Tourists Paradise – an online exhibition


The Port Macquarie Museum has announced the launch of its online exhibition and digital storytelling project website Tourists Paradise. The exhibition covers Port Macquarie’s tourism history featuring photographs, objects and stories from the Museum’s collection.

“Port Macquarie has been a place of happy memories for generations of holiday makers”, says Debbie Sommers, Port Macquarie Museum’s volunteer curator. “Our long and rich tourism history, has until now, been under-represented in the stories we share at our museum. With this exhibition, we wanted to create a new and exciting visual experience for our increasing online audiences, and give them an opportunity to share their holiday memories and experiences with us through social media”.

“This project is not only about sharing the past but also about collecting for the future. The summer holidays might be over or coming to an end for most of us”, says Ms Sommers, so now is a good time for people to reflect and share some of their recent Port Macquarie holiday memories and experiences with us using #portmacquarietouristsparadise.

The exhibition is a curated journey through a number of themes including long-forgotten places and stories. For example, swimming costumes as we know them today began to be worn from the 1920s covering neck to the knee for both men and women. In 1935, the Mayor of Port Macquarie noted it would be necessary for Council to stop men rolling down their costumes to the waist and hips and walking about and sun-baking on the beach. Council passed an amendment to the Ordinance regarding public bathing, which included diagrams of suitable costumes.

The online exhibition is accompanied by a physical exhibition at the Port Macquarie Museum where many of the featured objects can be viewed.

“This exhibition recognises that the tradition of going to a museum and viewing objects and displays is no longer the only way to learn about history or to view collections. Tourists Paradise is one of many new online and interactive museum sites bringing stories told by objects and museums into your home, office or online space, wherever you are.”

Tourists Paradise can be viewed on any device, but is best viewed on larger screens such as desktop computers and laptops rather than handheld devices and is accessible at touristsparadise.com.au. Tourists Paradise, the physical exhibition is currently showing at the Port Macquarie Museum which is located at 22 Clarence Street, within Port Macquarie’s cultural precinct.

The project has been supported by a Project Development Grant, a Create NSW devolved funding program, administered by Museums & Galleries of NSW on behalf of the NSW Government, with further in-kind support from Arts Mid North Coast.

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