Ancient Landscapes Gallery, Wellington Caves


Project Commenced: September 2020
Project Completed: May 2021
Floor Area: 150m²

Thylacine’s role

  • concept development
  • exhibition design
  • curatorial
  • graphic design
  • fabrication and installation
  • stakeholder engagement and Wiradjuri community consultation

The Ancient Landscapes gallery highlights the multi-layered significance of the Wellington Caves Reserve. The Gallery offers visitors an insight into the changing face of the site, from the deep past to today, through four key themes—the Devonian, the Pleistocene, the Wiradjuri First People, and the recent past. Each of these is approached as a snapshot through time, like looking through a window into the past.

The exhibition was developed from concept through to delivery, including researching, writing and editing text, identifying object loans, and licensing images; developing the exhibition layout and interactives; constructing custom joinery; and installing graphics, plinths, showcases, and mounting objects. It incorporates object displays, graphics, touch samples and mechanical and physical interactives, all designed to engage diverse audiences.

Thylacine worked closely with the Wellington Caves team to develop and deliver a rich and engaging visitor experience, which would support and promote the existing program of Cave tours. The Gallery’s content therefore needed to reflect the themes of the site, entice visitors to further explore, and avoid repetition of existing content. It also needed to give visitors an understanding of the vast timespan represented by the site, and to highlight its ongoing scientific and cultural significance to both the scientific and the Wiradjuri communities.

Thylacine is committed to supporting First Nations people to tell their stories, and we liaised with the local Wellington Wiradjuri community to develop content that shares the site’s cultural significance with visitors.

The hero experience of the exhibition is the ‘Windows Through Time’ multimedia experience. This massive immersive interactive takes up almost two entire walls of the gallery and depicts animated scenes from the Devonian (400 million years ago) and the Pleistocene (1 million years ago). It was developed in partnership with Canberra locals Eye Candy Animation.

The exhibition required the input of a high degree of palaeontological expertise, and we worked with researchers and academics to create scientifically accurate content, which will stand up to expert criticism. The exhibition features the 3D printed skeleton of a Diprotodon rendered at life-size, standing 1.7 metres high at the shoulder and three metres long! It was modelled from a number of specimens and brings a modern twist to the established practice within museums of exhibiting fossil casts from shared specimens.

Client Dubbo Regional Council. Project partners Eye Candy Animation, Interactive Controls, Good Shout, Studio Kite, Louise Austin and the Wiradjuri community.

Photography by Thylacine