When you think of cultural institutions, you usually think of the grand ones around the world, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York or the Sydney Opera House. But Western Australia’s Golden Outback is home to many equally important cultural institutions, built to display items of cultural significance to a range of local people and their times.
The stories that can be picked up by travelling through the museums and galleries of the Golden Outback paint a vivid picture of Western Australia’s vibrant history. Starting in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, you’ll find the Goldfields Arts Centre, one of only three A-class art galleries in regional Western Australia. In addition to visual art, the centre provides space for performing arts, from serious plays to stand-up comedy, music and dance performances.
Not all of the cultural institutions are inside, as you’ll find out when you explore the Golden Outback. The Bruce Rock Federation Amphitheatre and Sculpture Park is one such example of how culture is being displayed in outside spaces. The amphitheatre can seat up to 1200 people, and is home to reunions, concerts and community gatherings.
Coolgardie is home to the Goldfields Exhibition Museum, an excellent repository of gold rush–era artefacts and photographs housed in one of the grandest surviving buildings of the day. The former Warden’s Court Building was built in 1898, and among its historical trove you’ll find an amazing panoramic photograph of old Coolgardie, as well as the famous Waghorn bottle collection.
The Pioneer Museum in Corrigin commemorates the history of early European settlers in the region. You’ll find restored farming machinery, including tractors in working order, as well as the blacksmith’s shop, old schoolhouse and shearing shed. The collection also includes clothing, tools and memorabilia of those bygone years.