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Nambour Museum

Home > Sunshine Coast > Escape the City | Museums | Vintage and Retro
by Aunty Joy (subscribe)
I live in Nambour in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Published May 5th 2019
A hinterland towns past preserved
Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro
One of the old Mill buildings on site


Nambour's glory days as the centre of sugar production and commercial and administrative hub of the Sunshine Coast may be over, but a team of enthusiastic locals at Nambour and District Heritage Museum ensures the district's legacy is showcased for future generations.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro
Sadly the Mill didn't make it too far into the 21st Century


The Bruce Highway bypassed the town back in 1990, but if you're exploring the hinterland, you'll find a welcoming little community with some of the best cafes and coffee on the Sunshine Coast, so it's worth a detour to check out this charming museum.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro
Part of the well displayed and eclectic collection


The museum occupies a large block of land between Mitchell and Bury Streets, Nambour. The old buildings housing the museum were once part of the Moreton Sugar Mill, which closed in 2003, costing a lot of local jobs. Mill Village Shopping Centre now stands where the main processing took place, and a huge street sculpture outside the centre is actually machinery parts from the mill.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro
Clocking off for the last time


After paying your $5 ($1 children over 5) entry, wander the many rooms and corridors of the museum, discovering the eclectic collection. Rooms are arranged by theme, including military, school, telecommunications, household items, farming, work life, etc.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro, indigenous
Indigenous artifacts


Start with the small collection of artefacts from the local Gubbi Gubbi people. The artefacts were discovered on farming properties. It would be wonderful to see more items donated to the museum to honour the original inhabitants of the area.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro, fabric, Scottish
The Australian tartan


You may discover some things you never suspected existed, such as Australia's own tartan, and a lovely one it is too, in soft ochre tones.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro, druids, clubs
"Of course it's a real beard"


Or the Nambour United Ancient Order of Druids, a club along the lines of modern day Lions or Apex clubs, who seemed to include a bit of early cosplay in their activities.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro, matchcraft
Matchless Matchcraft


There's a whole room dedicated to the amazing Matchcraft produced as a hobby by Ken Underhill. Tens of thousands of matches, painstakingly glued together into models of ships, and a model of London's Tower Bridge that took 31,000 matches.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro
Retro heaven


Retro lovers will find plenty to covet in gorgeous displays of household items, clothes, and souvenirs. Lovingly assembled collections of needlework will delight stitchers.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro, school, Baby Boomers
There'd be hell to pay if your bloomers actually showed like this


Baby Boomers will be either nostalgic or disturbed by the fact that they remember some of this clearly ancient stuff on display, including Baby Boomer Bloomers!



The town's history as a sugar centre is well documented, with wonderful old steam locos on display. These hauled long cane trains, which ran right through the centre of town, holding up traffic on what was then the main highway north from Brisbane. Old-timers remember the trains with a combination of fondness and frustration. A video room shows footage from that time, not so long ago, but so different from the modern suburban nature of the town.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro
A relic of days gone by


Trade and farming tools and machinery are displayed in sheds on the Bury Street side of the museum.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro, pineapple, kitsch
Pinepple kitsch galore


Pineapples, still grown in Nambour, are also on the museum's visual menu.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro, wedding
Some of the wedding gowns on display


The museum has a collection of beautiful wedding dresses from across the span of the twentieth century.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro, nasa, space shuttle
The flag that went to space


One of the more surprising items is a specially commissioned flag which has been to space and back. At the invitation of the (then) Maroochy Shire's sister city of Tatebayashi in Japan, it was taken on board the Space Shuttle Discovery Mission STS-95 in 1988 by Chiaki Mukai as part of her flight kit.
Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro
The signatures on the flag

The flag is signed by the crew, including famous astronaut John Glenn.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro, toys
You can see the kids loved this car


Child visitors will get to see toys and books from the days before electronic diversions. For older visitors, they may be a fond look backwards to childhood joys.

Nambour, Sunshine Coast, hinterland, day trip, country town,museum, history, retro, Enid Blyton
The Fearless Five Go to Nambour


Nambour Museum is open Wednesday to Saturday from 1:00 till 4:00pm. Tours for schools, clubs, retirement villages or bus tours are also available by emailing nambourmuseum@yahoo.com.au.
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Why? Queensland's heritage preserved
Phone: 07 5441 2119 during opening hours
Where: 18 Mitchell Street, Nambour 4560
Cost: Adults $5, Children over 5 $1
Your Comment
Great article, Joy!
by Elaine (score: 3|6232) 20 days ago
Thank you Joy. What a lovely article about our much loved museum. It was such a pleasure to see so many people take the opportunity to pay us a visit.😃😃
by 18mit (score: 0|2) 20 days ago
My husband Ian Ensbey was born in Nambour. We were married in1968 at church of England next to fire bragrade .Four children born in Nambour.Lived in Mapleton till 2002 will always be home.
by irene (score: 0|2) 20 days ago
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