Wheels, tracks, wings and other interesting things

He may not have been given credit for inventing the first aeroplane, but it was an Australian who took the first human flight, right after he walked on water.

Lawrence Hargrave was fascinated with inventing things and particularly designing new methods of transportation and propulsion.

In 1894, after many attempts, Hargrave successfully lifted himself off the ground under a train of four box kites that produced lift and stability.

He attached a seat to his train of kites on the beach and a gust of wind lifted him five metres above the sand.

He was the first Australian to be airborne, 16 years before Harry Houdini took his first recognised flight in Australia.

Hargrave’s experiment was widely reported and inspired other inventors. 

Sadly, his boat-shaped shoes with flaps that allowed him to walk on water, never did take off.

Learn more about Hargrave and all manner of transport facts in the exhibition On the Move, an interactive children’s exhibition currently on at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

Created by Sydney Living Museums in collaboration with illustrator James Gulliver Hancock, On the Move takes visitors on a journey around Australia, discovering fascinating facts about different modes of transport and vehicles along the way.

Designed especially for children and families, On the Move is a highly engaging exhibition that offers hands-on discovery of incredible journeys, unique inventions, amazing vehicles and intrepid explorers across the county.

Discover how transportation works in busy cities and how fuel choices you make can have a positive impact on the environment.  See how transport modes have evolved over time – the trials, the failures and the successes.   Develop your fantasy trip, fuel up at the servo, craft your dream machine and build a vehicle for the future from Lego and test it on a futuristic city track.

Stories of some of Australia’s transport trailblazers also include the story of nine-year-old Lennie Gwyther who rode his pony, Ginger Mick, 1,000km to witness the opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

Lennie met with Prime Minister Joseph Lyons on his way through Canberra and was made part of the bridge opening ceremonies before riding home to rural Victoria.

Presented by the Ipswich Art Gallery, On the Move is a travelling exhibition from Sydney Living Museums.

What: On the Move exhibition

When: Daily from 10am to 5pm daily until 18 July 2021

Where: Ipswich Art Gallery, d’Arcy Doyle Place, Ipswich Central

Cost: Free

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