Exhibitions & Events

Special exhibitions

Temporary exhibitions are staged in the Exhibition Hall at the Museum, changing usually two or three times a year. Curated by Museum volunteers, temporary exhibitions generally focus on some particular aspect of life in the Furneaux Islands, or may sometimes showcase new Museum acquisitions or objects too fragile to be put on permanent display.

Current exhibition, until late May 2023
Flying by the Seat of their Pants:
Pioneering Aviation in Bass Strait 1919 - 1939

Tasmanian pilots returning from the First World War in 1919 saw the potential for aircraft to be used to carry passengers and mail between Tasmania, the Bass Strait Islands and the mainland.

These daring pilots flew in flimsy planes that were nothing more than wooden frames covered by fabric, held together by wire and glue. In the open cockpit they were exposed to engine exhaust fumes, rain and freezing temperatures, and constantly buffeted by low-altitude turbulence.

Aircraft engines were unreliable, instrumentation rudimentary, and airfields usually just a paddock. The pilot had to develop a feel for his aircraft and for the conditions, and rely on his skills, judgment and courage.

Commercial aviation developed from 1932. Aircraft were improving quickly but basic materials like timber and canvas were still being used. Planes had very little instrumentation, and navigational aids were limited. Pilots had no flight plans and weather reports were often inaccurate.

In these early years the dangers of air travel were ever-present.  Despite the skills 0f these brave pilots there were tragedies and lives were lost. This was the era when they “flew by the seat of their pants”.

This exhibition has been jointly developed by the Tasmanian Aviation Historical Society and the Furneaux Museum.

Some of our past exhibitions:
Shipwrecks of the Furneaux Group
> Lonely Graves of the Furneaux Islands
> Music and Dance in the Furneaux Islands 
> Quirky Objects


Antiques Roadshow
The Museum had great success with its first Antiques Roadshow. Throughout the day people brought their treasures along for assessment by antiques specialist, Scott Millen - sometimes with surprising results! A second Roadshow was planned but unfortunately had to be abandoned due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Furneaux Islands Festival
The local Council's annual Community Day was held at the Museum in January 2020. Locals and visitors alike relaxed in the grounds, enjoying a free concert and lavish lunch.

Flying by the Seat of their Pants, 2022-23

Music and Dance in the Furneaux Islands, 2014

Ten Island Stories, 2021