Yilgarn History Museum – Southern Cross, Australia - Atlas Obscura

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Yilgarn History Museum

Southern Cross, Australia

This small museum celebrates the history of an Australian town known as the "Gateway to the Goldfields." 


The Yilgarn History Museum holds an interesting collection of artifacts that offer a fascinating insight into the mining and agricultural history of Southern Cross, a small town in Western Australia. Often referred to as the “Gateway to the Goldfields,” Southern Cross was a key part of the early discoveries of gold in the region with the initial gold rush starting here in 1887. This find triggered a mass influx of investment and migration, which saw this area desert soon develop into an important goldfield.

This gold was discovered by Thomas Risely and Mick Toomey and interestingly, they claimed that the Southern Cross constellation had assisted their discovery. Visitors to the town can see the main streets are now named after stars that honors and pays tribute to this initial discovery.  

The museum is found in the historic Registrar’s Office and Court House, a building which was constructed in 1891 at the height of the gold rush. It operated as a court until 1976, settling many disputes about the ownership and distribution of gold over the course of many years. The museum is run by the Southern Cross Historical Society and tells the story of the development of the area. Highlights include an old camel wagon, a working model of a gold battery and a number of interesting photographs, documents, and machinery parts.

Know Before You Go

There is no entry fee to the Yilgarn History Museum. Donations are welcomed. 

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March 14, 2023

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