Heritage and Nautical Museum

Originally a Post Office (1865-1910), this historic building houses extensive displays of the copper smelting era which lasted from 1861 - 1923, postal & telephone history, religious & civic affairs, industry, sport, entertainment, extensive nautical, and general local history displays.

Located in front of the Museum in Investigatior Park, and clearly visible from Wallaroo's main shopping street, Owen Terrace, is the former 1877 Tiparra (frequently spelt "Tipara") reef Lighthouse, an outstanding example of early lighthouses.

One of the displays entitled "Wallaroo - through the years" features early pioneering personalities such as Sir Walter Watson Hughes, founder of copper mining & smelting in the Copper Triangle. Also featured is Caroline Carlton, author of "The Song of Australia" who died in Wallaroo in 1874 and is buried in the local cemetery.
The strong Welsh influence is portrayed by the story of the Reverend John Lloyd and the Welsh Congregational Church.

One of the most popular sections of the museum is the large nautical complex which has captured the imagination of maritime history lovers from all over the world. Many Cape Horners have come to visit Wallaroo just to see this exciting display.

The history of the Port of Wallaroo is illustrated with maps, charts, photographs, ship models, relics , videos and old record books - over 1,500 exhibits, including a large display "Shipwrecks of Yorke Peninsula" which tells the Story of the 46 shipwrecks scattered along the coastline.

An unusual exhibit is "GEORGE" the giant squid which was recovered from the stomach of a whale some 30 years ago. This specimen is preserved in formalin measured 8.5 metres (28ft) long with its tentacles outstretched and the body is 1.5 metres (5ft) long by 0.3 metres (1 ft) wide.

Among the popular history books available at the museum is "Maritime History of Wallaroo" by the late Dorothy Fyfe - which details the history of Wallaroo from Matthew Flinders visit in 1802 to the present day.

Many hours of voluntary labor by members & supporters of the Wallaroo Branch of the National Trust of SA have made the Wallaroo Heritage & Nautical Museum one of the most popular local history museums on Yorke Peninsula with its informative and well presented displays.

  • The "Shipwrecks of Yorke Peninsula" display opened in December 2002 as part of the Coastal Heritage Trail in conjunction with the History Trust of SA & Tourism SA.
  • The latest display "History of Transport in Wallaroo" tells the story of horse, road, rail, air and sea transport and how it integrated with the history of the port of Wallaroo, opened in Dec. 2004.
  • The "War Years" display tells the stories of those from Wallaroo who served in the Boer War, World Wars 1 & 2 & the Vietnam War.
  • Heritage walking tours of Wallaroo for groups of 10 or more can be arranged and tour guides are also available for coach visits. Ghost tours can also be arranged.



Group bookings are welcome anytime but please book in advance.
Project sheets are available for school groups.
Tourist information available.

For Enquiries or Bookings phone: (08) 8823 3015.
A moderate admission price is charged.

Tiparra Reef Lighthouse 

Part of the maritime section

Cutty Sark - One of many models

Post and Telegraph History

Wallaroo Attractions


President: Andy West  |  Secretary: Fiona Karamanlidis  |  Webmaster: Fiona Karamanlidis

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