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What’s in a name? The Huon Valley Apple Museum

15 September 2011 No Comment

Apples Tasmania

If you’ve done a little travelling around our fair country you may have become just a little numb or confused by the naming of tourist attractions.

In fact sometimes the word “attractions” itself can be justifiably questioned when icons such as “The Big Merino” and “The Giant Prawn” seem to repel more than they attract.

Words like “entertainment”, “hours” and “fun” can bandied about and treated with some disrespect.

Of course some attractions tend to be understated too and this is where The Apple Museum at Grove, just north of Huonville, fits in.

For some months every time my wife and I drove past the Apple Museum we’d look at each other and say “what is in an Apple Museum? Some apples? What else? There has to be more”.

From the outside the buildings don’t give much away. I’d like to be forgiven for thinking that, having driven past, I’d pretty much seen everything there was to see at the museum, aside from the apples themselves of course.

One day we went in…

From the moment we entered the door we were made welcome by Jeff the owner. He explained how the museum and shop were laid out and encouraged us to partake of free samples about the gift shop.

I have to explain that this is no ordinary apple themed gift shop. This gift shop caters for all tastes and sells an extraordinary array of local produce, crafts, sweets, mustards, juices, souvenirs and art. The gift shop itself always takes me a while to get around even before I head into the museum.

Once inside the museum the array of artefacts is really amazing. Sure there are lots of things about apples but there is way more about how life used to be in the Huon Valley. There are clothes, toys, utensils, farming equipment, curious, music and many items that almost defy categorisation.

During your visit Jeff will put on a little show using one of the early industrial apple peeling machines he has on display. I reckon those things may have done more damage to their handlers than chainsaws. Once that’s over there’s free apple for everyone and still plenty more to see in the museum.

Look closely into every nook and cranny. Answer for yourself why the museum has rockets and keep an eye out for the rules by which school teachers once had to work (and I’m sure the kids think they had it tough).

So my suggestion is don’t just drive past The Apple Museum like we did for so long. Balance out your “tourist attraction” meter and pop in for a browse. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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David Moore lives and works in the Huon Valley. He runs a computer business, I Hate My PC and writes computer/tech stuff for a couple of online magazines but his real passion is comedy. Keep an eye out for him doing “stand up” somewhere near you soon!

Image: Joan Thewlis via Flickr

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