Local and Rural Australian Museums

A great pastime to learn more about areas when you’re travelling around Australia is to visit local museums. Sometimes even the smallest towns have one and they are usually manned by volunteers with admission prices very reasonable.  They are another way of delving into the history of an area and you usually see the story behind how and when the towns were first settled and the industrial or agricultural history and stories behind them.

One I found in recent travels was the Port Elliot Museum and part of the beauty with these small museums is that it doesn’t take long to visit but you always find something just a little bit different and unique to the towns they’re in.

This museum came about thanks to three local men and started with a collection of farm machinery and family collections and has since grown over the years. Today you can see a horse drawn milk delivery van, a colourful collection of tractor seats and a few more horse drawn vehicles.

There are a number of room settings chock full of things that were (not that long ago surely) part of everyday life. A laundry room contains a washing machine with a mangle, a floor polisher and laundry products in original packaging on the shelves. Another room is set up with a dining table, crockery and kitchen paraphernalia. A unique part of this museum are the thirty eight half scale figures showing some clothing fashions from 1788 – 1956.

Dairy displays, farming equipment and tools of trades make up more of the exhibits showing the community, businesses, farming and family life of early days on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The museum is located at 1 Wright Street Port Elliot and is open on Thursdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm. Admission is $5 per adult and $10 per family (kids get in free!)

This is an interesting little museum if you are visiting Port Elliot and you can read more about things to see and do in this town in my latest story in ‘Liquid Life and Leisure’ online magazine.

Happy discovering

Glenys

12 thoughts on “Local and Rural Australian Museums

  1. Aren’t they fabulous. We found a great shipwreck museum on King Island, I guess they’re experts in that field. Up in Mudgee a charming gentleman demonstrated how they used to wash sheep before shearing..each sheep was put in a box with just a hole for its head then the scrubbing began. That sounds to me like back breaking work.

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    1. One look at everything in these museums makes me appreciate all the appliances we have today. It makes you realise how far we’ve come in a short time when I see the washing machine and mangle that my mum used and the typewriters I remember using!

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      1. I’m quite sure if I’d told my mother back in the fifties that I’d write the equivalent of 3 novels on a telephone and publish it for the world to read, without paper she would have said “Oh yeah and I suppose man will walk on the moon”.

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      2. It really is incredible isn’t it. I remember showing my dad when encarta cds came out and how we could see entire sets of encyclopedia on a few shiny discs that went into a (giant) desk top computer. I just remember him being speechless and shaking his head in wonder. I feel pretty lucky and grateful to be living in the times we do.

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