Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery

The kids laugh and lurch from side to side, unable to keep their balance on a perfectly stationary, straight walkway – curved walls, painted with rainforest scenes, are rotating around them, causing sensory confusion. Still giggling, they stagger out of the Perception Tunnel and rush for the next exhibit. The Phenomena Factory in this museum is full of fun, interactive activities designed to demonstrate scientific principles. Kids relish the chance to pull levers and transform a drink bottle into a rocket, see how much electricity they can generate by pedalling, and test their bowling speed with a radar gun.

Contact details

Invermay Rd, Inveresk Precinct, Launceston; (03) 6323 3777

Price range

FREE; SOME TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS AND THE PLANETARIUM EXTRA COST

Don't Miss

■ The new Tasmanian Connections exhibition, which has dinosaurs, artefacts from shipwrecks and convicts, and other intriguing displays.

■ The Planetarium (budget, minimum age 5 years), where you can watch shows about space exploration, stars and planets projected onto a vast dome. Astronomical concepts are demonstrated in a way that is both dramatic and scientifically accurate.
 
■ Replay: Sporting Life in Tasmania. You might find out some curiosities about sport that you never knew before!
 
■ Playgroup (budget), if you have kids aged from 2 to 6 years of age. This takes place on the second and third Wednesday morning of the month and involves storytelling, craft activities and games based around museum exhibits. Bookings are essential, (03) 6323 3798.

Fabulous Facts

One of the main exhibits here is the museum itself! It is the site of the historic Launceston railway workshops, used in the late 19th century when a passenger train service operated in Launceston. Nowadays, the only passenger trains in Tasmania are heritage ones for tourists. In the exhibition Transforming the Island you discover Tasmania’s rail history, see old workshops (left as if the workers have just walked out), and climb around on old trains.

Insider Tips

■ There is usually a free educational film showing in the Nuala O’Flaherty Auditorium if you want to take some weight off your feet for a while.

■ Exhibits are constantly changing, so some of the activities described here may have been replaced by something even better!
 
■ Light meals are available in Choose Cafe, which has indoor and outdoor seating – and you can even dine aboard a stationary train.
 
■ Several exhibition spaces in the museum, including The Phenomena Factory, have both indoor and outdoor activity areas.
 
■ The Planetarium does not operate every day. Check the website for the latest timetable.

See Also

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