Artesian Time Tunnel, “Cunnamulla Fella” Visitor Information Centre
An interactive journey through time at the Artesian Basin
Client: Paroo Shire Council
Category: Visitors Centre
Date: September 2009
Interactive displays with audio-visual elements can tell stories in an exciting way to engage the public at a visitor information centre. At the Artesian Waters Visitor’s Centre, these elements enhance detailed history-rich static displays to create an engaging visitor experience. Visitors are taken on a chronological journey through time. The “Cunnamulla Fella” exhibit incorporates themes such as the Artesian Basin, the discovery of dinosaur remains in the region and the history of opal mining in the area.
Q150 Artesian Waters Visitor Information Centre, Paroo Shire Council.
The “Cunnamulla Fella” exhibit, was opened on September 22, 2009. The exhibition was delivered on time and on budget.
Brandi Projects Was Engaged to Perform These Roles:
- -Project Manager
- -Interpretive Display Designer
- -Graphic Designer
- -Concept Designer
The Paroo Shire Council were looking to provide an interesting and engaging visitor and tourist information centre experience for visitors to Cunnamulla, and the Paroo Shire. The exhibition needed to address how the Great Artesian Basin was formed; and how significant events in history created the Paroo of today. Its opening coincided with Queensland’s 150th anniversary year.
About the Exhibition
The visitor enters the exhibition via a mock opal mine lift. The lift is mounted on a rocking base controlled by pneumatics. From here, the visitor is ‘transported back in time’, to the age of the dinosaurs. Audio, visual and moving display elements, used to simulate the time tunnel effect include rocking motion; scrolling images in the lift windows; a clock spinning backwards and a LED counter spinning in reverse. On leaving the lift through the other door, visitors are greeted with a blast of cold air and hear shrieks of dinosaurs. Visitors enter the tunnel and move through an educational experience based on the themes. Education is provided with a combination of interpretive graphic panels, multimedia screen and oral history, playing through the radio of our sculptured opal miner.
Features at a glance
- Mine lift – immersive audio-visual, moving display creating a ‘time travel’ experience
- ‘Doug the Rigger’ – Animated multimedia presentation
- Opal Miner – recorded audio display of the region’s opal mining history from the original opal miner
Comments about this Project
Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, The Honourable Desley Boyle described the Artesian Time Tunnel in a statement to the media as a “must see” visitor experience.
“From the rustic mine entry to the ‘recently’ eroded dinosaur bones jutting from cave walls, the changing faces of the landscape that created the Paroo of today with its agriculture and opals is there for all to experience through the Time Tunnel. “It’s bound to whet the appetite of visitors to Outback Queensland and fire in them a desire for adventure in our vast outdoors where they can see for themselves how Paroo was shaped. “Paroo Shire Council engaged the talented team at Brandi Projects from the Brisbane suburb of Geebung to come up with this in situ simulated experience which has been designed to bring out the Indiana Jones and Angelina Jolie in all of us,” Ms Boyle said in a statement to the media. Cunnamulla Mayor Jo Sheppard said the Paroo Shire Council wanted to inspire locals and visitors to explore the area, with an interactive display which was a bit more experiential: “The Artesian Time Tunnel is no static display in a dusty corner of the museum. “It’s out there – and exciting,” Cr Sheppard added in the same statement.
Need to retrofit the display into a building not designed for that specific purpose.
Special consideration necessary for the operations and structural adequacy of the mine lift and approval needed by Council’s engineer.
Failing health of the original opal miner, whose oral history of the origins of Cunnamulla’s opal mining history was recorded for the historic audio display.
Brandi Projects took the initiative to record the miner’s stories and anecdotes sooner rather than later. This proved to be beneficial with the sad loss of the iconic character of the region prior to completion of the visitors information centre.
Brandi Projects worked closely with Science and Natural Resource Writers econnect communication to produce scripts and interpretive text for the Cunnamulla Fella Centre.
For more information on visiting this exhibition, contact Cunnamulla Shire Council.