A dollhouse view of the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum which is now accessible via a virtual tour online. Photo: CHCC/Toni Fuller
A dollhouse view of the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum which is now accessible via a virtual tour online. Photo: CHCC/Toni Fuller

A walk through time from the comfort of a lounge

3D MAPPING technology has enabled people to take virtual tours of the globe, now a new initiative has us looking a little closer to home.

With an impressive use of 3D technology, local photographer Toni Fuller has opened up Coffs Harbour Regional Museum, and its vast array of exhibits, to the world.

Anyone with a mobile or computer can go on a 360 degree ‘walk-through’ tour of the museum, complete with interactive links to help users gain a deeper understanding of local history using the newly launched‘Coffs Collections’ website.

The initiative is in collaboration with Coffs Harbour City Council.

“The Museum and Gallery team discovered Toni’s work when it was exploring 3D tour options as a way of improving access due to COVID-19 – and we are so pleased we found her,” said Cath Fogarty, Council’s Cultural development gallery and history services co-ordinator.

An image from the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum virtual tour PHOTO: Toni Fuller/CHCC.
An image from the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum virtual tour PHOTO: Toni Fuller/CHCC.

Ms Fogarty said giving people access to local history collections was vitally important.

With less than ten per cent of the entire collection able to be displayed at any one time, using digital technology enabled the community to engage with more of its history than ever before.

“We’ve seen how arts and culture have led the way in keeping communities creatively connected in these COVID-19 times,” she said.

“Being able use the 3D Virtual Tour to offer a portal into the whole collection via our new digital service ‘Coffs Collections’ is going to be a fantastic addition to how people understand and learn about our local heritage.”

Through the Tour, visitors can link to stories and first hand recordings of local Gumbaynggirr Elders, the original custodians of the land, and see stone artefacts on display.

They can also spend time viewing the extensive materials and photos that illustrate Coffs Harbour’s maritime history, including the South Solitary Island Lighthouse and shipwrecks such as the tragic 1886 shipwreck of the Keillawarra.

Also included in the tour are items that reflect the ‘can-do’ attitude of a community isolated from the major cities – from a handmade ‘jinker’ with timber wheels for moving logs to a 1920s chair made from packing crates.

You can take the ‘Virtual Tour of Coffs Harbour Regional Museum’ at www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/museum until September 2021.



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