mapiya lumi – Around Here

mapiya lumi – Around Here

When we first arrived at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s new children’s gallery – mapiya lumi – I was worried the space would be too small to entertain our group of energetic young boys.

But I was quickly proved wrong. Because although the space is relatively compact, the creators have packed in a huge amount of really cool stuff.

mapiya lumi means ‘around here’ in the Tasmanian Aboriginal language of palawa kani.

The gallery caters for children from birth to seven years and encourages kids to learn about some of the things that make our island state unique.

The colourful nature-inspired murals, by local artist Jamin, bring the space to life and timber adds warmth. Natural light floods in from the windows fronting Argyle St.

Rather than the usual static exhibits, there are plenty of opportunities in this gallery for kids to climb and explore – my boys (and their friends) particularly loved zooming down the indoor slide and curling up to relax in the woven nest and in the cosy reading nook.

They were fascinated by the Dreamtime story, cleverly projected on to the ceiling – an ancient, animated story in the sky.

My littlest dinosaur (who is four) loved the taxidermy animals, while my biggest dinosaur (who is six and is a massive animal lover) found them a bit creepy.

Even after 90 minutes of exploring, the boys were still excitedly discovering new things about the space. I can see us returning here a few times a year.

Entry is free but bookings are required.

There are five sessions each day with a capacity of 40 people per session. The first four timeslots run for 45 minutes while the final session of the day (which we booked) runs for 90 minutes. Note: the museum opens seven days a week from December 26-March 31 but is closed on Mondays from April 1-December 24. Find out more at