The Full Guide to the Small Perth Museums, WA

The city of Perth, Western Australia was founded in 1829 and there appears to be a museum to reflect every aspect of Perth’s history, culture and development.  In fact, there are actually at least 25 museums in Perth.

There are a few large well-known museums and many small museums sharing a snapshot of life in Perth.  These museums offer an opportunity to while away a few hours to escape Perth’s heat in the summer or for something to do in Perth on a rainy day.

Read on to discover a Perth museum that will interest you.

In this Article Discover 25 Perth Museums

Click to Jump to Your Interest

Museums in Perth CBD

  1. Museum of Western Australia
  2. Perth Mint
  3. Scitech
  4. Old Court House
  5. Old Perth Fire Station
  6. Royal Perth Hospital Museum
  7. Museum of Perth

Fremantle Museums

  1. The Maritime Museum
  2. HMAS Ovens
  3. The Round House
  4. Shipwreck Museum
  5. The Western Australia Army Museum
  6. The Leighton Battery

Other Suburban Museums

  1. The Heritage Railway Museum
  2. Aviation Museum
  3. Western Australia Medical Museum
  4. The Nostalgia Box
  5. Number One Pump Station

Local Historic Museums

  1. Subiaco Museum
  2. Peninsular farm (Tranby House)
  3. Cockman House
  4. Mundaring and Hills District Museum

Whiteman Park Museums

  1. Whiteman Park Motor Museum
  2. Tractor Museum
  3. Revolutions Transport Museum

The limestone exteria of the Fire Station Museum one of the small museums in Perth city

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Museums in Perth CBD

Popular Perth Museums

  1. The Museum of Western Australia

This is the main museum of Western Australia, but it’s currently closed for renovation and due to re-open in 2020.  In the meantime, the museum has been creating pop small museums about Perth.  Check the website for current displays.

  • Website
  • Currently closed for renovation
  1. Perth Mint

You are welcomed into the historic and still working Perth Mint showrooms for jewellery, coins and bars.  To see the museum you need to join a Perth Mint Tour.  On the tour, you will get to see behind the scenes of the Mint, learn about its history, watch a gold pour, and view display boards and videos about Perth Mint.

A bronze statue of two miners outside Perth Mint

Perth Mint

  1. Scitech

This is Perth’s science museum.  There is an entrance fee, but what I like is that you can become a member to return as often as you like (the displays change every 3-4 months) and you can use your membership to visit other science museums around the world.

Scitech caters for all ages from toddlers through to adults.

  • Website
  • Open: Mon-Sun
  • Hours: 9:30am-4pm
  • Price: $19 adult/$12 child
An interactive Space rocket display at Scitech

Scitech space display

Free Museums in Perth

  1. Old Court House Museum

The Old Court House was Perth’s first courthouse and simultaneously used as a church and school.  Discover some fascinating stories in the judge’s chambers about the early European settlers and their misunderstanding with the local Aboriginal people.

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  • Website
  • Open: Tues-Fri
  • Hours: 10am-4pm
  • Price: Gold coin donation
the white washed extreria of the small old court house museum in Perth

Old Court House

  1. Old Perth Fire Station 

This is one the little kids will absolutely love, but there’s plenty for us adults to discover as well.  The kids will love to be able to sit in a fire engine and try on firefighter clothing.

There are also plenty of displays about historic fire-fighting equipment and upstairs you’ll learn about Emergency Services helping out in storms and natural disasters.

  • Website
  • Open: Tues-Thurs
  • Hours: 10am-3pm
  • Price: Free
heritage fire engine

Inside the Fire Station Museum

  1. Royal Perth Hospital Museum

Across the road is Perth’s first hospital’s museum.  Apart from seeing old medical equipment, you’ll discover how far we have advanced in medicine since those early days.

  • Website
  • Open: Wed-Thurs
  • Hours: 9am-2pm
  • Price: Gold coin donation
the heritage exteria of Royal Perth Hospital

Royal Perth Hospital Museum

  1. Museum of Perth

The ground level of the building houses different displays showcasing Perth’s growth and development.

  • Website
  • Open: Mon-Sat
  • Hours: 10am-4pm
  • Price: Gold coin donation

Fremantle Museums

  1. Maritime Museum

Overlooking Fremantle Harbour is the popular Maritime Museum displaying all things boating including the famous yacht Australia II that won the America’s Cup in 1983 – it’s not a replica it’s the real thing.  Unfortunately, you can’t get on board this boat but you can explore others throughout the museum.  The museum is quite interactive making it enjoyable for adults and kids alike.

  • Website
  • Open: Mon-Sun
  • Hours: 9:30am-5pm
  • Price: $15 adult/ kids free
real boats hanging from the ceiling of the Fremantle Maritime Museum

Inside the Maritime Museum

  1. HMAS Ovens

Located just outside the Maritime Museum is the HMAS Oven submarine.  You can take a tour through this Cold War-era vessel and learn what life was like onboard for its crew.   Just a note, tours for this book out, so be sure to pre-book a tour prior to arriving in Fremantle.

  • Website
  • Open: Mon-Sun
  • Hours: 9:30am-5pm
  • Price: $15 adult/$7.50 child
  1. The Round House

Walking along the coastline towards Fremantle town you will come across the first gaol built for the colony.  It provides for an interesting and educational detour as you discover the port town.  And if you happen to be there at 1pm you can watch the cannon being fired.

  • Website
  • Open: Mon-Sun
  • Hours: 10:30am-3:30pm
  • Price: Gold coin donation
The limestone tunnel and Round House

The front of the Round House

  1. Shipwreck Galleries

Further still towards town is the Shipwreck Museum.  This tells the story of ancient mariners on their quest to discover New Holland (AKA Australia).

  • Website
  • Open: Mon-Sun
  • Hours: 9:30am-5pm
  • Price: Free (suggested $5 donation)
A very large anchor in front of teh Shipwreck Museum Fremantle

Shipwreck Museum

  1. Army Museum of Western Australia

The Army Museum explains the history of the West Australian Army Corp from its beginnings, through to traditions, to its time during wars.  Kids and big kids will love that they can get up close to big army tanks and machinery.

  • Website
  • Open: Wed-Sun
  • Hours: 10:30am-3pm, last tour 1pm
  • Price: $12 adult/$9 child
  1. The Leighton Battery

If you want to feel what it was like during wartime you can explore the WW II tunnels just outside of Fremantle.  I haven’t been in these but son has and he commented they are cramped, dark, a bit creepy, but very interesting.

  • Website
  • Open: Sun
  • Hours: 10am-3pm
  • Price: $8 adult/$2 child

Other Perth Suburban Museums

  1. Railway Museum

The Railway Museum prides itself on providing the complete history of Western Australia’s railways.  Historic trains date back to 1881 with many more trains featuring passenger and freight travels along with rail memorabilia.

  • Website
  • Open: Wednesday and Sunday
  • Hours: 1pm-4pm and 1pm-5pm respectively
  • Price: $9 adult/$4 child
  1. Aviation Heritage Museum

The Aviation Museum is run by the West Australian RAAF who has been restoring and displaying old war planes since 1929.  Since then they have acquired more aircraft, books, photos and aviation artfacts.

  • Website
  • Open: Monday-Sunday
  • Hours: 10am-4pm
  • Price: $15 adult/$7.50 child
  1. Western Australian Medical Museum

Located at the historic section of King Edward Memorial women’s hospital in Subiaco; his medical museum showcases medical history.  Alongside medical equipment, there is an operating theatre, a room set up for a maternity hospital stay back in the day, the iron lungs, dentistry and the Royal Flying Doctor service.

  • Open: Wed
  • Hours: 10:30am-4pm
  • Price: Gold coin donation
A display of an old operating theatre

The Western Australia Medical Museum

  1. The Nostalgia Box

Do you remember Space Invaders?  This is Australia’s only gaming console museum.  And what’s more, it’s interactive.  Take the kids to learn about how gaming began back in the 1970’s and enjoy a moment stepping back into your childhood shoes.

  1. Number One Pump Station 

Discover the story of how the world’s longest pipeline was built in 1903 from Mundaring Weir to Kalgoorlie.

  • Website
  • Open: Saturday-Sunday
  • Hours: 12noon-4pm
  • Price: $10 adult/$5 child
A display of two water pipes located near the Number One Pump Station Mundaring Weir

Pipe display near the Number One Pump Station

Local Historic Suburban Museums

These local museums show what life was like for the early settlers in Perth.

  1. Subiaco Museum
  • Website
  • Open: Tuesday-Saturday
  • Hours: Tues-Fri 1pm-4pm, Sat 10am-2pm
  • Price: Free
  1. Peninsular Farm (Tranby House)
  • Website
  • Open: Friday-Sunday
  • Hours: 12:30pm-4pm
  • Price: $10 adult/$5 child
An old farm house

Tranby House at Peninsular Farms

  1. Cockman House
  • Website
  • Open: Sunday (closed February)
  • Hours: 2pm-5pm
  • Price: Donation
  1. Mundaring and Hills District Museum
  • Website
  • Open: Monday-Sunday
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 9:30-4pm, Sun 10am-2:30pm

Whiteman Park Museums

Whiteman Park was originally 835 hectares of farming land located about half an hour’s drive northeast of Perth.  In 1977 Lew Whiteman sold his land to the government (which also bought neighbouring land) to be made into a public park.  The park includes acres of green grassy fields, large playgrounds (including a splash playground), BBQ’s, sheltered picnic tables, old-time shops (like the lolly shop) and three Perth motor museums.

  1. Whiteman Park Motor Museum

The motor museum has over 200 vehicles on display for the motoring enthusiast.  Cars date back to the late 19th century some of which include stories of their links to Western Australia.

  • Website
  • Open: Monday-Sunday
  • Hours: 10am-4pm
  • Price: $15 adult/$10 child
  1. Tractor Museum

Learn a little about Western Australia farming history with this collection of nearly 40 tractors, vintage trucks, farming artefacts, and photographs.

  • Website
  • Open: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays
  • Hours: 10am-4pm
  • Price: donation
  1. Revolutions Transport Museum

This museum is dedicated to telling the story of the evolution of Perth’s transport and includes Lew Whiteman’s historic machinery.  There’s everything from old farming carts, train carriages, buses and Holden cars.  This one is really great for young kids as they can get in and “drive” many of the vehicles.

  • Website
  • Open: Monday-Sunday
  • Hours: 10am-4pm
  • Price: Gold coin donation
An intereactive display of an old bus at the Whiteman Park motor museum Revolutions

Old bus display in Revolutions

Top Trip Tips for Visiting Perth’s Museum

  • Click this Perth Museums Map to learn where each of these museums is located
  • Check the individual museum’s website for:
    • Full entrance fees, concession prices and group costs
    • Opening times and days including closures over the Christmas period
    • Bookings
      • If the museum offers tours it is better to pre-book to save disappointment
    • Accessibility – not all are wheelchair/pram friendly
  • Include in your day trip bag
    • Money including gold coins for donation entry
      • Gold Coin donation refers to Australia’s $1 and $2 gold coins
    • Camera
    • Water
  • Most of Perth’s Museums are accessible via public transport

Discover more things to do in Perth and Western Australia

four image collage of Perth museums Perth Mint, Fire Station, Revolutions, the Maritime Museum

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Four image collage of Perth and Fremantle museums

Four image collage of Fremantle and Perth museums

Sally-Ann
Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you plan for your travel dream with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel planning tips, packing lists and destination inspirations.
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