Museums Cultural Trail

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You can tell a lot about an area by what the locals have chosen to collect and keep. Tucked away in museums big and small all over the Mid North Coast are some rare treasures and some very everyday objects. However they all have a story to tell of the rich and varied history and changing lifestyles of the region.

Bellingen Historical Museum

Bellingen

Much of the Bellingen Historical Society’s collection of artefacts was displayed in the historic Hammond and Wheatley Emporium until 1983, when the new Bellingen Museum was opened. The museum focuses…

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  • 6655 0382

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33 Hyde St, Bellingen

Details

Much of the Bellingen Historical Society’s collection of artefacts was displayed in the historic Hammond and Wheatley Emporium until 1983, when the new Bellingen Museum was opened. The museum focuses on both the Aboriginal and early European history of the area. Open Tuesday 9am to 1pm and Monday, Thursday and Friday 10am to 2pm. The Historical Society also has a small museum in the School of Arts in Urunga.

For more information on Bellingen Historical Museum, give them a call on 6655 0382 or view their website, http://bellingenmuseum.org.au

Bowraville Folk Museum

Nambucca

The extensive collection of this museum fills multiple buildings and outdoor exhibition areas and includes an early church from the district, an old saddlery and the local blacksmith’s shop. The…

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  • 6564 8200

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86 High St, Bowraville

Details

The extensive collection of this museum fills multiple buildings and outdoor exhibition areas and includes an early church from the district, an old saddlery and the local blacksmith’s shop. The museum’s slogan is, “If it was used in this district, you name it and we most probably have it”. Open Tuesday and Saturday 10am to 3pm, Wednesday and Friday 10am to 12 noon and Sunday 10am to 2pm.

For more information on Bowraville Folk Museum, give them a call on 6564 8200 or view their website, http://www.nambucca.com.au/folkmuseum

Bulahdelah Court House Museum

Great Lakes

The Bulahdelah Courthouse Museum offers a fascinating insight into the district’s colourful past, particularly the logging industry. The Courthouse, built in 1886, sits majestically on a hill overlooking the Myall…

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  • 4997 9274

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Lot 1, Ann Street, Bulahdelah

Details

The Bulahdelah Courthouse Museum offers a fascinating insight into the district’s colourful past, particularly the logging industry. The Courthouse, built in 1886, sits majestically on a hill overlooking the Myall River. Its cells out the back are well worth a visit as they were once considered “luxurious”. The museum is open Saturdays 9am to 3pm and by appointment.

For more information on Bulahdelah Court House Museum, give them a call on 4997 9274 or view their website, http://bulahdelahhistorical.org.au

Camden Haven Historical Society Museum

Port Macquarie Hastings

The Camden Haven Historical Society Museum is situated in the beautiful School of Arts building in Laurieton. The museum focuses on the Camden Haven Valley and its villages and features…

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  • 6556 9664

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Bold St, Laurieton

Details

The Camden Haven Historical Society Museum is situated in the beautiful School of Arts building in Laurieton. The museum focuses on the Camden Haven Valley and its villages and features displays on timber-getting, fishing, marine activities, farming and more. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm.

For more information on Camden Haven Historical Society Museum, give them a call on 6556 9664 or view their website, http://www.visitcamdenhaven.com.au/activities/camden-haven-historical-museum

Coffs Harbour Regional Museum

Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour’s new Regional Museum in the Old Courthouse on Harbour Drive is now open to the public after 5 years in storage. Aiming to be one of the state’s…

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The Old Courthouse Building, Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

Details

Coffs Harbour’s new Regional Museum in the Old Courthouse on Harbour Drive is now open to the public after 5 years in storage. Aiming to be one of the state’s finest rural museums it is truly a fascinating treasure trove of the history of the area.

The Museum has been divided into exhibition spaces with different themes that take the visitor on a journey from its earliest days, right up to the present with exhibits including Coffs Harbour’s maritime history, the local indigenous culture, a ‘Communications Room’ that houses a Morse Code machine amongst other historical communication devices, and a deeply moving exhibition space dedicated to the Anzac Centenary.

We are open and ready for visitors – 10am till 4pm Tuesday to Saturday

Courthouse Museum – Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie Hastings

Port Macquarie’s historic courthouse, built in 1869, was designed by noted colonial architect James Barnet. The courthouse is the only government building from the 1800s now left in Port Macquarie….

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  • 6584 1818

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Crn Hay St & Clarence St, Port Macquarie

Details

Port Macquarie’s historic courthouse, built in 1869, was designed by noted colonial architect James Barnet. The courthouse is the only government building from the 1800s now left in Port Macquarie. The courtroom was used still until 1986. Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm.

For more information on Courthouse Museum – Port Macquarie, give them a call on 6584 1818 or view their website, http://www.portmacquarieinfo.com.au/explore/location.aspx?id=423

Courthouse Museum – Stroud

Great Lakes

The first Stroud Courthouse was constructed on this site in the 1840s. The present, convict built building was completed in 1876 and remained in regular use until 1974. However, the…

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61 Cowper St, Stroud

Details

The first Stroud Courthouse was constructed on this site in the 1840s. The present, convict built building was completed in 1876 and remained in regular use until 1974. However, the police residence and cells were removed in the 1930s. The Stroud Courthouse now serves the district as an historical museum. Open Sundays from 11am to 1pm.

For more information on Courthouse Museum – Stroud, view their website, http://stroudhistoricalsociety.org

Cundletown and Lower Manning Historical Society Museum

Greater Taree

The museum focuses on the early history of the lower Manning Valley and has a growing collection of artefacts associated with the dairy industry and other related industries. Open Tuesday…

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  • 6553 9574

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18 Main St, Cundletown

Details

The museum focuses on the early history of the lower Manning Valley and has a growing collection of artefacts associated with the dairy industry and other related industries. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 3pm.

For more information on Cundletown and Lower Manning Historical Society Museum, give them a call on 6553 9574 or view their website, http://www.cundletownhistorical.com

Dorrigo and Guy Fawkes Historical Museum

Bellingen

This Museum is a repository for local artefacts, a large collection of photographs and family history information, as well as bound copies of 100 years of the local paper, The…

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  • 6657 1956

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Myrtle St, Dorrigo

Details

This Museum is a repository for local artefacts, a large collection of photographs and family history information, as well as bound copies of 100 years of the local paper, The Don Dorrigo Gazette. Open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm.

For more information on Dorrigo and Guy Fawkes Historical Museum, give them a call on 6657 1956 or view their website, http://www.bellingen.nsw.gov.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47670:don-dorrigo-guy-fawkes-histocial-society&catid=533

Douglas Vale Homestead and Vineyard

Port Macquarie Hastings

Built in 1862 for George Francis, this property became well-known for its successful vineyard between 1867 and 1918, winning prizes for its wines from shows in Europe. Remnants of the…

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  • 6584 3792

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235 Oxley Highway, Port Macquarie

Details

Built in 1862 for George Francis, this property became well-known for its successful vineyard between 1867 and 1918, winning prizes for its wines from shows in Europe. Remnants of the formal gardens remain as well as a rich family history and the vineyard itself, which is still producing today. Open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm.

For more information on Douglas Vale Homestead and Vineyard, give them a call on 6584 3792 or view their website, http://douglasvale.com.au

Frank Partridge VC Military Museum

Nambucca

The museum has a vast array of military equipment and memorabilia. The museum also includes a tribute to Frank Partridge, a local who won the Victoria Cross in 1945, for…

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  • 6564 7056

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29 High St, Bowraville

Details

The museum has a vast array of military equipment and memorabilia. The museum also includes a tribute to Frank Partridge, a local who won the Victoria Cross in 1945, for leading a successful attack against the Japanese in the Bougainville Campaign.  Open Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm and Saturday 10am to 12 noon.

For more information on Frank Partridge VC Military Museum, give them a call on 6564 7056 or view their website, http://www.militarymuseum.org.au

Glasshouse

Port Macquarie Hastings

Seating 606 patrons on two levels this is the only proscenium arch theatre on the North Coast. With acoustic design by consultants who have worked on the world’s largest opera…

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  • 6581 8888

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Crn Clarence St & Hay St, Port Macquarie

Details

Seating 606 patrons on two levels this is the only proscenium arch theatre on the North Coast. With acoustic design by consultants who have worked on the world’s largest opera houses and concert halls, it is designed to provide an unrivalled level of theatre experience and audience comfort with state of the art technology.  It hosts many touring shows including those from Australia’s leading dance, theatre and opera companies. The smaller Ross Theatre Studio is also equipped for performances, exhibitions and meetings.

Regular events and activities for kids give them a whole new understanding of history and art. These take place in the foyer are, gallery, theatre and Artlab. This purpose built space for children aged 3 to 18 is equipped with wet artists’ preparation area, age appropriate furniture and TV/ Video and data projection facilities making it the perfect place for many kids activities in the holiday periods.

This magnificent arts and culture centre also provides a wealth of storytelling opportunities, as it is built over the remnants of various colonial buildings, and subsequently, 19th and 20th century cultural and local government buildings. Creative interpretative elements include archaeological artefacts in situ, information and archival document displays, touchscreen presentations and even the integration of informative floor inlays and other heritage related design elements as permanent architectural features. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and weekends 9am to 4pm. The Visitor Information Centre in the complex can also provide you with information on all other museums in the district.

For more information on Glasshouse, give them a call on 6581 8888 or view their website, http://www.glasshouse.org.au

Gloucester Museum

Gloucester

Houses a significant collection of military memorabilia as well as a local collection of photos documents and artefacts (particularly tools). The museum is also known for its extensive collection of…

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  • 02 6558 9989

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12 Church Street, Gloucester

Details

Houses a significant collection of military memorabilia as well as a local collection of photos documents and artefacts (particularly tools). The museum is also known for its extensive collection of Australian rocks and minerals.

Opening Hours:
Tuesday 10:30 am. – 01:30 pm
Thursday 10:30 am. – 01:30 pm
Saturday 10:00 am. – 02:00 pm
Other times by appointment

Admission:
Adults $5.50 per head ;
Families $12.00 (2 Adults and 2 or more children);
School Students $2.20 per head

For more information on Gloucester Museum, give them a call on 02 6558 9989 or view their website, http://www.gloucestermuseum.com.au/

Great Lakes Museum

Great Lakes

This long established local museum houses a collection of artefacts relating to the early pioneer families of the district and the local industries of timber-getting, shipbuilding, farming and oyster growing….

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  • 6554 6275

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1 Capel St, Tuncurry

Details

This long established local museum houses a collection of artefacts relating to the early pioneer families of the district and the local industries of timber-getting, shipbuilding, farming and oyster growing. Open Tuesday to Thursday 10am to 2pm and Sunday 1pm to 4pm.

For more information on Great Lakes Museum, give them a call on 6554 6275 or view their website, http://www.greatlakesmuseum.com.au

Juan’s Café del Fuego – Dorrigo

Bellingen

Promoted as the world’s smallest motorcycle museum this café is actually packed with memorabilia and has a changing exhibition programme. These exhibitions often feature immaculately restored motorcycles provided by enthusiasts…

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30 Hickory St, Dorrigo

Details

Promoted as the world’s smallest motorcycle museum this café is actually packed with memorabilia and has a changing exhibition programme. These exhibitions often feature immaculately restored motorcycles provided by enthusiasts and motorcycle restoration clubs. Open 7 days a week from 8am.

Macleay River Historical Society and Museum

Kempsey

The museum, housed in the unique Glenn Murcutt Building adjacent to the Visitor Information Centre, traces the valley’s fascinating and diverse history. Open daily 10am to 4pm.

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  • 6562 7572

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South Kempsey Park, Lachlan St, South Kempsey

Details

The museum, housed in the unique Glenn Murcutt Building adjacent to the Visitor Information Centre, traces the valley’s fascinating and diverse history. Open daily 10am to 4pm.

For more information on Macleay River Historical Society and Museum, give them a call on 6562 7572 or view their website, http://www.kempseymuseum.org

Manning Valley Historical Society Museum

Greater Taree

The Manning Valley Historical Society Museum is housed in what was once a grocery and produce store, circa 1880. The museum is jam-packed with treasures telling the stories of the…

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  • 6553 5823

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12 Farquhar St, Wingham

Details

The Manning Valley Historical Society Museum is housed in what was once a grocery and produce store, circa 1880. The museum is jam-packed with treasures telling the stories of the Manning Valley. With an eclectic collection of furniture, glass, ceramic kitchen utensils, tools, photographs and fashion, the enchanting detail of this museum is one of its most defining features. Open daily 10am to 4pm.

For more information on Manning Valley Historical Society Museum, give them a call on 6553 5823 or view their website, http://www.manninghistorical.org

Maritime Museum

Kempsey

This small but fascinating local museum is housed in one of the historic boatman’s cottages in South West Rocks. It also houses the South West Rocks Visitor Information Centre, so…

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  • 6566 7099

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1 Ocean Avenue, South West Rocks

Details

This small but fascinating local museum is housed in one of the historic boatman’s cottages in South West Rocks. It also houses the South West Rocks Visitor Information Centre, so is well worth a visit to find out many of the stories and attractions of the area. Open daily from 9am to 4pm.

For more information on Maritime Museum, give them a call on 6566 7099 or view their website, http://macleayvalleycoast.com.au/directory_listing/south-west-rocks-visitor-information-centre/

Mary Boulton’s Pioneer Cottage and Museum

Nambucca

Mary Boulton’s Cottage is a charming replica of a rough-sawn timber domicile, which is considered typical of those constructed by the early European settlers. The collection at the cottage includes…

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  • 6568 1280

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38 Gumma Rd, Macksville

Details

Mary Boulton’s Cottage is a charming replica of a rough-sawn timber domicile, which is considered typical of those constructed by the early European settlers. The collection at the cottage includes antique utensils, costumes, china and old wares and memorabilia from the turn of the century. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays 2pm to 4pm and by appointment.

For more information on Mary Boulton’s Pioneer Cottage and Museum, give them a call on 6568 1280 or view their website, http://nambucca.nsw.gov.au/cp_content/resources/MaryBoultonJuly2012%282%29.pdf

Mid North Coast Maritime Museum

Port Macquarie Hastings

The importance of shipping to the early development of Port Macquarie, combined with a dangerous harbour entrance, resulted in many shipwrecks. At the Pilot’s Cottages, built in 1896, you can…

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  • 6583 1866

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6 William St, Port Macquarie

Details

The importance of shipping to the early development of Port Macquarie, combined with a dangerous harbour entrance, resulted in many shipwrecks. At the Pilot’s Cottages, built in 1896, you can see salvaged items from these wrecks and many more items from the vibrant maritime history of the area. The cottages are now one of three venues of the Mid North Coast Maritime Museum. Open daily 10am to 4pm.

For more information on Mid North Coast Maritime Museum, give them a call on 6583 1866 or view their website, http://www.maritimemuseumcottages.org.au

National Motorcycle Museum

Great Lakes

At Nabiac you will find Australia’s largest collection of vintage, veteran and classic motorcycles with around 800 machines on display. Open every day 9am to 4pm.

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  • 6554 1333

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33 Clarkson St, Nabiac

Details

At Nabiac you will find Australia’s largest collection of vintage, veteran and classic motorcycles with around 800 machines on display. Open every day 9am to 4pm.

For more information on National Motorcycle Museum, give them a call on 6554 1333 or view their website, http://nationalmotorcyclemuseum.com.au

Pilot Boat Shed

Port Macquarie Hastings

The historic Pilot Boat Shed has a number of maritime displays including a copy of Mathew Flinders’ Journal as he sailed past Tacking Point in 1802. Open Monday to Friday…

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79 Clarence St, Port Macquarie

Details

The historic Pilot Boat Shed has a number of maritime displays including a copy of Mathew Flinders’ Journal as he sailed past Tacking Point in 1802. Open Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm.

Port Macquarie Museum

Port Macquarie Hastings

Dating from c1836 the Historical Society Museum building is one of the only remaining convict built structures left in Port Macquarie. The museum houses an extensive collection of over 20,000…

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  • 6583 1108

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22 Clarence St, Port Macquarie

Details

Dating from c1836 the Historical Society Museum building is one of the only remaining convict built structures left in Port Macquarie. The museum houses an extensive collection of over 20,000 artefacts, spread throughout a number of themed rooms and displays. The museum is the ideal place to get an overall sense of the history of the town. Open 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Saturday.

For more information on Port Macquarie Museum, give them a call on 6583 1108 or view their website, http://www.port-macquarie-historical-museum.org.au

Quambi House

Great Lakes

This two-storey Georgian style school house/museum displays furniture, clothing, personal and household items, photographs and other objects from the late 1800s through to the mid 1900s. The restored, convict built…

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87 Cowper St, Stroud

Details

This two-storey Georgian style school house/museum displays furniture, clothing, personal and household items, photographs and other objects from the late 1800s through to the mid 1900s. The restored, convict built building also houses a collection of historic books from the Australian Agricultural Company. Open Sundays from 1.10pm to 3pm.

For more information on Quambi House, view their website, http://stroudhistoricalsociety.org

Roto House

Port Macquarie Hastings

Roto House was built in 1890 for John Edmund Flynn, a local land surveyor. Built of Red Mahogany and set on a large land holding, the house has been carefully…

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  • 1300 072 757

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Roto Place, Port Macquarie

Details

Roto House was built in 1890 for John Edmund Flynn, a local land surveyor. Built of Red Mahogany and set on a large land holding, the house has been carefully restored and furnished to the period. The house is located in what is now the Macquarie Nature Reserve.  Open daily 10am to 4.30pm.

For more information on Roto House, give them a call on 1300 072 757 or view their website, http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/macquarie-nature-reserve/roto-house/historic-site

Slim Dusty Centre

Kempsey

The Slim Dusty Centre and Museum exhibition features objects and images from the Kirkpatrick family’s own extensive archive, as well as contributions from fans and friends all over the world….

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  • 6562 6533

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490 Macleay Valley Way, Kempsey

Details

The Slim Dusty Centre and Museum exhibition features objects and images from the Kirkpatrick family’s own extensive archive, as well as contributions from fans and friends all over the world. Visually rich, astonishingly varied, the display provides a look into Slim’s first steps into show business, the early years of adventures with Joy and their mates touring the towns and villages of Australia’s outback and the glory days of life on the showgrounds of Australia with artistes and performers of vaudevillian delights. Memory acts, dental trapeze and comedy skits were all part of Slim and Joy’s shows for years until they settled into the type of performances for which they became famous: rollicking country music and Slim’s natural good humour, all with a very Australian flavour. Enjoy the costumes, the images of Australian life and its people, the music of some of Australia’s finest musicians and the insights into Australia’s vast history and geography that only Slim and Joy’s sixty years on the road can provide. The Slim Dusty Museum also features listening posts for visitors to listen to Slim’s songs, a delightful interactive scrapbook filled with Slim’s notes, letters and ephemera, and the Columbia Lane Theatrette showing the Slim Dusty Movie and Concert for Slim.

Opening times  

  • 7 days per week 9.30am to 4.00pm

Admission Prices:

  • Adults = $23.50
  • Concession = $18.50
  • Family = $54.50 (2 adults & 2 children)
  • Children = $9.50
  • Tour Groups concessions = $16.50
  • School Groups – Children = $7.50 & Adults = $16.50

We are located at 490 Macleay Valley Way South Kempsey – P:(02) 6562 6533, www.slimdustycentre.com.au

For more information on Slim Dusty Centre, give them a call on 6562 6533 or view their website, http://www.slimdustycentre.com.au

The Headland Historical Museum

Nambucca

The Headland Historical Museum in Nambucca Heads is teeming with curios and heritage items telling local stories. There is an extensive collection of historic photographs as well as farm implements,…

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  • 6569 4353

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Liston St, Nambucca Heads

Details

The Headland Historical Museum in Nambucca Heads is teeming with curios and heritage items telling local stories. There is an extensive collection of historic photographs as well as farm implements, gramophones, needlework and lots more. Open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 4pm.

For more information on The Headland Historical Museum, give them a call on 6569 4353 or view their website, http://www.nambucca.com.au/museum

Tinonee Museum

Greater Taree

Tinonee is situated on the banks of the Manning River and is one of the Manning Valley’s most historic villages and during the 1900s,was an important shipping-trade destination. The Tinonee…

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  • 6553 1571

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32 Manchester St, Tinonee

Details

Tinonee is situated on the banks of the Manning River and is one of the Manning Valley’s most historic villages and during the 1900s,was an important shipping-trade destination. The Tinonee museum now celebrates and preserves that rich history. Open 10am to 2pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and Saturday from 12.30pm to 3.30pm.

For more information on Tinonee Museum, give them a call on 6553 1571 or view their website, http://www.tinoneemuseum.org.au

Trial Bay Gaol

Kempsey

Trial Bay Gaol in the Arakoon National Park was established in 1876 as an experimental public works gaol, housing inmates building the local breakwall. The gaol closed in 1904 but…

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  • 6566 6168

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Trial Bay Gaol, Arakoon National Park, Cardwell Street, South West Rocks

Details

Trial Bay Gaol in the Arakoon National Park was established in 1876 as an experimental public works gaol, housing inmates building the local breakwall. The gaol closed in 1904 but was reopened during World War 1 to house 550 German male internees. The museum on site now documents and tells the story of these two very different but interesting periods. The museum is open 7 days a week 9am to 4.30pm.

For more information on Trial Bay Gaol, give them a call on 6566 6168 or view their website, http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/Arakoon-National-Park/Trial-Bay-Gaol/tourist-information