Museums

Hay’s five amazing museums

Hay has an amazing five museums, that's one for every 715 people!

Bullockies and bishops, cooks and coachbuilders, pastoralists and prisoners of war. Visit any of Hay’s five museums and you’re sure to meet some of the town’s real characters, past and present. Characters like painter and preacher Bishop Ernest Anderson, Ah Mow the Chinese gardener, quilter Marion Gibson, or internment camp cartoonist Fred Schoenbach.

Hay’s museums can introduce you to some of the really remarkable people who have contributed to our community. See Gallipoli through the camera lens of a Hay soldier. Glimpse the fairies that children imagined lived at the bottom of the Bishop’s Lodge garden. Track Italian POW Colonel Simone’s escape from the Hay Gaol. Marvel at the contribution shearers have made to Australian culture. Striking images, intriguing exhibits, evocative sound, and playful interactivity bring Hay’s heritage to life.

The quality and vibrancy of our five museums is testament to the passion and pride local people feel about Hay’s past, present and future. A team of nearly 100 enthusiastic local volunteers has created Hay’s museums, and their dedication shows. If you’re lucky, you might meet some of them.

Fun, engaging, moving: each of our five museums offers a different experience. Together they tell the story of a town full of characters.

Guided tours are available with Circle Hay Tours. Contact David Houston on 02 6993 2161 or email circlehaytours@bigpond.com for all enquiries. 

Bishop's Lodge
Bishop’s Lodge is an 1888 iron house designed by architect John Sulman and the Bishop of the Riverina to combat the region’s extreme climate. The building is surrounded by a historic...
Dunera Museum
Over 6,000 German, Italian and Japanese civilian Internees and Prisoners of War (POW) were kept in three Prison Camps at Hay between 1940 and 1946. They were guarded by over 600 members of 16th Australian Garrison Battalion.
Gaol Museum
A diverse collection of artifacts showcasing the history of Hay is displayed in the buildings and ground of the old Hay Gaol. The complex has had many uses since it was built in 1878.
Shear Outback and the Australian Shearers Hall of Fame
Shear Heritage, Shear Culture, Shear Fun. Visitors can experience the living and working conditions of the hardworking men and women who shaped the industry.
War Memorial Museum
The people of Hay built a War Memorial High School to remember those who served in World War I. An excellent collection of local war-related material is displayed in the...