Cossack Museum

WA's first pearling port

Located on the beautiful banks of the Harding River, the Cossack Museum is housed in the old courthouse, now resurrected from the abandoned port town of Cossack. As Perth was developing into the state’s capital, settlers sought out new lands and industries in the uncharted northern district. Cossack became its first northern port, servicing the town of Roebourne and the growing pearling fleet. Built in 1895 by the esteemed government architect George Temple Poole, it is now part of a complex that includes a café, gallery, guesthouse and exhibition space that hosts regular art markets and music events. The surrounding gardens are littered with evocative remnants of the past – tanks, engines and other paraphernalia that continue to be unearthed. It is a place of many names that similarly reveal the colourful past of the first port on the northwest coast. It was known as Bajinhurrba (wild place) to the Ngarluma people, acknowledging the power of the Harding River before it was dammed. In 1863 Padbury named the harbour Tien Tsin after his next boat, foreshadowing strong Asian connections within the town. It was renamed after the visit from Governor Weld on the HMS Cossack in 1871. Abandoned but not forgotten, the Heritage Council has preserved many of the buildings, including the museum, and it is currently leased to the Ngarluma Yinjibarndi Foundation Limited (NYFL) which has plans to resuscitate the town into a tourist destination, offering cultural, fishing and walking experiences around Cossack and its lighthouse on Jarman Island. Whilst the museum and all heritage buildings at Cossack are managed by NYFL, the collection is owned by the City of Karratha.

Address:

Corner of Perseverance Street & Pearl Street
Cossack WA
Australia

Opening Hours

February to March Sat to Sun 10am - 3pm; April to October 7 days 10am - 3pm; November to December Sat to Sun 10am - 3 pm

Although pearling had begun in Shark Bay in the 1860s, where small pearls were extracted from the small, Pinctada albina, when the much larger Pinctada maxima shell was discovered in Nichol Bay it was...

Traces of porcelain

Quietly resting amongst fragments of reconstructed vases and ginger pots, this small Chinese-styled ceramic head is a reminder of the strong presence of Asian labourers and shopkeepers in the frontier...

More North West collections

Keeping language strong

Servicing over 30 language groups of the Pilbara, Wangka Maya was the first Aboriginal language centre in the north. Established in 1987, elders committed to preserving their language, culture and...

Pilbara artists and much more

Located in the Red Earth Arts Precinct a state-of-the-art performance and art centre that was built in 2018, the City of Karratha’s impressive art collection comprises many of the acquisitive prize...

Growing pearls

More than a ‘pearl shop’, Cygnet Bay Pearls reveals the history of pearling in Broome and the mysteries of how pearls are made. With films, impressive displays and live tours, visitors are taken step...

Warm and welcome

So says the sign as you enter Marble Bar — one of the early gold mining towns in the northwest, named by a prospector who mistakenly thought the seam of jasper quartz around the nearby pool was marble...

While you're in the area

Filter
Cossack Accommodation
Accommodation
Cossack Accommodation
Located at the mouth of the Harding River on the coastal strip between...
Pearl Street, Cossack, WA 6720
Roebourne Heritage Trail
Attraction
Roebourne Heritage Trail
Roebourne gazetted in 1866, was the first town in the north west of...
Queen Street, Roebourne, WA 6718
Roebourne Old Gaol Museum
Attraction
Roebourne Old Gaol Museum
Another fantastic reason to visit Roebourne. Make the Roebourne Old Gaol...
Queen Street, Roebourne, WA 6718
The Cove Holiday Village
Accommodation
The Cove Holiday Village
The Cove Holiday Village is a caravan park in the heart of the Pilbara...
28 Vitenbergs Drive, Point Samson, WA 6720