There are perennial favourites that keep three generations entertained.
Among them are the collection of Tasmanian Aboriginal art, the native wildlife exhibits, and the planetarium.
But Launceston’s cultural jewel, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG), is constantly evolving, and that’s what keeps visitors coming back.
The collection is also remarkably diverse, says City of Launceston spokesman Shane Fitzgerald. From giant dinosaur skeletons to sublime paintings by Tom Roberts, there’s plenty to move everyone at QVMAG.
“Whether you're browsing our collection of art and design from Australian and international artists, learning about the history of Tasmania, or exploring the world through our zoology, geology and botany archives, QVMAG is filled with stories just waiting to be discovered,” he says.
QVMAG is Australia's largest regional museum. It’s set across two sites: the 1891 gallery at Royal Park in the city, and a contemporary reimagining of an 1870s railway workshop in the suburb of Inveresk, about 2km away.
Set aside plenty of time to explore both sites. In the museum at Inveresk, stories are told through installations. The preserved railway workshops house locomotives as well as cars, bicycles, horse-drawn buggies, planes suspended from the rafters and artefacts from Australia's oldest merchant shipwreck.
The thylacine exhibit is a highlight of the natural history collection, telling the story of the Tasmanian tiger, a reminder of the preciousness of the planet’s wildlife.
The Phenomena Factory is equal parts education and giggles with its interactive science displays for children. The Launceston Planetarium also shares the site.
At the Royal Park art gallery, the colonial and federation-era galleries were refurbished for the institution’s 130th anniversary, and the collection of old and new art is curated to acknowledge the past while encouraging new perspectives and narratives. Significant historical works of Tasmania’s colonial period sit with contemporary works by notable Tasmanian Aboriginal artists.
Permanent exhibitions at the gallery include The First Tasmanians: our story, encouraging viewers to learn about the history and culture of Tasmanian Aboriginal people, says Fitzgerald. The exhibition was created in consultation with the community and includes rarely seen artefacts.
Finish a visit at the QVMAG gift shops, which stock games, books, art, jewellery and a range of Tasmanian-made products.
Need to know
Queen Victoria Museum at Inveresk and the Launceston Planetarium are at 2 Invermay Road, Invermay. Queen Victoria Art Gallery at Royal Park is at 2 Wellington Street, Launceston. The museum and art gallery are open daily, 10am-4pm. The planetarium is open Tue-Sun and Mon during school holidays; planetarium shows are followed by live tours of the night sky. Entry to the sites is free; fees apply to selected programs and events, and to enter the planetarium.