West Coast Heritage Centre Zeehan


Part One

We didn’t have a Sunday outing this week. The weather forecast was for a rather warm day and we don’t enjoy walking in the heat so we decided to stay at home and relax and have an outing another day. So instead of talking about our Sunday Drive I’m going to tell you about one of the places we visited recently. The West Coast Heritage Centre in Zeehan.

I have visited this museum a couple of times in the past. Once with David about twenty years ago and with Naomi on a holiday trip that must have been in the mid 2000’s. At that time, I think it was called the West Coast Pioneer Museum and was housed in the old School of Mines. Since those days the museum has expanded and now takes in several buildings in the main street of Zeehan. The whole museum complex covers 7 hectares and there are over 30 themed exhibits and displays. I know that is hard to visualise, well it is for me. Basically, the museum is housed in four buildings in the main street of Zeehan as well as various sheds and open-air exhibits at the back of them. The admission is $25 or $20 with a concession card but we thought that was quite reasonable for the size of the place and the amount there is to see.

One of the things that I liked about Zeehan on my first visit was the beautiful old buildings in the main street. Looking at them you can see what a thriving town it was in the heyday of mining in the area.

School of Mines Building Zeehan
Zeehan main street with Gaiety Theatre in the foreground.

Entering the museum, the first area we explored was the mining and minerals exhibit. This was familiar to us from our previous visit but it is still very interesting to see and some of the mineral samples are beautiful.

Daimler Railcar 1922

The mining display included equipment, working models and even a simulated mine so that people could get a feel for how it was to work underground. The entry to this part was a tunnel which was very dark. It led to a chamber where there were mining dioramas (too dark for me to photograph well). There was also a film running showing a tour of a modern mine. We sat and watched this for a while but it was very long and after about half an hour we decided that if we didn’t move on, we’d fall asleep in the dark.

Minehead

Exiting the mine tunnel, we came to the railway display which we remembered from before. This was located in a covered area outside and comprised a few preserved locomotives and rollingstock that had been used in the area.

We then went on to explore the other buildings and structures outside. There was such a lot to see and I took so many photos that I think I’m going to split this into two posts rather than give you information overload. At the end of this post, I’ve left a link to the museum’s website which has their contact details, opening hours etc.

Here are just a couple more photos I took outside the building. Incidentally, our tickets were good for the whole day so had we arrived earlier we could have looked at part of it, taken a break for lunch and come back later to finish off.

This is a replica of a mining hut built by a local gentleman using recycled materials as would have been done at the time. It’s pretty sparse inside as you can imagine.

Replica miners hut
Motor boat Victory

West Coast Heritage Centre Zeehan

Taswegian1957

I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.

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