The best way to get to know a town is to visit its museum, where treasures rich, rare and bizarre await.
1. Emmaville Mining Museum, Emmaville
Located in the old Emmaville general store, this museum has an impressive collection of gems and minerals, heaps of town curious and a library of newspaper archives where you can read up on such headline news as the infamous Emmaville Panther.
2. Lambing Flat Folk Museum, Young
Like people watching but with ‘stuff’, the Lambing Flat Folk Museum is a wonderfully eclectic collection of household appliances, mining equipment, wedding dresses, old dolls, vintage dental gear and even a deformed piglet pickled in a jar! You’re welcome.
3. Silverton Gaol Museum, Silverton
If only the walls of the Silverton Gaol could talk! Built in the 1880s when, according to the Town and Country Journal, “the scum of the country began to be attracted to the new and prosperous field like blowflies to a carcass”, the Gaol now houses an incredible collection of local history.
4. Historic Tenterfield Railway Museum, Tenterfield
Housed in the gothic architecture of the former Tenterfield railway station, the museum hosts an impressive array of railway relics, from passenger and freight trains to luggage carts and other equipment including suitcases, curios and railway advertisements from throughout the 20th century. Oh, and someone here is an avid gardener, which is always nice!
5. White’s Mineral Art and Living Mining Museum, Broken Hill
A collection of Bushy White’s unique ‘mineral paintings’ depicting mining scenes, complemented by rare mining artifacts, underground memorabilia and models of mine sites. Oh, and dolls. Lots of dolls.
6. Australian Country Music Hall of Fame, Tamworth
Shaped like a giant guitar, this building houses country music paraphernalia including stage costumes, signed records, tour posters, photographs, instruments and anecdotes on country music artists from Australia and abroad.