Ploughing Through History

A Journey into Western Australia’s Pastoral & Agricultural Heritage

Western Australia's rich agricultural heritage is intricately woven into its cultural tapestry, with museums and collections across the region showcasing the livelihoods of locals and the history of farming machinery. From the pioneering days of hand tools to the modern marvels of mechanisation, these spots offer a fascinating glimpse into the past, present, and future of agriculture across the state.

Get a glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of Western Australia’s pastoral and agricultural heritage with these must-see spots to uncover the state’s past. 

Australia’s Coral Coast

Chapman Valley Historical Society

Nestled in Australia’s Coral Coast lies the Chapman Valley Historical Society - a must-visit for farm machinery and vintage motoring enthusiasts. Take a stroll and discover the extensive collection boasting tractors, trucks, sharing stands, wagons and a variety of other local paraphernalia depicting farm life in the district. 

But perhaps the greatest treasure of all lies in the warm welcome you’ll receive from the passionate volunteers. With their boundless enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge, they’ll guide you on a journey through time, sharing fascinating stories and insider tips that will deepen your appreciation of the charming history of this farming area. 

While here, take advantage of the surrounding area with barbeque facilities and picnic tables for those wanting to stay a little longer. 

A shed with vintage farm equipment, bicycles and toy cars on display.

Bindoon and Districts Historical Society

The past comes alive in a whirlwind of excitement and nostalgia at the Bindoon and Districts Historical Society. Here, farm machinery enthusiasts will find themselves in heaven with a giant purpose-built shed featuring a vast collection of lovingly restored tractors, trucks and other engines. 

Be prepared to be whisked away to bygone eras and forgotten tales with a selection of historical household memorabilia and an entire room dedicated to WWII history. While here, wander to the nearby historic Road Boards building, built in 1927, to view more of the collection of domestic artefacts. 

Carnamah Museum and Macpherson Homestead

Imagine stepping into a treasure trove of local history, where each artefact and photograph tells a story of days gone by. A stroll through the Carnamah Historical Society’s Museum will transport you back into the region’s past. You can find old machinery and tools in the Museum’s yard and sheds while the interior houses objects, photos and documents from Carnamah’s social, domestic, commercial and agricultural past. 

Can’t make the trip? You can check out their ‘virtual museum’ - where you can transport back into time with past information including biographies of past locals. 

Vintage pots and cans on a table in front of a window looking out onto a street

Chiverton House Museum 

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in the 1800s in Western Australia? Step into the shoes of a former mining pioneer at the Chiverton House Museum. Here the museum captures the essence of life in the late 1800s for the miners at Geraldine Lead Mine.

Inside, you can wander through the quaint stone building and encounter a collection of historical items to gain an appreciation of the life of the locals who once resided here. Outside, visitors can also check out the newly constructed machinery shed boasting old farming machinery and vintage cars. While here, the old stables, butcher building and two stone wells reveal traces of Chiverton’s rich history. 

Gascoyne Junction Museum

Nestled in the Upper Gascoyne Road Board building, the Gascoyne Junction Historical Museum features a collection of relics that offer a glimpse into the region’s colourful pastoral, mining and natural history. Notable mentions include colourful jewel-like rocks which reflect the unique geology of the region as well as a visual timeline tracing the evolution of communication - from the era of telegraphs and party lines to the advent of microwave communications. 

Morawa District Historical Society Musem

If you’re looking to uncover tales of agricultural development in Western Australia look no further than the Morawa District Historical Society Museum. Nestled in the town’s goal and courthouse, the museum boasts artefacts and stories revealing Morawa’s rollicking past - a time when lawlessness was rife and outsiders whispered tales of strange goings on in the district.

Beyond showcasing a collection of heritage farming equipment and historical records depicting life in the early days, this museum boasts a renowned worldwide windmill collection which forms the content for the Windmill Journal - the society’s quarterly publication that is distributed globally. 

Vintage farming equipment and 2 windmills on display outside surrounded by large trees

Walkaway Station Museum

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Walkaway Station Museum. If you pay a visit, you’ll be able to picture a train and reimagine the bustle of the residents as they await passenger transport, the delivery of fresh produce, or preparing their livestock and grain for transport. 

Opened in 1888, the former railway station and staff quarters were originally a post office and became a railway station in 1894. Today, the building and adjoining rooms house a collection of historic artefacts showcasing early life in this farming district. While here, check out the nearby giant-purpose-built shed which showcases an entire O Class locomotive and associated equipment. 

Australia’s Golden Outback

Cunderdin Museum

Have you seen one of the biggest water pumps in Western Australia? Located inside the Cunderdin Museum, visitors can get a glimpse of the original pumping station as well as insight into the agricultural, rail and local history of the district. From stepping inside the charming original rail dining carriage used between Perth and Cunderdin. Explore the horse carriages and farming machinery, to experiencing a simulated earthquake in a house that shakes to reflect the 1968 Meckering earthquake. 

A collection of vintage machinery and other items including a Cunderdin sign

Corrigin Pioneer Museum

Walk back in time in the footsteps of Corrigin’s early settlers at Corrigin Pioneer Museum. Here, the Museum boasts an extensive collection held across several buildings on site that will satisfy your curiosities about pioneering history in the area. From a blacksmith's shop, a single-room school, farming machinery, household items, costume and fashion, military memorabilia and children’s toys. There’s plenty to choose from that will guide you on a journey through time. 

While you’re here, check out the collection of working magnetos (ignition systems on early tractors and stationary engines), which have been carefully restored by former long-serving member Gordon Larke.

A room with exposed beams with a variety of historical items on display including vintage sewing machines and gramophones

Australia’s South West

Betty Brown Historical Centre

Did you know that women were integral to the establishment and development of agriculture communities throughout Australia?  At the Betty Brown Historical Centre, be prepared to be captivated by the first museum in Darkan which highlights the stories of women like Betty Brown, who contributed to the farming in the Shire of West Arthur. As you tour through the Centre, each of the themes - working, providing and belonging are explored through objects, oral histories and descriptions of how these roles of women in rural farming communities have changed over time. 

Whether you're a history buff, a farming enthusiast, or simply curious about the region's agricultural heritage, these spots provide a rich tapestry of exhibits to explore.  So, embark on a journey through time and discover the ingenuity, innovation, and perseverance that have shaped farming in Western Australia for generations to come.

Save hours of planning with the WAnderland Itinerary Planner. Create a journey with all your favourite attractions and more for an unforgettable holiday adventure tailored to your preferences. 

Agri, Mining and Industry
Coral Coast
Golden Outback
Historical Sites and Heritage Locations
South West