About Ben Prior's Open Air Museum

Dedicated to Western Australia's early explorers and the pioneers of the goldfields, this open air machinery museum was started by Ben Prior in 1961 and is perhaps one of the most unusual museums in Australia. A display of machinery and all things eclectic, Ben Prior's Open Air Museum features equipment used in the mining industry at the turn of the century, as well as tools, vehicles and instruments that were a major part of life for the early settlers. See the steam engine used on the mines, sit in wagon's driven by the town's citizens and look back into the lifestyle at the time of the gold rush.

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A few words from Ben Prior's Open Air Museum

If you are looking for a museum with a difference whilst in Coolgardie, visit Ben Prior's Open Air Museum. Featuring a collection of machinery collected by the museum's namesake, you will gain an appreciation of the life lead by the early settlers of this gold mining town. Much of the collection was owned by the pioneers of the town during the goldrush of the late 1800s. See the steam engine used on the mines, sit in wagons driven by the town's citizens and examine an array of equipment used by the town's residents in their homes and whilst out looking to discover gold. Learn more about this fascinating town that carved a significant mark in Australia's history by visiting various other museums in the area. These include Warden's Court which houses the town's official museum, Warden Finnerty's House which captures life of one of the town's early residents and the Old Coolgardie Railway Station. Coolgardie is a six hour drive south east of Perth

Location & Map

located in central Bayley Street, Coolgardie 6429 WA - See Map

Features & Facilities


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I wonder if the old blue flivver is still in Ben Prior's museum. As teenagers in the late 1950s we used to rattle around in this, with its half a tennis ball for its radiator cap. The local lads kept the thing on the road and we girls all enjoyed flying off the back to go find the tennis ball when the boiling radiator blue it off.