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Art Galleries, Museums & Libraries in Golden Outback

Discover what's going on in arts, events & culture

Discover what’s going on in arts, events & culture.

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Galleries in Australias Golden Outback


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Museum of the Goldfields

Discover the unique role Kalgoorlie has played in WA’s development, both as a centre of mining and its place at the edge of the Nullarbor Plain, at the Museum of the Goldfields

  • Museums:Local History,Mining,State Museums

Details

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

Description

The Museum of the Goldfields showcases the rich history of the Eastern Goldfields and the city’s mining heritage.

Discover the unique role the town has played in WA’s development, both as a centre of mining and its place at the edge of the Nullarbor Plain.

Explore the largest display of the State’s collection of gold bars and nuggets, step back in time to see how prospectors searched for this precious metal, and learn about the life and hardships faced by mining families during the early 1900s.

Balladonia Museum

Inside the Balladonia Hotel/Motel complex. An interactive audio-visual look at the history ancient geological formation of the region, the Aboriginal culture and early European history.

  • Museums:Aboriginal,Local History,Natural History

Details

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

Description

Find out about the Aboriginal people that have always lived in the area, the pastoralists, Afghan cameleers and the construction of the Eyre Highway. Hear the story of the crashlanding of NASA's Skylab in 1979.

Baxter And Maree Art Gallery

View artwork by Tammy Andrews and special exhibiting guest artists.

  • Galleries:Painting,Art Gallery
  • Open Days/times:Monday - Friday 9am – 5pm, Saturday 9am-12noon

Details

  • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,By Appointment Only

Description

Ben Prior's Park

An open-air-conditioned museum that commemorates the late Ben Prior who was a collector of interesting and eclectic things.

  • Museums:Other

Details

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

Description

Berkshire Mill Museum

The museum captures the significant elements of the earliest settlement in the Moora area, dating back to the 19th century.

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

Details

Description

The flour mill located on the Berkshire Valley Farm is but one element in a locaiton demonstrating a diverstiy of agricultural and land based pursuits and occupations. The farm is undoubetdly a comprehensive example of a farm settlment, clearly depecting way of life, skills, and innovation of the time.

Boulder Town Hall & Goatcher Curtain

Built in 1908 this building has played the role of theatre, library and municipal offices. It is best known for the stage curtain painted by internationally renowned theatre artist Phillip Goatcher.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings
  • Open Days/times:Mon - Fri 10AM - 4PM

Details

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

Description

The Bay of Naples curtain can be viewed at the following times:

  •  Tuesdays, 10.00 am – 3.00 pm
  •  Thursdays, 10.00 am – 3.00 pm
  •  Boulder Market Day (every 3rd Sunday of the month), 10.30 am – 12.30 pm

Philip Goatcher curtain

The Boulder Town Hall contains one of the world’s last surviving examples of a working Philip Goatcher stage curtain—the Bay of Naples.

About Philip Goatcher

Philip Goatcher is noted as a great exponent of the art of stage curtain design.

He was born in London in 1852, and left school in his early teens to become a law clerk. Inspired by Sadler’s Wells Theatre, he started sketching stage art on office pads.

In 1867, at the age of 14, Philip was apprenticed to a Liverpool shipping firm and sailed to Melbourne. There he jumped ship and walked to Ballarat.

In Ballarat, Philip's sketches attracted the attention of John Hemmings, Melbourne’s leading scene painter, who worked for the Theatre Royal.

Hemmings predicted that this young man would have a future in painting, but Philip had gold fever and eventually moved to New Zealand and later to San Francisco—where he met the young JC Williamson.

It was not until he returned to London that he began his new career in earnest.

In 1890, JC Williamson brought him back to Australia as the highest paid scene painter in the world.

The Bay of Naples curtain

The Bay of Naples is believed to be the only surviving theatre curtain by Philip Goatcher. It was painted in 1908 as a drop-canvas to complement the 'picture frame' stage at the Boulder Town Hall.

The curtain depicts a Neapolitan scene, with Mt Vesuvius in the background. This is possibly in recognition of the number of Italians working in the Eastern Goldfields at the time.

For more information call +61 8 9021 9600 or +61 8 9093 1087.

Broad Arrow Cemetery

Check out the cemetery and its headstones with the many illnesses and diseases that plagued the miners but no longer exist. 1km from the Broad Arrow township.

  • Historical Sites:Cemeteries

Details

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

Description

Located 38km north of Kalgoorlie and 633km east of Perth, Broad Arrow Cemetery was once a thriving and successful gold mining town, known originally as Kurawah.

It is said that Broad Arrow changed its name in 1893 because a prospector, having found gold in the area, marked the route to the spot with a series of Broad Arrows. The gold rush started in 1893, the railway arrived (from Kalgoolie) and the town was gazetted in 1896, and the following year the municipality of Kurawah was formed.

Bruce Rock Museum & Machinery Museum

Bruce Rock celebrated its Centenary in 2013 with a community project that records the history of the district, its people, farming and business enterprises and social life. The Centenary Pathway is bordered by a mosaic slab wall stretching the length of the main Street created by residents proud of their heritage.

  • Museums:Farming,Local History,Motoring
  • Open Days/times:2PM - 4PM

Details

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

Description

A farming town, Bruce Rock produces crops of wheat, barley, lupin and peas. Sheep, pigs and goats are also farmed in the area.
 
Bruce RockThe Bruce Rock Museum comprises of a historical display in the restored Bank with adjoining reconstructions of an original one-roomed school, a typical mud brick settlers hut and a blacksmiths shop. An arts and crafts centre is located in the main street displaying a wide variety of work by local artists. A new Art Gallery The Old Club Gallery features work by Wheatbelt Artists. Located in the main street is the Federation Amphitheatre, designed and built by the local community. A performance or function setting, the amphitheatre has an adjoining sculpture park offering visitors a peaceful stroll around the interesting garden.
 
Bruce Rock celebrated its Centenary in 2013 with a community project that records the history of the district, its people, farming and business enterprises and social life.  The Centenary Pathway is bordered by a mosaic slab wall stretching the length of the main Street created by residents proud of their heritage.
 
The nearby bank at Shackleton is said to be Australia’s smallest bank and is also worth a look.
 
Kokerbin Rock, located 45 kilometres west of the town, is an immense granite outcrop. It is the third largest monolith in Australia and is recognized as an interesting unspoilt spot for flora and fauna study. It covers 9 hectares and is 122m high with interesting formations, caves and a deep well on the western side. From the summit you can enjoy spectacular views over the surrounding countryside. To protect the fragile environment of Kokerbin Rock, camping facilities are now available at the historic townsite of Kwolyin 9kms south. Toilets, campers kitchen, BBQ and covered seating areas available.

Butterabby

  • (08) 9196 1505

South of Mullewa at Butterabby, a stone monument marks the site of one of the state's earliest conflicts between Aboriginals and Europeans, resulting in the spearing to death of a shepherd and the subsequent hanging of five Aboriginals accused of the crime.

  • Historical Sites:Cemeteries

Details

Description

Cannery Arts Centre

Located on the beautiful Esperance foreshore, the Cannery Arts Centre was built originally to be used as a Fish Cannery in 1949.

  • Galleries:Painting

Details

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

Description

After serving as a car yard, a dance hall and a youth centre it was renovated in 1984 to its present state. 

It is now a vibrant community arts centre delivering facilities, exhibitions, and workshops to the Esperance region and its visitors. The Cannery Arts Centre is a not-for-profit organisation run by a volunteer committee. This unique facility relies on fundraising, sponsorship and income from art sales and venue hire.

Coolgardie Cemeteries

The headstones at Pioneer Cemetery (1892-1894) and the Coolgardie Cemetery (1894 - today) tell the story of the people from all over the world who worked in the Goldfields.

  • Historical Sites:Cemeteries

Details

Description

Pioneer Cemetery contains the grave of pioneer William Wenzel.

Corrigin Pioneer Museum

  • (08) 9063 2246

Housing the history of our days gone by, a worthwhile visit whilst in Corrigin.

  • Open Days/times:Sundays 2pm - 5pm and Wednesdays 1pm - 4pm, and by appointment
  • Museums:Farming,Local History

Details

  • Open Days:Wednesday,Sunday

Description

View the collection of tools and restored farm machinery, including tractors in working order, see the blacksmiths shop, the one room school, the shearing shed, old district photographs, clothing and other pioneer memorabilia. The Pioneer Memorial Wall at the entrance to the Museum commemorates early settlers. Please call in for a visit, you will be surprised!

Courthouse Museum Yalgoo

The historic Courthouse Museum Yalgoo provides an interesting look at the town's goldrush heritage.

  • Open Days/times:Call Shire for details of opening times
  • Museums:Local History

Details

Description

Wander through the rooms which contain displays that depict life in Yalgoo when it was founded in the 1890s after the discovery of gold.

Inspect photographs and old household items which have been extremely well preserved. Learn about the excitement of the goldrush days and take time to inspect the old courthouse building.

Stroll next door to the well preserved Old Yalgoo Police Station and Jail. Have a look at how small the cells were for prisoners in the late 1800s.

If Hawes fascinating work is of interest, the town of Yalgoo forms part of the four day self-drive Monsignor John Hawes Heritage Trail which explores 15 of his churches.

Yalgoo is a six hour drive north of Perth, or two hours east of Geraldton.

Ticket Information:

Child $3 | Adult $6 | Family $15

Cunderdin Museum

Arguably the central attraction in the Shire, you shouldn’t leave without visiting the Cunderdin Museum. Even if museum’s aren’t usually on your ‘to do’ list, make an exception – you won’t be disappointed

  • Museums:Farming,Local History
  • Open Days/times:10AM - 4PM

Details

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

Description

In 1974 the No 3 Pump Station was classified by the National Trust (WA) and in 1999 it was permanently entered on the Heritage Council of Western Australia’s State Register of Heritage Places. The following statement of significance was prepared by the Heritage Council of Western Australia:
“No 3 Pumping Station, a brick and corrugated iron building in a Federation industrial style, constructed to house a pumping station, has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons:
the place is of international importance as a key component of one of the greatest engineering and infrastructure schemes of the late nineteenth century, the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme, which was completed in 1903;
the place has rarity value as Australia’s greatest engineering scheme, and is the most tangible infrastructure result of the discovery of gold in Western Australia;
part of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme, the place was a key element in the pattern of social, demographic and economic development and resource exploitation in the State. The whole enterprise is an indication of the importance of gold to the regional and national economy at the end of the nineteenth century;
the place has important associations with Australian technological innovation, as well as social and political imagination and ambition. The place is associated with a number of notable figures including the scheme’s designer C. Y. O’Connor and Premier Sir John Forrest, as well as Director H. W. Venn and the architects and engineers of the Public Works Department;
the place has aesthetic value as a well designed purpose built industrial structure expressive of the public importance and ambition of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme; and,
the place has the potential to communicate its history and historical context and thus improve public understanding of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme.

Dowerin District Museum

A visit to the Dowerin District Museum offers a unique view of how settlers lived in a genuine cottage with furnishings from 1915- 1930's

  • Open Days/times:By appointment only
  • Museums:Local History
  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

  • Facilities:Wheelchair Access
  • Open Days:By Appointment Only

Description

The stories of number 16 Cottrell Street and its inhabitants are rich accounts of life in Wheatbelt WA during the first half of the 20th century offering a unique and compelling vision of family and business life at that time. The building itself is a very authentic weatherboard and iron-roofed cottage, constructed in 1915 by Eugene O’Shaughnessy the local Saddler and Harness Maker. Complete with many of its original features the cottage was purchased for the Museum Committee by the Dowerin & Goomalling Apex Club and is now vested within the Shire of Dowerin.

Esperance Museum

The Esperance Museum is an attraction to both locals and visitors to Esperance. It offers a glimpse into the history of Esperance and how the region has grown over the years.

  • Open Days/times:Daily 1:30pm to 4:30pm | Other times by appointment
  • Museums:Local History

Details

Description

The Esperance Museum houses a unique collection of memorabilia dating back to the 1800s. See a range of interesting feature displays covering the region's early pioneering history, maritime exhibits and farm machinery.

Be sure to check out the world's most comprehensive display of NASA Skylab memorabilia. Skylab was America's first space station which plummeted to the earth in 1979, landing to the northeast of Esperance.

The Esperance Museum is located in the old goods shed of what was the town's original railway marshalling yards. The old building, constructed soon after the turn of the century, is a significant icon in itself, a highlight being its magnificent old beams.

View the extensive range of historical photographs, the locomotive engine, a circa 1820 piano, along with an assortment of gear and life boat from the ship `Sanko Harvest' which is the largest dive wreck off the Australian coast.

Esperance is a one and a half hour flight or an eight hour drive south of Perth.

Ticket Information:

Child (Under 16) $3.50 | Concession $6.50 | Adult $8.50 | Family (2 Adults/2 Childrean) $20

Goldfields Exhibition Museum

Follow the history of Coolgardie and surrounds - its discovery, boom and eventual decline. It also features the biggest and most comprehensive collection of antique bottles and glassware in Australia.

  • Museums:Local History
  • Open Days/times:MON - FRI 9PM - 4PM, SAT & SUN 10AM - 3PM

Details

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

Description

The museum is housed in Wardren's Court (circa 1898) which is also home to the Coolgardie Tourist Bureau. The large collection of antique glassware, the Waghorn Bottle & Curio collection has pieces that date back as far as 300 BC

Goldfields War Museum

Displays from the Boer War, WW1, WW2 and Vietnam featuring a collection of memorabilia. Includes photographs, military equipment and uniforms.

  • Museums:Local History,Military
  • Open Days/times:MON - FRI 10AM - 4PM, SUN 10AM - NOON

Details

  • Open Days:Thursday,Friday,Sunday,Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday
  • Facilities:Free

Description

The Goldfields War Museum houses a vast collection of war memorabilia from citizens of the Goldfields. Walk through the rotating displays and discover the significant involvement residents of the town played during the Boer War, WWI, WWII and Vietnam; this is an enriching experience for anyone with an interest in Australia’s history of warfare.  Examine photographs, documents and objects on display to gain an in-depth understanding of the wars.

In April 2010 a 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck Kalgoorlie-Boulder and as a result the Goldfields War Museum suffered extensive damage and was closed.  A small part of the exhibition has been relocated to the Kalgoorlie Town Hall – 1st Floor, corner of Hannan and Wilson Streets. Opening times are Monday to Friday 9:00am – 4:00pm. 

The City’s Local History Archives are also located on the 1st Floor of the Kalgoorlie Town Hall. Opening times Tuesday and Friday 9:00am – 12noon.

Gwalia Historical Precinct

  • (08) 9037 7016

An old store, guesthouse and miner's hut which have been restored.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

  • Facilities:Free

Description

Gwalia is a unique heritage destination managed by the Shire of Leonora. Gwalia offers visitors an opportunity to quietly wander back in time and experience the remoteness of life in an outback mining town.

Gwalia Museum

Focus on the early history of the North Eastern Goldfields. Hear the story of Herbert Hoover who was Gwalia mine manager and future American President.

  • Museums:Local History
  • Open Days/times:9AM - 4PM

Details

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

Description

Gwalia State Hotel

One of the first hotels in the State that the WA government paid for. It was built in 1903 and cost 6000 pounds.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

Description

The buildings of Gwalia evoke the heady days of the Western Australian gold rush. There are the hessian, timber and iron cottages, the mine buildings, the impressive State Hotel and Hoover House, and the mine manager’s house designed and commissioned by Herbert Hoover.

The Sons of Gwalia, at the time one of Australia’s major underground gold mines, provided work for hundreds of people including a large number of Italian and Yugoslav immigrants. The miners erected dwellings in Gwalia from 1898 to be within walking distance of their work .

Gwalia also boasts Western Australia's first Government-owned hotel (1903), the State's first regional passenger tramway (1903) and one of the Goldfields’ first public swimming pools (1943). The State school was gazetted in 1899.

The mine office, assay buildings and the mine manager’s house were commissioned in 1897 by Herbert Hoover, a mining engineer for Bewick Mooring and Company. Hoover was later to become the 31st President of the United States of America.
The Gwalia State Hotel was established by the State Government to combat the sly grog trade in Gwalia and to provide an alternative to the hotels in Leonora.  Construction of the Hotel was completed at a cost of £6,000 and the doors opened in 1903.  The Gwalia State Hotel Closed in 1964. Today it is privately owned and can only be viewed from the street.
 

Hainsworth Museum

The Hainsworth Museum was commissioned by Charles Hainsworth, its first owner, and was built by Ted Freeland, originally a ships carpenter, during 1933/34 as a general store and tearooms.

  • Open Days/times:Thursday 11.00am to 4.30pm
  • Museums:Local History

Details

  • Open Days:Thursday

Description

The building operated as a General store from 1934 until 1972 and operated with several owners during that period.

The building continues to act as the Newdegate Pioneer Museum and a community facility.

Hood-Penn Museum

Westonia's Hood-Penn Museum is now open. The museum features a variety of scenes showcasing early life in the shire.

  • Open Days/times:Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm | Weekends 10am to 12pm
  • Museums:Local History

Details

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

Description

The Hood-Penn Museum in Westonia is the result of a an extremely generous donation of a large historical collection from the Hood-Penn family who previously owned the Burracoppin Store.  The museum features a variety of scenes showcasing early life in the shire including a pub scene, a shop/hardware store scene, a petrol station/garage scene, a kitchen scene, a bedroom scene and a blacksmith/farm workshop scene.  Each scene also includes a realistic lifelike mannequin, complete with wrinkles and blemishes.

The museum also includes a vibrating mine tunnel that aims to replicate life in an early Westonian gold mine.  Visitors press a button upon entering the tunnel & then experience a three minute sequence of sound effects and physical vibrations that simulate blasts going off in the vicinity of the mine.  The sound effects also include a conversation between miners working in the mine. 

 Entry is $3 for adults and $1 for anyone under the age of 18 years.  The museum is open Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 4.30 pm (except on Public Holidays) via the Shire Office.  The museum is also open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 12pm. (Summer Holiday weekends open by appointment only.)

Kalgoorlie Town Hall

1908 building with theatre and extensive collection of memorabilia in the Council Chamber. Home to the original Paddy Hannan Statue.

  • Historical Sites:Buildings

Details

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

Description

The Kalgoorlie Town Hall, located on the corner of Hannan and Wilson Streets, is one of the City of Kalgoorlie Boulder’s major landmarks. Built as a state-of-the-art theatre in 1908, this impressive Edwardian-styled building has many beautiful architectural features such as ornate pressed metal ceilings, chandeliers, sweeping staircase, fly tower with original theatre rigging, backstage area with 11 dressing rooms and extensive collection of art and memorabilia.

 

Katanning Historical Museum

This lovely old building is the original Katanning government school on the corner of Taylor and Cove Streets and now houses the Katanning Historical Museum.

  • Museums:Local History
  • Open Days/times:SUN 2PM - 4PM

Details

  • Facilities:Free
  • Open Days:Sunday

Description

Built in 1899, the museum is full of interesting artefacts and quaint memorabilia along with some fascinating records of Katanning’s early history.

The Katanning Museum and Heritage Society volunteers have been the driving force in rescuing and preserving some of our most treasured and irreplaceable memories.

Katanning lies at the heart of the Great Southern region providing the residents and surrounding communities with a commercial, cultural and political centre. Long before European settlers began grazing sheep in the district in 1840 the fertile plains provided the local Aboriginal tribe, known as Noongars, with abundant food and water.

With the opening of the Great Southern Railway in 1889 Katanning attracted settlers for both commercial and agricultural ventures. The most prominent being Frederick Piesse, who became the first Chairman of the Katanning Road Board in 1892.

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