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Museums in Coral Coast

Museums in Australias Coral Coast


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Birdwood Military Museum

The Birdwood Military Museum, situated in Birdwood House, has an amazing display of memorabilia from the Boer War right through to more recent conflicts involving Australian forces.

  • Museums:Military

Details

  • Open Days:Monday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday

Description

Discover the Howitzer, learn about the rising sun badge, explore the medal collection and see artefacts made from spent artillery shells.

The RSL is constantly sourcing relics to add to the collection, recent additions include a handmade periscope gun used at Gallipoli and a Spandau gun used by the enemy during WWI.

The Birdwood Military Museum is arguably the finest regional military museum in Western Australia. Funded largely by public donations, it is run by volunteers, most of whom are ex-Service personnel.

With hundreds of artifacts (uniforms, photos, medals, weapons, personal effects) on display, and many more in storage, the museum is a constantly-evolving depiction of Geraldton’s and the Mid West’s military history.

One of the special items is a homemade Australian flag, which went into battle with two soldiers from the Chapman Valley district – at Gallipoli and in France, England, Lebanon and Egypt.

We run school excursions and group tours and other times can be made by arrangement with the curator.

Carnamah Historical Society & Museum

The museum has an expansive collection of objects, photos and documents from Carnamah's social, domestic, commercial and agricultural past.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings
  • Museums:Local History,Farming

Details

  • Open Days:Friday

Description

Carnamah is a town and farming community 300 kilometres north of Perth in the Mid West region of Western Australia. The Carnamah Historical Society was founded in 1983 to collect, record, preserve and promote local history.

We established and operate the Carnamah Museum, restored and care for the state heritage-listed Macpherson Homestead and actively share local history online.

Check out our Virtual Museum: to be known and distinguished as Carnamah

Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum

The Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum celebrates the little known history of the role Carnarvon played in the manned space program and in the Australian communications industry.

  • Museums:Aviation,Local History

Details

  • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday

Description

The museum focuses on two parts. The Carnarvon Tracking Station and the OTC Satellite Earth Station, for which each station played separate roles in the early space industry.

The Carnarvon Tracking Station was located 10 kilometres south from Carnarvon. The station was built to support NASA’s Gemini, Apollo and Skylab programs. It was commissioned in 1964 and operated for 11 years. It was the last station to communicate with the space capsules leaving the earth orbit, and the last to make contact before splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. At the height of the operation it had a staff of 220 people.

The OTC Satellite Earth Station (and now museum site) is situated at the northern end of Browns Range, about 6 kilometres from the centre of Carnarvon, and 4 kilometres north of the Tracking Station. The OTC Satellite Earth Station was opened in1966, initially with the 12.8 metre wide Casshorn antenna as part of the global satellite communications system. The Casshorn antenna has interacting parabolic and hyperbolic reflectors in a characteristic ‘sugar scoop’ form.

On 21 July 1969, the day of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Casshorn antenna relayed Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon from NASA's Honey Suckle Creek Tracking Station to Perth's TV audience via Moree earth station - the first live telecast into Western Australia. Later in 1969, the larger 29.6 metre wide steerable antenna was built to facilitate better communication between the NASA Tracking Station and the USA.

Chapman Valley Museum

The Chapman Valley Historical Society Museum focuses on the lives of early settlers in the region.

  • Museums:Military,Farming,Local History

Details

  • Open Days:Wednesday,Sunday

Description

Located in the heart of the Nanson Hamlet the Chapman Valley Museum is a treasure even visiting anthropologists cannot resist.

The Museum is home to an impressive display of old farm machinery, vehicles, local history and photos brought to you by the Chapman Valley Historical Society. The Chapman Valley Historical Society is a community group dedicated to preserving and promoting our local history, which includes local pioneers, railway and mining. Treat yourself to a visit at the Chapman Valley Museum, you’ll be surprised by what you’ll discover.

The museum is also now home to a wonderful tribute to the 42 Fallen Soldiers from the Upper Chapman region in WW1.

Open Wednesday’s 9am until 3pm and Sundays 1pm until 4pm (Closes during the hotter months end of November and re-opens again 1st April).

Chiverton House Museum

Chiverton House Museum captures the essence of life in the late 1800s for the miners at Geraldine Lead Mine. Wander through this quaint stone building to see a range of interesting historical items.

  • Museums:Local History

Details

  • Open Days:Monday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday

Description

Step outside and visit the newly constructed machinery shed housing old farming machinery and vintage cars. It is also worth checking out the old stables, butcher building and two stone wells.

Chiverton House is believed to have been built by convicts which is particularly significant as it would make it one of the last buildings built by convicts in Western Australia.

Located in Northampton, five hours drive north of Perth and just north of Geraldton, Chiverton House Museum is one of three significant historical sites in the small mining town. Whilst in the area be sure to visit the Church of St Mary in Ara Coeli and the ruins of Gwalla Church.

Please contact the Geraldton Visitor Centre for opening and closing time as the vary

Greenough

Take a journey through Greenough and you’ll find yourself transported back in time.

  • Museums:Local History
  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

  • Open Days:Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday,Monday,Tuesday

Description

In Greenough, among the gloriously restored historical buildings and the patchwork of crops and rolling hills, you’ll find a sense of timelessness and a feeling of romance reminiscent of the past. It’s little wonder, considering the Central Greenough Historical Settlement (formerly known as the Greenough Hamlet), is considered among the country’s best-preserved 19th century towns.
In the heart of this historic village lies a collection of 11 buildings, including the former jail, courthouse, police station, churches and a school. And while these buildings today operate just for tourists, you need only spend a little time here to feel transported to another time.

Close your eyes while standing in the cool confines of the jail and you can almost hear the clank of chains and the shuffle of prisoners. Or step inside the courthouse and imagine the trials once heard here and the sentences handed down.

The village was formed in 1865 to service the surrounding pioneer farmers, who struck out north from the expanding Swan River Settlement in a bid to eke out a living from the land.

Today the village is complemented by an ever-growing series of interpretative material, which opens your eyes to the area’s most colourful stories. There’s also a stylish cafe set alongside the village – just the spot to sip a coffee while overlooking the buildings.
The Central Greenough Historical Settlement is the centrepiece of an entire suite of historical buildings and areas of interest on the Greenough/Walkaway Heritage Trail.

The trail takes in some 36 historical buildings and starts from the Pioneer Museum. Located in the former home of Greenough pioneers John Maley and Elizabeth Waldeck, the museum is the oldest in the Mid West. The couple moved here in 1862 and raised 14 children in the region. Today the museum is run by passionate Greenough historian Gary Martin and provides a fascinating insight into the everyday life of Greenough’s pioneers.

The heritage trail also includes the Pioneer Cemetery – a moving tribute to the men, women and children who first settled in the area. The inscriptions on the tombstones are moving and enable visitors to imagine the lives lead by these hardy pioneers.
While on the heritage trail you’ll also cross the Old Convict Bridge, which passes over the Greenough River, and visit the historic Hampton Arms Inn, which has a restaurant, motel, bar and a rare secondhand bookshop. The inn was the first to operate in the district, opening in 1863, and has been beautifully maintained and restored. The Hampton Arms Inn is also rumoured to be haunted by a local stonemason who was killed in a fight in the bar many years ago.

The heritage trail continues by the Walkaway Railway Station Museum, giving travellers an insight into the region’s transport history, and on to the modern day Alinta Wind Farm – the second largest in Australia.

You’ll finish your journey at the scenic Ellendale Pool – a permanent water hole framed by rust-red rock walls and renowned as being an important site for the Aboriginal people who lived here, long before Europeans first arrived.

The Central Greenough Historical Settlement is located about 20km south of Geraldton. Several gorgeous bed and breakfasts operate in the area and further accommodation is available in Geraldton.

Greenough Museum & Gardens

The Greenough Museum & Gardens is much more than a traditional house museum. Come visit us and you will be pleasantly surprised.

  • Museums:Local History
  • Historical Sites:Farmhouses

Details

  • Open Days:Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Saturday,Sunday,Public Holidays

Description

Discover the social history of Greenough in the spacious rooms of what was once Greenough's largest house. Built between 1862-80 for John Stephen Maley, his wife Elizabeth (nee Waldeck) and their 14 children, this home has now been serving as a local history museum for over 50 years. Over the last few years the museum has been transformed, making it more interactive and family friendly. Whilst here also take time to wander through Elizabeth's Garden, the Community Veggie Garden and marvel at what could be Australia's oldest leaning gum tree.

Irwin Historical Museum

The Irwin District Museum is housed in the former Dongara Police Station, Courthouse and Gaol. The building also served as a ticket of leave hiring depot, and police quarters. It's open Mon- Sat, 10am

  • Museums:Local History
  • Historical Sites:Prisons

Details

  • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday

Description

The building was built at a contract price of £1200 by expiree Joseph Walton in 1870-71 using ticket-of-leave labour.

By 1874 the building had a lean-to addition added to the north side which served as a post and telegraph office. The native cell to the west and some of the rear yard walls were demolished in the mid 1950's.

The building served as a police station, courthouse and quarters until 1983. In early 1984 the building was occupied by the Tourist Centre and between 1984 and 1987 extensive restorations were funded and carried out by the Dongara Old Police Station Restoration Committee with additional funding through a grant form the WA Heritage Committee.

In 2000, the Society built additional museum display space on the site of the former horse stables at the rear of the building jointly funded by LotteryWest Small Museums Grant and the Society.

Currently the building is operated by the Irwin District Historical Society as a research office with historic displays, the Dongara Magistrates Court is held each month in the former Day Room.

Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage Museum

The Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage Museum captures the life of the early pioneers that operated the lighthouse in Carnarvon.

  • Museums:Local History

Details

  • Open Days:Wednesday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday

Description

It has been restored and provides an interesting look back at the lives led by the original lighthouse keepers during the 1900s, as well as providing some fascinating information about how the lighthouse operated.

Forming part of the Carnarvon Heritage Precinct you can catch a ride on the Kimberley Steam Locomotive from Carnarvon to the precinct and listen to the excellent audio commentary explaining the history of the port. For the walking enthusiast there is a three kilometre hike which will introduce you to much of the area's stunning wildflowers and wildlife. Descriptive information boards along the way will help you identify the various species.

Whilst in the precinct allow some time to visit the longest jetty in the state's north, One Mile Jetty, and visit the Railway Museum. Carnarvon is a 10 hour drive north of Perth.

 

Museum of Geraldton

Overlooking the Indian Ocean, the Western Australian Museum — Geraldton celebrates the rich heritage of the land, sea and people of the Mid West region.

  • Museums:Maritime,State Museums,Local History

Details

  • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday

Description

Overlooking the Indian Ocean, the Museum of Geraldton celebrates the rich heritage of the land, sea and people of the Mid West region.

Enjoy a guided tour through the stories from four major early shipwrecks located in the region, the Batavia, Gilt Dragon, Zuytdorp, and Zeewijk or learn more about the discovery of HMAS Sydney (II), the pride of the fleet. Witness the wrecks of HMAS Sydney (II) and HSK Kormoran as they currently lie, 2,500 metres deep on the ocean floor, in From Great Depths, a moving exhibit and 3D film.

Discover ancient landforms, Yamaji history and culture, and the region’s natural landscapes and marine environment. Find out how more recent European exploration and settlement has developed the Mid-West including the agriculture, fishing, mining and science industries.

The archaeological riches from four Dutch shipwrecks - Batavia, Gilt Dragon, Zuytdorp, and Zeewijk, are revealed in the Shipwrecks Gallery. Visitors can join a guided highlights tour available daily at 11.30am.

The Museum’s shop has a great range of souvenirs, gifts and educational items suited to all ages and interests.

Railway Station Museum

Take a walk through the Railway Station Museum and learn about fast shearers and big sheds of the Gascoyne shearing industry in the Shearing Hall of Fame.

  • Museums:Local History
  • Historical Sites:Trains

Details

  • Open Days:Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday

Description

This museum houses the Kimberley Steam Train, which was brought down from Broome in the 1950’s. It was the last steam train to operate in the North West.

Russ Cottage

Russ Cottage is heritage listed, built in 1868 by Titus Russ.

  • Museums:Local History

Details

Description

Titus Russ built this cottage for his family in 1868 on land out of stone quarried from near the Irwin River.  The kitchen floor is made from crushed ant hill, packed down to make a hard surface.

Russ Cottage is a fine example of a rural worker’s home of over 145 years ago.

The cottage was purchased from the Russ family 100 years after it was built, by the Shire of Irwin, and has since been leased and restored by the Irwin District Historical Society and furnished as a 1870s yeoman’s cottage, it is now open as a Museum.

Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery & Visitor Centre

The Shark Bay Discovery Centre has been designed to showcase the significance and history of the Shark Bay region.

  • Museums:Local History,Maritime,Natural History

Details

  • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday,Public Holidays

Description

The centre’s informative displays; soundscapes, historical and contemporary film footage, interactive multimedia and objects of rare scientific and historical significance take you on the most amazing journey around Shark Bay and across time, in company and conversation with those who have been part of this extraordinary place.

Entry into the Museum will give you a two day pass. So if you don't get through everything in one day, just keep your receipt and you can return again the next day.

Entrance fee is for a multi day pass: Adults $11, Concessions $8, Children $6 Family Pass $28

Shark Bay is considered to be one of the most significant areas of the world because of our unique ecological systems including the Stromatolites (the oldest living life form) and Shell Beach to the expansive sea grass beds which provide an important food source for the Dugongs and shelter for marine organisms Our Discovery and Visitor Centre showcases a museum exhibition displaying the whole area with its rich history. A visit to the museum will give you an insight into our incredible world heritage area and significant places of interest for you to see during your stay in the Bay.

Walkaway Station Museum

The Walkaway Station Museum is an impressive museum which will be of great interest to any rail enthusiast or historian.

  • Museums:Local History,Other

Details

  • Open Days:Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday

Description

Wander through the beautiful old railway station building to visualise how the station would have operated in the late 1800s. See where the station master lived and worked and learn about the history of this small community.

There are documents and memorabilia relating to the history of the Midland Railway Company. The museum also has records of local burials, family histories and photographs and other social history from the Walkaway area and surroundings. In the grounds there is an old locomotive called B6, the only one of its type left in the world. It is planned to put B6 in the Goods Shed (when refurbished) and other rolling stock will also be brought in for display.

Bluff Point Light House Cottage

The Geraldton Historical Society’s involvement with local history dates back to 1950 with the formation of what was then called the Victoria District Historical Society.

Details

Description

 

COTTAGE BECOMES A MUSEUM
The Geraldton Historical Society has occupied the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage since 1971 and it is their archival centre with an extensive collection of historic photographs, members lending library, research and reference material and among the displays are heritage lifestyle objects, costumes, textiles, lace and china. Displays are changed and added to on a rotational basis.

Geraldton’s first Lighthouse, built by Mr. William Trigg, of local limestone is still structurally the same as when constructed in 1876. Sarking timber of the shingle roof can be seen and has been covered with iron to preserve it. The original building consisted of two bedrooms, kitchen, living room, light tower and oil room.

The steps to the tower are original and as can be seen are well worn over the years from the passage of many feet. In later years the back section of the cottage was added and includes an inside toilet and bathroom. 

The Fresnel prism lens on display in the living room is from the original light from the Cottage tower and four bolt holes can be seen in the ceiling of the tower where it was bolted.

The two Bluff Point lights remained in use until the early 1950’s. Vandals tried to burn the woodwork of the tower and it became structurally unsound and was demolished.

Denison House

Denison House has a rich history in it's past. It is currently used for numerous community groups.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

Description

This was the site of the first tillage lease in the district and Smith’s Mill was built here in 1865. Later, stone from the mill was used to build Denison House for Dr Bartlett, and in 1944 the Benedictine Order of New Norcia purchased the building as a retreat. It is now owned by Shire of Irwin.

 

Dongara Heritage Trail

The best way to discover our charming historic building is in on the Dongara Heritage Walk. Purchase a booklet from the Visitors Centre for $2.50 and begin your journey back in time.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

Description

The 4km walk highlights 28 heritage listed buildings in the twin towns, starting at the Dongara Port Denison Visitor Centre which was originally the town's post office. Focal points of the walk include the Royal Flour Mill built in 1894, the Old Police Station built in 1870 and Russ Cottage. 

Dongara State School

This building is now the local rag office and pottery club.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

Description

The first Dongara school was built in 1870 where the police station now stands, but an increase in attendances required the construction of this two-roomed building in 1906. It served the town until 1972 when the new district high school was built.

Hamelin Pool Telegraph Station

Originally a line station connecting the north west and the goldfields to the eastern states and overseas. Locate on the shore of Hamelin Pool.

Details

Description

There is a shell block adjacent to the telegraph station which is where many of the unique shell buildings in the area began.

Knowler House

The building was constructed in the 1930s by George Knowler as a house and fish shop. It was later the residence of his son Sydney Knowler, who was a prominent fisherman.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

Description

This house was built in the 1930s by George Knowler, builder, brick maker and well sinker. It was built as a house and shop which was run by the Knowler family and later May Batty ran it as a fish and chip shop.It was the residence of Sydney Knowler, a fisherman, till the 1970s when it was sold to Ken Smalley, who renovated the building and added a two storey garage and quarters at the rear. In the Mid 1980s Dennis and Joy Gilbert purchased the property and it was sold again in 2004.

Macpherson Homestead

The heritage-listed homestead of the Macpherson family, who settled in Carnamah in 1868.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings
  • Museums:Local History

Details

Description

The heritage listed Macpherson Homestead was one of the first buildings in the district, and following restoration is standing strong aged over 150 years.

It is located just one kilometre east of the Carnamah townsite via a marked driveway on the north side of the Bunji-Carnamahl Road.

The homestead and its grounds can be visited at anytime. If you would like to look inside please make prior arrangements by telephone with George on 08 9951 1690 or 0439 966 040.

For more on the homestead, see:

Nun's Cemetery

The Nun's Cemetery is located at the back of the Priory Lodge.

  • Historical Sites:Cemeteries

Details

Description

The former cemetery was used by the Dominican Order in Dongara from 1902 until 1971. In 1996 the headstones were removed and the deceased were reinterred in Karakatta Cemetery in Perth, and are recorded at the Dongara Cemetery.

Pearse House

Pearse House was built in 1870 as an early pastoralist house and was a very prominent building.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

Description

This large house was built in 1870 by merchant, farmer and grazier Francis Pearse. It was built as a seven-roomed house, and three rooms were added later. It originally had terraced gardens down to the river’s edge.

 

Peron Homestead

The current homestead was built in the 1950s. Offers a taste of pastoral life in a bygone era. The centre also provides insight into the Aboriginal history of the area.

  • Historical Sites:Farmhouses

Details

Description

Road Board Office

Built of local stone, this small single room building was constructed in 1910 to house the Irwin District Roads Board Office and was used for this purpose until 1958 when minor additions were made to

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

Description

This single roomed building was built of local stone in 1910 to house the Roads Board building. It served until 1958, when new offices were built alongside the Town Hall.

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