As the South Australian History Festival is just about over (did you check out any of the exhibits or tours?), we thought it was about time we shared a little of our history too.
And what better way to do that than by sharing a list of some of our fantastic Eyre Peninsula museums?!?
It’s a great winter activity for all ages (the kids might even learn something) and for those interested in history, these places are must-visit.
1. KOPPIO SMITHY MUSEUM
You’ll find this gem situated in the Koppio Hills, between Cummins and Tumby Bay and just a half hour drive from Port Lincoln. Featuring not only the original blacksmith shop and two bedroom cottage (hence the name), this incredibly comprehensive collection includes thatch cottage ‘Glenleigh’ (1890) and the Koppio one-teacher schoolhouse.
From display sheds with tractors and farming machinery, stationary engines, vehicles and the story of the shearing, grain and hay industries to a 1910 Port Lincoln tailor shop, Bank of Adelaide building and the smallest Post Office in the state, you won’t find a more complete museum anywhere.
Dedicated volunteers keep this museum up and running, and the collection has grown considerably since it opened in 1968.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00am-5.00pm, as well as public and school holidays. Admission is $10 for adults, $4 for children and pensioners and coach tours $8.
2. AXEL STENROSS MUSEUM
Situated right on the waterfront, Axel Stenross was a Finnish ships carpenter who made his home in Port Lincoln after sailing across the ocean on the windjammer sv Olivebank in 1927. The museum features the history of the fishing and cargo moving industries in the region, and the characters behind it all with a unique interpretive display to help your journey of discovery.
Explore Axel’s original living quarters, his workshops with operating slipway, and admire the restored historic vessels, marine artefacts and relics while chatting with the knowledgeable volunteers.
Open Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 9.30am-4.30pm and Saturday and public holidays from 1-4.30pm. Prices are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and between $2-5 for children.
3. KIMBA & GAWLER RANGES HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Reputed to be one of the best assembled museums in the state, the Kimba & Gawler Ranges Historical Museum features an adorable stone, pine and pug cottage along with a collection of amazing pioneering tools.
Experience the living museum areas for a real look at ‘life back then’ – the Pioneer House, the One Teacher School and the Telephone Exchange, as well as farming machinery, stationary engines and ‘Clancy’ the fire engine.
Trust us, this museum has a great reputation!
Open Sundays from 1.30-4.00pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9-11am and 2-4pm and other times by prior arrangement.
4. WHYALLA MARITIME MUSEUM AND MT LAURA HOMESTEAD
These are two separate museums, but they’re both in Whyalla so we’ve listed them together.
The Whyalla Maritime Museum’s feature is the HMAS Whyalla, the first modern warship built in South Australia in 1941. Following its career, the ship was grounded on dry land and serves as an exhibition piece. The museum is more than just that, though – it also features the 1814 edition of Matthew Flinders journals, shipwreck items and documents the area’s diverse marine wildlife.
Admission is $12, including a guided tour of the HMAS Whyalla, and the museum is open 10am-4pm every day except Good Friday and Christmas.
The Mt Laura Homestead Museum showcases the development of Whyalla, one of the state’s largest towns. The main building was – surprise surprise – the homestead of the Mount Laura Sheep Station, and features an early shop and schoolroom inside. Visit the Gay Street Cottage, built by BHP in 1914 to rent to its employees, and explore the heritage gardens and a steam locomotive that once hauled iron ore from iron knob to hummock hill.
The museum is open 10am-3pm weekdays, and 1-4pm on Sundays. Adult entry $5, pensioners $4, children $2 and family tickets $10.
There is so much more besides what’s listed here – the National Trust Museums in Streaky Bay, Tumby Bay and Ceduna, the Dutton Bay Woolshed, the Port Lincoln Railway Museum, Mill Cottage and the Franklin Harbour Historical Museum are just some of them.
Google is your friend, people.
So have you been to any of these museums?
They’re absolutely worth checking out, and it’s the perfect activity for a chilly day.