Aboriginal Experiences in Tasmania

If you want to immerse yourself in the stories of the Mouheneenner Aboriginal people who were Tasmania’s original inhabitants, there’s no better place to do it than at the Ningenneh Tunapry exhibition in the Tasmanian Aboriginal Gallery in the Tasmanian Museum in Hobart.

Tiagarra Aboriginal Culture Centre and Museum, TAS ‘Ningenneh Tunapry’ means ‘to give knowledge and understanding’ and this exhibition offers you the chance to celebrate Tasmania’s Aboriginal past, present and future in a location where the Mouheneenner people lived for thousands of years before European colonisation in 1804. There are many fascinating displays but the full-sized bark canoe built especially for this exhibit is definitely a highlight.

While there are numerous ancient Aboriginal rock carving sites across Tasmania, the Tiagarra Keeping Place interpretation centre in Davenport in Tasmania’s north is arguably your best opportunity to view such a comprehensive collection in one place. It’s one of the few sites where the petroglyphs are still well preserved and over 200 engravings have been found here. The Museum itself, which has been designed to resemble traditional Tasmanian Aboriginal dwellings, features over 2,000 artefacts that make up some truly enlightening exhibits.

Another place of interest while in the region is the Truganini Reserve, south of Hobart. It’s a place of rugged natural beauty with eucalypt woodlands as well as a sheltered, rainforest-like gully. While the site of the Mt Nelson Signal Station at the northern end of the park is a reminder of the first settlers who travelled up the Derwent river on the ship the Lady Nelson, the area is also home to the Turganini Memorial which is dedicated to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their descendants.