Apr
11
2012

Experience Aboriginal heritage near Devonport

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If you are keen to learn more about Tasmania's rich Aboriginal heritage, Mersey Bluff in Devonport is a destination you will want to include on your itinerary.

Located on the Mersey River, this site is a traditional Aboriginal sacred ground – and is an excellent place to learn more about the past and present-day culture and art of Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

Devonport can easily be reached by ferry from the mainland – it is the port for the Spirit of Tasmania. Alternatively, it is an hour's drive from Launceston or approximately 30 minutes by car from Burnie.

Start your visit by dropping into the Tiagarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Museum. Buildings at this fascinating facility have been crafted to look like traditional Tasmanian Aboriginal dwellings – and inside, you'll find an extensive collection of exhibits.

More than 2,000 Tasmanian Aboriginal artefacts are housed in the museum – giving you a close-up glimpse of what life was like for the original inhabitants of the island state's north-west coast.

Tiagarra, which means 'keeping place' or 'keep', is home to a number of well-preserved Aboriginal rock carvings – in fact, the centre was first established in the 1970s to protect these historic treasures. You can view a number of these from walking tracks that lead from the centre – guided tours can be arranged if you'd like an insider's perspective.

It is also an excellent place to view murals painted by one of Tasmania's best-loved artists, Max Angus, who is most famous for his watercolour landscapes depicting the natural beauty of the island state.

For a souvenir of your time at Tiagarra, you can browse from an extensive range of locally-made Aboriginal arts and crafts in the gift shop at the end of your visit.

Tiagarra front entrance in Devonport

Stone work Tiagarra Museum

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