Spend a weekend at the museum

FASCINATING: The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum is known for exhibiting specimens from every major stage of life on Earth.
FASCINATING: The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum is known for exhibiting specimens from every major stage of life on Earth.

Most people used to associate museums with boring old photos and broken displays covered in dust, but now museums are making sure that exhibits are updated regularly, descriptions are not just informative but interesting, and technology is increasingly used to enhance visitors' experiences.

With 200 years of history overflowing with tales of settlement, colonisation, industry, culture and sport, Bathurst has a large number of museums with something of interest for everyone.

From Chifley Home and the Bathurst Art Gallery through to the National Motor Racing Museum and the highly anticipated Railway Museum, the exhibitions throughout Bathurst are worth taking to the time to explore.

Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum

Home of the renowned Somerville Collection, the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum holds a lifetime of effort and exploration by Warren Somerville.

The amazing collection of fossils and minerals include some of the rarest and most outstanding specimens from around the world. Situated in the renovated 1876 Bathurst Public School, features of the collection include crystals, gemstones, dinosaur eggs, along with smaller dinosaur skeletons that are highlighted by the awe inspiring Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton.

The museum is known for exhibiting specimens from every major stage of life on Earth, and has a strong focus on local and Australian specimens, including Australia's largest collection of amber fossils and an assortment of unique opalised fossils.

Widely visited by schools who see the museum as a unique educational experience, it is also open to the public for general tours and often with special events being held.

In conjunction with the permanent collection there are often temporary displays and even travelling exhibits that visit the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, so it is always worth checking their website when planning a visit.

REV IT UP: A mecca of motor sport, the National Motor Racing Museum celebrates the history and significance of motor sport in Bathurst and across Australia.

REV IT UP: A mecca of motor sport, the National Motor Racing Museum celebrates the history and significance of motor sport in Bathurst and across Australia.

National Motor Racing Museum

A mecca of motor sport, the National Motor Racing Museum celebrates the history and significance of motor sport in Bathurst and across Australia. Mount Panorama along with V8s and the Bathurst 1000 are the main features of the museum, however there are certainly more vehicles and exhibits on show, especially with a strong focus on motorcycle racing.

There is a wealth of information available showcasing many racing classes and fields, stories and vehicles, that is not only entertaining but also helps to educate people about Australia's historical and often wild days of racing through to today.

COLONIAL COLLECTION: The Bathurst District Historical Society Museum has more than 8000 pieces on display.

COLONIAL COLLECTION: The Bathurst District Historical Society Museum has more than 8000 pieces on display.

Bathurst District Historical Society Museum

Originally housing the Bathurst Post Office, the Bathurst District Historical Society Museum is located in the eastern wing of the Bathurst Courthouse. The museum is home to one of the largest collections of artefacts and memorabilia that spans 200 years of Australian history.

All displays are labelled and feature many important pieces of significance such as the tree trunk carved when Surveyor Evans first reached the Lachlan River, local Aboriginal artefacts, a focus on the region's bushranging past, and a generous collection of pieces from former Prime Minister Ben Chifley's estate.

With more than 8000 pieces on display you can spend hours exploring what the museum has to offer. The museum also changes exhibitions occasionally to fit in with historic celebrations or annual events so there is always something new and different to see.

The Archives and Photographic Archives are highly regarded as a valuable resource and are available for anyone performing research, while the museum's bookshop also has many interesting and in depth local histories available.

For more information about any of Bathurst's museums, their permanent or temporary exhibits and opening times, you can visit https://mgnsw.org.au/ or go to individual museum websites.