Two exciting events coming up for history buffs

What started as an idea by local Burnie Regional Museum and Makers’ Workshop volunteer, John Duncan, has now come to fruition as an exciting historical installation.

Burnie Regional Museum together with Pam Thorne are proud to present an audio installation, housed at the Makers’ Workshop, showcasing excerpts from Henry Hellyer’s 1827 Journal of Operations in Opening a Road from Emu Bay towards the Hampshire Hills, held by the UTAS Library Special and Rare Collections.

Deputy Mayor Sandra French said, “Local paper sculptor Pam Thorne, known for the iconic paper people sculptures around Burnie, has crafted a paper version of Henry Hellyer. You can meet the paper version of him and hear his stories at the Makers’ Workshop.”

This installation is part of the Early Burnie exhibition at the Burnie Regional Museum where you can explore the history of North-West Tasmania prior to 1900 and discover what life was like in the region for early settlers.

“Having this new display at the Makers’ Workshop, is a great way of promoting the Museum to visitors and local people. It’s great that our services are working together to promote Burnie’s attractions,” Ald French said. 

Henry Hellyer worked as the Van Diemen’s Land Company’s Architect and Surveyor and he was the first European to explore and map many areas of the North-West interior.

Burnie Regional Museum Curator Georgia Luck said, “The journal describes Henry Hellyer’s experiences living and working in the forest while clearing a road from Burnie (then known as Emu Bay) south to the Hampshire Hills. The road was necessary so that supplies could be brought by ship to Emu Bay and then taken overland to the Hampshire Hills. There were no roads along the coast at that stage.

“His journal describes some of the hardships he and his men faced camping in dense forest in the middle of a Tasmanian winter, including the anxiety of not knowing when food supplies would next arrive. At one stage he describes having nothing but flour mixed with water to eat.”

Join the team from the Museum and tuck into some billy tea and damper at the official opening of the audio installation on Friday 21 February, 2014 at 1pm at the Makers’ Workshop 2 Bass Highway, Parklands, Burnie.

The second exciting event coming up is a brand new bus tour guided by retired surveyor and Hellyer expert, Brian Rollins. The tour will explore the countryside between Emu Bay and Circular Head through the eyes of the early Van Diemen’s Land Company explorers and setters. It will visit some historic sites and forgotten landmarks along the coast. Enjoy short walks and lunch at the Stanley Seaview Inn.

“We ran some bus tours last year in conjunction with the opening of the Early Burnie exhibition and they sold out very quickly. Be quick to secure your spot,” Miss Luck said.

The Bus Tour: Back to the Beginning is on Saturday 22 February and runs from 8:30am to 5pm. Cost is $50 per person and includes lunch.

For more information or to book your limited place, please contact the Burnie Regional Museum

For more information contact the Burnie Regional Museum on Ph: 64 305 746, E:, or