Museums and Places
As I’m missing travelling so much, especially to great historic places I decided to start re-visiting the guides I have purchased from many Museums around the globe.
I am a bad Museum visitor in many ways as I do not read all of the text the curators and exhibition designers have spent so long writing. Instead I only read what attracts me and I purchase the guide book at the end so I can take it home and read about what I’d seen in my own time. For this reason I have a lot of guide books so I’ve decided to start reading through them again and reminiscing.
This serves as the basis for the places I've noted below. As time allows I will add to this collection of Museums and historic places that I really enjoy.
Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature,(Temporary Exhibit)
This exhibit was not exactly what I was expecting in an exhibition based on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
I was intrigued by the concept of the exhibition, which seemed to pitch mythical creatures against real-life knowledge, but I wondered if it was just a way of making tenuous links to real-life creatures as a way of creating a blockbuster exhibit based on intellectual property to draw in the crowds?
DFES Education and Heritage Centre
"Perth Fire Museum"
This is old and beautiful sandstone building was the original Perth Fire Station (well the first purpose-built fire station in Perth), that today is home to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Education and Heritage Centre.
Commissioned in 1899 the fire station was opened on 1 January 1901 and is today heritage listed. The building is beautiful and open to the public with numerous contemporary displays of firefighting, rescue history and activities.
It is free to visit and staffed by volunteers who support the small DFES team in operating the Museum as well as undertaking research and conservation work.
The building ceased to be used as a fire station in 1979 with restoration work on parts of the building taking place throughout the 1980s, ultimately opening as an education centre in 1985.
Well worth a visit when you're out west & a place I enjoyed being welcomed to by the great team of staff & volunteers!
Griffiths Se Shell Museum,
Lakes Entrance Victoria
Griffiths Sea Shell Museum in Lakes Entrance Victoria is a bit off the beaten track for a Sydney-sider but it was a fun pit stop during a quick trip in and out of Victoria earlier this year.
It isn’t on the main highway and requires a detour, but Lakes Entrance is a nice place that I wouldn’t mind returning to should I ever have the time.
The Museum is rather unique and has even made it into the Atlas Obscura listings!
It is home to one of the largest private sea shell collections in Australia and what it lacks in Museum polish it makes up for in the unusual.
Founded in 1962 the Museum has maintained its “Cabinet of Curiosities” vibe and if you ignore some of the displays that don’t seem to fit in (there is a train exhibit that I couldn’t work out what place it had).
The gift shop is amongst the best I’ve ever seen and has every kind of shell you can imagine!
The colours in the displays are beautiful and I liked to be able to put a name to the ones I was drawn to however some of the labels were hard to read or locate.
Overall this is an unassuming Museum but worth a visit for anyone who is interested in the obscure, unusual or simply into shells (there were a lot of kids getting very excited when I was there). Don’t let the name fool you though, it is more than shells and there are plenty of sea creatures (alive and not so alive) to engage the aquarium intrigued as well!
Museums & Historical Sites of Western Australia
There is just so much to see in Western Australia! Click the link below for my compilation blog of all my favourite sites which includes Museum's in Fremantle, Perth and Rottnest Island as well as sharing some of the other great cultural locations of the region.
Pictured Here: The Mint and the "Strike" statue in Perth; a quokka on Rottnest Island, The Boola Bardip Museum, Perth and the Swan River of Perth at night
The Vistitor Centre Museum & Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
Queenstown, New Zealand has some great sites and amongst them is the alpine region of Mt. Cook which is about 4 hours from the tourist centre of Queenstown.
To read about the two Museums noted above, as well as other historical locations check out the blog.
Pictured Here: Mt Cook from above, the site of the original Hermitage building at the base of the mountain, The Visitor Centre and the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
St. Petersburg, Russia
With a title “The Hermitage in 1 Hour”, I thought this was a good book to spend a little bit of time reading. It was great to take a trip back to the Hermitage.
Pictured Here: I am that person who marks pages as I read with post-it notes so that I can go back and research more about the things discussed in a historic text.
National Dinosaur Museum
Canberra, ACT, Australia
Did you know there is a fun Dinosaur Museum in Canberra? 🦕
Located just outside the city it is situated right across from one of my favourite places in Canberra, Cockington Green (which itself is well worth a visit).
Last year while on a work trip I got to make a quick stop at the National Dinosaur Museum. This was my first visit since I was a kid, so I wasn’t sure what I was in for. Things are not like I remember exactly.
There seems to be a bigger emphasis on engaging children, which is what keeps bringing families back to Museum’s, so I understand why the Museum has gone down that path. This is especially evident with the interactive “dinosaur playground” outside where I’m sure just as many influencers pose for pics as children run in and out of the dinosaur statues.
Inside there are many serious displays and exhibits which covers the story of evolution through the use of the Museum’s collection of fossils and replicas. I did find the mix of real fossils and replicas slightly confusing to know what was real or fake, but for most visitors I suspect this would be of little consequence so it is likely just those looking closely who would be interested in the differences.
I didn’t realise that the Museum only dates to 1993, so when I visited as a child, we likely would have been there just a few years after this. The current owners assumed control in 2011 and I must admit that I thought this was a government Museum. Given most people assume that of where I work, I shouldn’t have had that pre-conceived idea but nonetheless I was surprised to learn it was, like mine, a privately funded and operated Museum.
I think many young kids (and big kids) would love this Museum so I look forward to returning with my nephew and other young dinosaur loving lil friends!
The Tower of London
London, United Kingdom
The first book I randomly grabbed off my shelf was “Experience the Tower of London Souvenir Guidebook” (Historic Royal Places, 2007).
Pictured Above: Tower of London taken on my 2016 visit