Wellington Stories and Tips

8 - Gulgong Town and the Pioneers Museum

Gulgong Pioneers Musuem 1 Photo, New South Wales, Australia

When we visited Wellington for the second time we decided to head home via a different route and see what we could find along the way.

The direction we departed was to the east - towards the mid New South Wales coastline - through numerous small townships and the larger township of Gulgong. Gulgong is well known in Australia as being the town displayed on the original $10 note and this fact is proudly displayed at a number of locations.

Apart from this interesting piece of trivia, Gulgong as plenty more to offer people who visit:

- There's the markets at the weekend - held just of Mayne Street - where they sell all types of things from homemade jams, chutneys, and honey to old clothes and miscellaneous items.

- There's the wide footpaths you can stroll around taking in the old homesteads, shops and places of interest like the Opera House, The Prince of Wales Hotel, and the Pioneer's Museum.

Due to the fact that we were a bit short of time, we opted to visit the Gulgong Pioneers Museum on the corner of Bayly and Herbert Streets, The Sight and Sound Museum on the corner of Belmore and Herbert Streets, and The Prince of Wales Hotel on Mayne Street – in that order.

The Pioneers Museum was so fascinating and interesting and well worth the $10 per person, especially considering entrance to the Sight and Sound Museum was also included in that price.

We spent a couple of hours winding our way through all the museum buildings – believe me, there’s plenty of them - past numerous displays, following the little red arrows painted on the ground. You could quite easily get lost in here and if you have ½ a day to spare it would be better than the couple of hours we had.

There was everything in here on display:

- Displays showing old shops, shop fixtures, and fittings.
- Displays showing old work places, uniforms, etc – including hospitals, fire departments, police departments, dentistry, and the like.
- Displays of dolls, women’s, men’s, and children’s attire.
- Displays of military memorabilia
- Displays of all types of transport – steam engines, horse drawn carts, old vehicles, military vehicles, and farm machinery.
- Displays of old houses and barns decked out the way they would have been in the good old days.
- Many, many, many others

Everything is clearly labeled and if it isn’t then I’m sure the helpful person in charge of the joint can tell you all about it.
Don’t forget to look everywhere – there’s stuff at high level, there’s stuff at eye level, there’s stuff at low level, there’s stuff under counters and there’s stuff hanging from the ceiling.

Make sure you keep hold of your entry ticket of the Pioneers Museum as it gives you entry to The Sight and Sound Museum which is located on the next corner down the road and is home to all types of old and new fixtures and fittings related to sight and sound.

There’s many items, of all ages, in the form of:

- Cameras
- Movie cameras
- Televisions
- Gramophones
- Record players
- Tape decks
- Stereos
- Musical instruments

This place is nowhere as big as the Pioneers Museum and it only took us a ½ hour to wonder around – if you’re fanatic about such items and you read every plaque it may take you a little longer.

After our journey through history we were hungry and thirsty so our next, and last, port of call was The Prince of Wales Hotel which is the oldest pub in the town.

We entered of the hotel via Mayne Street and walked to the back of the establishment to where the food counter was – it was here we order our lunches – a Thai Salad for Dale and a Garden Salad for me.

We were instructed to find ourselves a seat in the bar and our meals would be delivered to our table – an order which we gladly obeyed. Before seating we bought a schooner of New (an Aussie beer) and a schooner of lime and lemonade to quench our thirsts.

The meals were delivered, with a smile, to our table after just a few minutes and both salads were delicious – the Thai more so. Besides food and drinks the hotel has other pastimes to tempt the patrons:

- There’s dart boards
- There’s pool tables
- There’s game machines
- There’s live music or jukebox music
- There’s even a dance floor with disco lights

Although somewhat changed through the years there are plenty of old photos that adorn the walls of the pub that provide a glimpse of what the place used to be like.

Gulgong is a very interesting place and we would highly recommend it to anyone – from kids to adults – there’s something for all who visit.

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