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Goolwa National Trust Museum

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by Karen Ross (subscribe)
I love walking, and I love eating good food. The more I eat, the more I need to walk, so I plan to walk all around the world, eating good food, at nice places. It's a worthwhile quest and I'd love you to follow at www.walkeatshare.wordpress.com
Published July 2nd 2016
Goolwa - a small town with a big history
Goolwa is a small town with a big history and if you enjoy seeing evidence and reading stories from days past, then pay a visit to the Goolwa National Trust Museum in Porter Street.

The museum is housed in a building dating back to 1872 and once used as a Blacksmiths shop. You'll recognise it by the stone structure outside.

Granite Key Stones
Granite Key Stones


The three key stones were part of an arch incorporated in the ANZ bank on the corner of King William Street and Currie Street and are made from granite sourced from West Island, near Victor Harbor.

Inside the museum you'll find a series of exhibitions telling stories of Goolwa, Hindmarsh Island and Currency Creek from pre European settlement to the present day. One of the newest exhibits, a work in progress, is the Goolwa Soldier's Memorial Wall. This tribute to local men and their families will depict the 130 recorded soldiers enlisted to serve our country during World War 1.

The Goolwa Soldiers Memorial Wall
The Goolwa Soldiers Memorial Wall


You'll find established and permanent displays showing evidence of local indigenous history.

Vessels, tools and pounding stones
Vessels, tools and pounding stones


Goolwa's shipbuilding industry, which supported the river trade of the mid 1800's, is well represented here with models, artefacts and stories.

Paddle Steamer
Paddle Steamer


You'll notice that many of the significant characters from Goolwa's past originated from Cockenzie, in Scotland.

River Captain
River Captain


Goolwa was Australia's first inland port and home to over forty paddle steamers and barges. You'll gain a good basic overview of these times from your visit to the museum.

Paddle steamer paraphernalia
Paddle steamer paraphernalia


There's no shortage of large furniture items from local homes, shops, offices and hotels. Goolwa once boasted three hotels and you'll see a piano here that originates from one of them, The Australasian.



There are lots of domestic utensils, ornaments, clocks and the like, displayed in and around glass cabinets.

Domestic items
Domestic items


One of the most unusual items in the collection is the Kaesler family's "Home from Home" a 1924 Dodge tourer converted to a motorhome and considered to be the first in Australia. There's a delightful, must-read storyboard explaining how this vehicle came about.

Was this Australia's first motor home?
Was this Australia's first motor home?


The Goolwa National Trust Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday in the afternoons and certainly worth a visit.
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Why? You might be surprised by some of these old Goolwa stories
When: Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday 2pm to 4pm, Wednesday 1pm-3pm
Phone: (08) 8555 2221
Where: 11 Porter Street, Goolwa
Cost: Adults $2.50, Children $1
Your Comment
My husband is keen to vbisit Kangaroo Island so if we head over (from Melbourne) Goolwa could be an interesting stop.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|6154) 867 days ago
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