Thursday, September 15, 2016

Australian Museum

Most museums are quite interesting but I must admit Natural History museums are usually not my favourites. However, Robin was keen for us to take a look at the Australian Museum and I trust her judgement.

The building dates from 1849 and is Australia's oldest museum. It's really beautiful inside. 

The diorama of Lord Howe Island. It's quite old.

Robin took us first to the ground floor of the great room which has displays of skeletons and it was fabulous. 

Stairway to the next level. You have to wonder at the skills of the craftsmen of over a century ago.

Marianne lusted after this chest.

Some poor person was wearing a tag and that was all that was left.

The snake exhibits are stunning.

A large constrictor snake.

Hi ho Silver. Away!

The large animal is a goat.

A lion.

It's the lighting that makes these displays so effective.

Ostrich feet.

Huge turtle shells.

The next floor had minerals.

Croccite  from Tasmania.

A replica of the Welcome Stranger which was the biggest alluvial nugget of gold ever found. It weighed 214 lb. It measured 24 by 12 inches.

A very interesting exhibit of minerals that was donated to the Museum by a private collector.

The space between the buildings has been covered.

Attack of the dreaded magpie. I used to be attacked quite regularly when I walked to school. My protection was to carry my school port (case) on my shoulder. Since I had blonde hair, I was particularly attractive to the swooping magpies.

Here is a very interesting article about swooping magpies.

Some people put an icecream container on their head. The black blobs are supposed to represent eyes that the magpies would aim for.

Good question.

Yes, there are plenty of deadly snakes but they usually try to get out of the way. Most bites occur when somebody tries to pick them up.

And you don't go swimming up north in croc infested waters no matter how refreshing the water looks.

In the Brisbane version of this museum they have a skeleton of the head of one of these diprotodons. Robin was quite scared of it when she was young since it transformed from a head with hair into the skeleton.

A section on head ware from New Guinea, just to the north of Australia.

The top part is made of human hair.

Imaginative use of a hurricane lamp.

This is a huge drum with a diameter of about three feet.

Now up to the top floor.

Aussie birds.

Male Regent Bowerbird. Bird watchers from outside Australia would have a great time spotting here.

A Sydney Harbour Bridge that would look good on your mantle-piece.

We loved this display of glass flasks an piping.

A Cape Barren Goose. I loved the colour of the beak.

I am not sure why a peacock made an appearance but there it was.

A numbat.

Galahs in flight.

There was a large display of Aboriginal artifacts. I think these fishing nets dated from the 19th century.

Map of the various 'clans' of aborigines. It is estimated that Aborigines first came to Australia between 65 and 75 thousand years ago. Many clans had their own dialect.

Maryborough, where I spent most of my childhood.

The Sydney area.


More shields.

It's interesting to read the story of Pemulwey who was an Aborigine who defied the British when they settled in the Sydney area.

I enjoyed this museum much more than I anticipated. It's not just a collection of odds and ends stuck in cases and I think the key to this museum's success is the lighting. Most of the exhibits are subtlety well lit so that your eyes are drawn to the object and you can see the shape and colour clearly.

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