From ancient history to butterfly collections. Start exploring with our list of 9 of the best museums in BunGeo (in no particular order!)
- BUNBURY MUSEUM & HERITAGE CENTRE
Housed in the 130-year-old Paisley Centre (once Bunbury Boy’s School), the Bunbury Museum & Heritage Centre exhibits focus on the on the key themes of Bunbury’s development with displays, both static and interactive, on local stories including those of pre-European settlement Noongar culture, visiting whalers, explorers and early settlers of Bunbury and surroundings districts. The highlight is the suspended shipwreck, which really sets the scene. The building is pretty amazing too with its beautiful floorboards, high ceilings and natural light. The museum is currently open to the public free of charge from 10am to 4pm, Tuesdays to Saturday.
- DARDANUP HERITAGE PARKThe park is one of Australia’s finest collections of heritage items dedicated to our pioneers and the equipment they used to develop our state over the past 120 years. The late Gary Brookes’s passion for collecting old machinery led to the establishment of the Dardanup Heritage Park. More than 20 sheds house a Steam/Diesel sawmill, mill settlement, engines, tractors, dozers, horse drawn equip, military, memorabilia and much more. Open every Sunday and Wednesday – 9.30am – 4pm.
- CARNABY COLLECTIONDid you know the Boyup Brook Visitor Centre is home to the best collection of jewel beetles outside the British Museum of Natural History? The centre houses the famous Carnaby Collection of beetles and butterflies, curated by entomologist Keith Carnaby. It is the only example of the Carnaby Collection remaining in Western Australia and is the only place in Australia where the collection can be viewed by the general public. Not only rare, it’s pretty too!
- KRADALS DOLL COLLECTIONEde Tuckett was born in 1927, and moved to Chowerup in the Shire of Boyup Brook at a young age. She lived there for most of her life. Ede first started collecting dolls in 1982, with the collection growing to over 700. The Kradals Doll Collection is so named for the initials of each of Ede’s granddaughters. When Ede moved to Perth in 2005, she decided to donate a part of her collection to the Boyup Brook Visitor Centre so that people could continue to enjoy them for the years to come.
- COALFIELDS MUSEUMThe Coalfields Museum provides a unique glimpse into Collie’s early days. The museum is housed in the historic buildings of the 1900 and 1930 Road Board offices. Taking pride of place is a restored barrel organ made in Italy. The organ is a forerunner of a juke box and was used to entertain the old timers at Fontana’s Wine Saloon next to the Federal Hotel in Throssell Street. A massive letterbox (pillarbox), a relic of the penny postage days, is rare having been cast in the J & E Ledger Foundry in Perth in 1903. Many more items are on display in the museum including bottles, radiograms, phonographs, gramophones, wirelesses, a baker’s cart, mining equipment, Coolgardie safe, Icyball refrigerator, Lynch’s Rock and Mineral display, Fred Kohler woodwork, Gastaldo Homestead items, Della bus, all time great fireman Dudley Magill’s bust, many historical photos and military memorabilia. Open Thursdays to Mondays, 10am-3pm.
- HARVEY RAILWAY STATION MUSEUMFor many years the Railway Station was the central point of activity for the district. By 1987, with the introduction of the modern “Australind” train, the Railway Station was no longer needed and closed. The Station now houses the Harvey Museum and is the only Railway Station remaining in the Shire of Harvey. Open to the public on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday of every month, 2pm – 4pm or by appointment. (NOTE – under refurbishment)
- KING COTTAGE MUSEUMLocated just outside the town centre, King Cottage Museum shows what it was like to be a working family in Australia during the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Built around 1880 by the English pioneer Henry King, the cottage includes displays of photography equipment, furniture and other objects from the era. Outside, you can find old vehicles and machines, as well as maritime equipment. The museum opens daily from 2-4 p.m, or at other times by appointment.
- REPLICA UNDERGROUND COAL MINEThe Replica Coal Mine, attached to the Collie Visitor Centre, was constructed in 1983 by the Collie Rotary Club to commemorate the centenary of the discovery of coal. One of three very knowledgeable volunteers will take you through the mine and provide an insight into the mining industry and the working conditions of the early underground miners. All three are retired miners who have lived the life and therefore have many stories and anecdotes to make the experience much more rewarding. There is a self-guided option for those on a deadline, with interpretive panels and television screens that will give you a peek into the underground mining era.
- BOYUP BROOK DISTRICT PIONEER MUSEUMLovingly and respectfully curated by a dedicated group of volunteers who are passionate caretakers of the agricultural and social history of Boyup Brook! The Boyup Brook Pioneer Museum houses a myriad of objects donated by pioneer families of the local district. From large agricultural machinery often adapted or ‘invented’ for local conditions to inventive handmade home wares necessary for life as a pioneer, it is an amazing and important archive. Open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 10am—3pm or by appointment.