The Spring Bay region has a rich history strongly connected to the sea. For many thousands of years the local indigenous people built sturdy bark canoes, travelling along the coast and frequently visiting Maria Island. A fine replica of these crafts, built by Tasmanian aboriginal people, exists in our museum.
The Centre also exhibits many items from our colonial past, and preserving our heritage is a key role we play. Amongst our displays are the remains of a convict era boat, uncovered after a flash flood on Maria Island. Can you work out what type of vessel this was?
The Centre also celebrates local boatbuilders who crafted wooden boats from fine Tasmanian timbers, including world re-known Huon Pine.
Between 1950 & 1995 over 100 wooden boats were built in the Spring Bay area by the Thomas, Drake, Wilson and Jones families. Three boat builders are still working at Triabunna.
This boat building was associated with the local fishing industry.
The area has at various times supported fishing for scallops, barracouta, crayfish, jack mackerel, Australian salmon, flathead, trumpeter, perch, abalone, sea urchins and the cultivation of oysters.
The Centre is open by appointment and for special events.
The Centre is presently located in an old abalone processing plant at 17 The Esplanade, Triabunna, on the East Coast of Tasmania, 84kms north east of Hobart, the state capital. Plans have been completed to relocate the Centre to new buildings opposite the Maria Island Ferry terminal.
Open weekends are held when a new exhibit is unveiled and the Centre is abuzz with all sorts of other activities as well, including the usual country-style barbecue.
Our Centre is also home to a community Shed, where locals presently repair boats, spin and make musical instruments. The Shed is available to anyone who needs space to do something, whether a craft activity or building something larger.
The Spring Bay Studio & Gallery also uses an area of the building as an indoor artwork space and exhibition gallery.