviction” an exhibition of quilts done in conjunction with the Tasmanian Prison Service. You can see pictures and read more about the past, present and upcoming exhibitions on the TMAG website.

The Bond Store is the oldest building on the site and is interesting in its own right. It is the oldest surviving public building in Tasmania. It was built between 1808-10.

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A more traditional museum display of native Australian animals and birds.

image handcuffs and chains
Reminders of Tasmania’s convict past

I have included links for further reading about the museum and the things in it. I didn’t really look at the art collection that day so will do that on another visit. By and large I think the TMAG is very well done but I like the QVMAG in Launceston better.

The Facts:

Opening hours and admission:

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is open between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm every day of the year except ANZAC Day, Good Friday and Christmas Day.
General admission to TMAG is free to all members of the public. Special exhibits may occasionally require paid entry.

Getting there:

TMAG is located in Dunn Place, Hobart and is accessible in the following ways.
On foot
Pedestrian access to Dunn Place is available via the landscaped boulevard that connects Davey and Macquarie streets.
Private vehicles (parking)
Metered parking is available in the Hobart City Council car park located directly in front of TMAG’s main entrance (vehicle entry from Davey Street). Alternative parking is available at the nearby Market Place Car park.
Commercial taxis will be able to deliver you close to TMAG’s main entrance via Davey or Macquarie Streets.
If you require a taxi collection at the end of your visit, please ask for assistance at the Visitor Information desk.
Alternatively, a taxi rank is available at the nearby Grand Chancellor Hotel (Davey Street).
Metro Tasmania operates several bus services that travel to and from the nearby Hobart City Bus Mall (a short, 5 minute walk from TMAG’s main entrance). For further information about public bus services and timetables, visit the METRO Tasmania website.

Getting into (and around) the museum and art gallery:

The main entrance for visitors to the Museum and Art Gallery is through the historic Watergate wall on Dunn Place.

There is level access to all public areas of our site and elevators are available for movement between levels.
Loan wheelchairs are also available from the Visitor Information desk. Booking a loan wheelchair in advance of your visit is advised and can be organized by phoning (03) 6211 4134.
Guide dogs for the visually impaired are welcome in all gallery spaces and to all TMAG events.

TMAG (Photo credit: Pauline Mak)

Further Reading:

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