Australia

Mining Museums and Displays

New South Wales

  • Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum – also known as the GeoCentre this geological science museum represents the rich mineral history of Broken Hill. The centre’s hand-on displays highlight the history of the planet and the science of crystals.
  • Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum – situated in Bathurst, NSW this museum is the home of the internationally renowned Somerville Collection, the lifetime work of Warren Somerville AM. It is housed in the 1876 Public School building which is fitted out with the stunningly beautiful exhibitions.
  • Australian Opal Centre –  at Lightning Ridge on the edge of outback NSW an extraordinary national monument is taking shape – a world class, energy-efficient underground building to house the new Australian Opal Centre – open  Monday to Saturday at 3/11 Morilla St, Lightning Ridge.
  • Emmaville Mining Museum – this unique museum in the rural township of Emmavimineral collection, as well as  the Jillet, Gilbey, Ellis, Schumacher, Trethewey, Hermann and Maskey collections.
  • Great Cobar Heritage Centre – this excellent museum and visitors centre is  the former Administration Building (circa 1910) of the Great Cobar Copper Mine. The Centre captures the essence of Cobar, housing an outstanding collection of exhibits which date from 1869 to the present day.

Queensland

  • Herberton Mining Museum – the Herberton Mining Museum and Visitor Centre provides and excellent interpretation (with guided walks) of the mining history of the Atherton region of tropical North Queensland. It also showcases the present town and its beautiful surroundings.

South Australia

  • Blinman Heritage Mine – located at Blinman, near the Flinders Ranges, South Australia this restored historic copper mine has an organised underground tour.
  • Moonta Mines Museum – at Moonta, South Australia,  in the heart of Australia’s Little Cornwall this museum houses thematic displays on the Cornish miners’ lifestyles. Nearby there are outdoor displays, walks and a guided train trip through the relics of the adjacent copper mines.

Tasmania

  • Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre – Beaconsfield on the Tamar River in northern Tasmania is the site of one of the most historic and interesting gold mines in Australia. A comprehensive museum is housed in restored mine buildings constructed in 1904. The museum has many interactive displays including of the amazing mine rescue of miners Brant Webb and Todd Russell following a mine collapse in May 2006. There are group tours of the centre.
  • Eric Thomas Galley Museum – housed in the historic Imperial Hotel in Queenstown, western Tasmania this museum offers a unique collection, illustrating the history of mining and the stories of the west coast miners and their families.
  • West Coast Heritage Centre – located in historic Zeehan on the west coast of Tasmania the centre incorporates four historic buildings – the Zeehan School of Mines and Metallurgy, Zeehan Post Office, Police Station-Court house, and the Gaiety Theatre-Grand Hotel, as well as 30 themed exhibition spaces. The School of Mines Museum hosts an outstanding collection of minerals and rocks, including the world’s best display of the rare mineral crocoite for which Zeehan is famous.
  • West Coast Wilderness Railway – this historic mining railway was built in the 1890s between Queenstown and the port of Strahan to service the Mount Lyell copper mine. The railway was restored in 2002 and visitors can now travel the route through the rugged, rainforest country between the two towns. Other adventure activities are connected with the railway.

Victoria

  • Sovereign Hill – Australia’s foremost outdoor museum,  re-creates Ballarat’s first ten years after the discovery of gold in 1851 when thousands of international adventurers rushed to the Australian goldfields in search of fortune.
  • Walhalla Historic Gold Town – located in east Gippsland 185 km east of Melbourne Walhalla was a rich goldfield discovered in 1862. The site is now a major tourist attraction with numerous preserved and restored buildings and mining relics from the gold mining era. There is an underground tour of the Long Tunnel and Extended Gold Mine and a walking trails.
  • Walhalla Goldfields Railway – this historic narrow-gauge railway was constructed to the rich Walhalla gold mines from 1904-1910. Closed in 1954 it was faithfully reconstructed and ropened as a tourist train from the 1990s. The train travels from Thomson to Walhalla through some spectacular forested country of the Thomson River and Stringers Creek valleys.

Western Australia

  • Museum of the Goldfields – The Museum of the Goldfields in Kalgoorlie, showcases the rich history of Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields, the city’s mining heritage and its unique role in the development of the mining industry.
  • Mineral Museum WA School of Mines – located at 134 Egan St, Kalgoorlie this museum holds a collection of approximately 3,000 mineral specimens and replica gold nuggets and is sure to appeal to anyone with an interest in geology and mineralogy.
  • Coolgardie Goldfields Exhibition Museum – is housed in the grandiose 1898 Warden’s Court Building in the main street of Coolgardie.  Each room features fascinating displays telling the dramatic and often tragic story of life in and around Coolgardie during the Goldrush days of the 1890’s. Highlights include a brilliant photographic collection, models and authentic equipment, a Pharmacy collection, and the Varischetti Mine Rescue display.
  • Gwalia Ghost Town & Museum – visitors can explore over a dozen buildings in the Gwalia ghost town and the fascinating Gwalia Museum, located near Leonora in the north of the Eastern Goldfields. The town is adjacent to the famous Sons of Gwalia gold mine (still operating) developed by Herbert Hoover, later President of the USA. The original timber mine headframe constructed in 1898 and winding engine are preserved and can be inspected.
  • Yilgarn History Museum – is located in Southern Cross on the western edge of the Eastern Goldfields. The museum is housed in a beautiful heritage building constructed in 1892 as the first Registrar’s Office ever built in Western Australia and the first permanent courthouse in the region. The museum contains a rare collection of goldfields artefacts, records and memorabilia. Explore displays on minerals, prospecting and mining with special features such as a working model of a gold battery,  and a camel wagon. There are also other interesting sites at Southern Cross related to the goldfields history.
  • Greenbushes Discovery Centre – is located in the town of Greenbushes   350 km south of Perth. The Centre tells the story of human involvement with the environment. It houses interactive displays and unique games set in various themes namely Mining, Timber Milling, Community and Agriculture. Nearby is the Greenbushes pegmatite deposit, mined for tin, tantalum and lithium for 128 years. It is the largest deposits of its type in the world. There is a mining heritage walk.