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Published November 15th 2016
This Port has a Colourful History with Colourful Characters
Whether to broaden your knowledge, browse the exhibitions or chat to their knowledgeable friendly volunteers the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum established in 1983 is a must for your visit. On the banks of the Richmond River, tucked in right behind the Tourist Information centre, it is appropriately located.
I initially approached them for more information about Fenwick House and their helpfulness. plus my glimpse of their premises packed full of fascinating exhibitions bursting at the seams drew me in. Their mural of the early days of white settlement is accurately portrayed along with more artwork and models of the people and boats involved. This comprehensive display of the local maritime history depicts why this was the third busiest port on the east coast as supplies were delivered and timber was taken for ship-building.
Naval history is also very well represented and the exhibition that caught my immediate attention was the graphic display about the Voyager disaster. Having met some of those involved, this aroused my interest. Each exhibition includes newspaper clippings, models and history to give a full sense of the event.
The Balsa Raft exhibition includes a great audiovisual and the raft itself so that one can imagine the journey and hazardous conditions which make it an outstanding part of Australian history. This museum really is a must see and I hope they get a rapid upgrade of facilities so they can continue expanding this history of our waterways and the people who make it happen.