Tag Archives: Newcastle Museum


Hurry!  Only a few days to catch the dinosaurs at Newcastle Museum before they head elsewhere.P1030681Although ‘catch’ is probably not the appropriate word in this context. The tyrannosaurs* were ferocious meat-eating predators with powerful legs, heavy jaws, and very strong teeth. We humans wouldn’t have lasted at all long had we overlapped with the dinosaurs. Lucky for us, then, that they were wiped out by a giant meteorite in the Mesozoic Extinction Event 66 million years ago.P103067066 million years ago. Imagine that. I can’t. Such a huge number, the mind boggles. In fact, so much about dinosaurs defies comprehension, and the exhibition brilliantly showcases the wonders and mysteries of these primitive creatures. 10 life-sized specimens from the tyrannosaurs family were on display, including the king himself, Tyrannosaurus rex (Scotty), who measured an estimated 12 metres in length. Guanlong wucaii, early relative of T.rex, was also present. This feathered fiend has got dinosaur experts the world over oohing and aahing, as it confirms the link between tyrannosaurs and birds. Yup, people, T.rex was a bird in the making.

Wow! I hear you say. You managed to gather all this information at the exhibition with your littlies in tow? And the answer is: Are you kidding?! I read the headers on the day and left the small print to late-evening Internet research. But I didn’t need the detail to enjoy the visit. And nor did the tots. The dinosaur specimens wowed us with their strange forms, giant size, long tails, and scary teeth. Especially T.rex, whose shadow had a mind of its own, and would reach down to grab unsuspecting visitors as they passed underneath.P1030678The interactive side of the exhibition was fun. Ickle and Ettie particularly enjoyed being in their own dinosaur movie, although things did get a little loud at one point. And Bear tried very hard to jump up and down to power a meteorite large enough to wipe out the creatures we had come to see.P1030673We combined our visit with a play in the museum’s Mininova soft play area, morning tea on the lovely grassy lawns outside, plus a coffee and scoot along Honeysuckle.

*Tyrannosaur comes from the Greek “tyrant lizard”.

Newie Rocks

In the 3.5 years we’ve lived on Lake Macquarie, I’ve only ventured up north to Newcastle once. On that occasion Ickle and I visited Carrington, met up with a friend in a boho café on the main drag, and picnicked in a nearby park. A return visit was long overdue.

Although it’s our nearest big city, Newie is a fair drive from our little patch of paradise. I know from previous experience that 48 minutes on Google Maps can quickly turn into an hour plus, especially with my lamentable sense of direction. I needn’t have worried, however, as the journey turned out to be a sinch this time.P1030371We met up with friends, Ettie and Bear* and their mummy, at Newcastle Museum. As Newie regulars, they were already waiting for us in the Mininova soft play area. What a great spot for tinies to escape from their strollers and crawl and clamber about! Ickle and Ettie are big girls now though, so promptly left their younger siblings to explore the hands-on exhibits in the adjoining Supernova space. They pulled on giant ropes to lift a car off the ground, floated colourful plastic balls on an air stream blown through a funnel, and much more. They also particularly enjoyed the historic train exhibit in the Link Gallery, or was it the gravel alongside the locomotive that proved the real attraction?P1030380We had intended to spend snack o’clock in the very sleek-looking café on site, but it was closed for a private function, so we headed out into Honeysuckle instead. An inspired decision. Here, derelict industrial land has been transformed into an attractive waterfront precinct, buzzing with trendy restaurants and cafés; there is also a fabulous 7-km promenade that runs all the way from Carrington to Nobbys Lighthouse.P1030389Ickle and Ettie had a good splash in the fountains and then took turns (mostly) to zip along the waterfront on Ickle’s scooter, while the mummies enjoyed sipping on their beverage of choice. And the tinies had a ball scrambling around underfoot.P1030408Newie rocks! Can’t wait for our next visit…

*Names have been changed.