We have amazing Museums from planes, trains to automobiles, plus science, art and numerous historical societies. Wollongong is even home to Australia’s only Children’s Museum, Early Start Discovery Space! Discover our best museums, top historical attractions and venues in Wollongong. Here at What’s on in Wollongong, we’ll show you the best ways to discover our Illawarra history and culture. Plan an awesome day out, or visit Wollongong (it’s SO worth the visit!) for these fun, historical and educational things to do:

Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) Aviation Museum

Best Museums in Wollongong – HARS Aviation Museum

One of Illawarra’s best-kept secrets for a great day out! The HARS Aviation Museum, is located at Shellharbour Regional Airport in Albion Park. It’s a fantastic local tourist attraction that showcases some of Australia’s aviation history, right here in the Illawarra. You can even board the classic Boeing 747! The museum offers all ages a wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal with the aeroplanes, walk through the hangars, sit in some of the cockpits and explore the planes on display. There is even a great cafe on site (Cafe Connie) for a pit stop for hungry little tummies while taking a break from all the busy plane gazing (kids menu too) as well as coffee, cold drinks and ice creams.

  • Entry: Adults $30, Children $15, Concession $25, or $70 for a family. There are also tours available for an additional cost.
  • Open: Daily 9:30am-3:30 pm
  • Where: 54 Airport Road, Albion Park Rail, New South Wales, 2527

The Illawarra Light Rail Museum

Best Museums in Wollongong – Illawarra Light Rail Museum

The Illawarra Light Rail Museum is so fun! Ride the steam trains and miniature rail trains whilst getting a fascinating glimpse into the history of our rail transport. The tours are lively and full of history, you’ll get up close and personal with all the trains. With a cafe and BBQ picnic areas to enjoy, make a day of it! Wheelchairs are welcome and can be accommodated on some of the train rides, so it’s an accessible venue. Located in Albion Park Rail, this museum features a collection of trams, locomotives, and carriages. Visitors can enjoy rides on restored light rail vehicles and learn about the evolution of railways in Illawarra.

Science Space Wollongong

Best Museums in Wollongong – Science Space

Science Space Wollongong, located at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus, is a hub of interactive science exhibits. This museum is perfect for families and science enthusiasts, featuring hands-on displays, a planetarium, and live science shows. It aims to inspire curiosity and a love for science in visitors of all ages.

Early Start Discovery Space

Best Museums in Wollongong – Early Start Discovery Space

Early Start Discovery Space in Wollongong is AWESOME! It’s Australia’s only dedicated children’s museum, designed to ignite the imagination and curiosity of young minds. Situated at the University of Wollongong, it offers a range of interactive exhibits that encourage learning through play. If you have young kids, you just HAVE to take them to experience it for yourself. From a miniature city to a discovery garden, this museum is a true delight for children and parents alike. We love the cafe and outside play area too.

  • Entry: General $15, discounted $12.75 (see website for details), and concessions $7.50 (see website for details).
  • Open: During school terms weekdays 9-1 pm and weekends 9-3:30 pm. During school holidays open daily 9-3:30 pm.
  • Where: Building 21, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Keiraville, New South Wales, 2500
  • Click here to plan your visit to Early Start Discovery Space!

Australian Motorlife Museum

Best Museums in Wollongong – Australian Motorlife Museum

The Australian Motorlife Museum – could it be up there as one of Australia’s best car museums!? We think so. It is a haven for automotive enthusiasts. Even if you don’t love cars, you’ll still marvel the extensive collection of vintage cars, motorcycles, and automotive memorabilia. The museum showcases the evolution of motoring in Australia, with exhibits that highlight significant milestones in automotive history. The tour guides are dedicated and passionate, or just make your own way round.

Best Museums in Wollongong – Wollongong Art Gallery

Wollongong Art Gallery is free entry and one of the largest regional art museums in Australia. Located in the heart of Wollongong, the gallery features a diverse collection of Australian, Aboriginal, and international art. It hosts regular exhibitions, educational programs, and workshops, making it a cultural cornerstone of the city. Wollongong Art Gallery runs some fantastic kid’s programs and school holiday activities.

Illawarra Historical Society Museum

The Illawarra Historical Society Museum, situated in the historic former Post and Telegraph Office in Wollongong, offers a window into the past. The museum’s exhibits cover various aspects of local history, including Indigenous heritage, early European settlement, and industrial development. It is a must-visit for history buffs looking to explore Illawarra’s rich heritage.

Black Diamond Heritage Centre

The Black Diamond Heritage Centre in Bulli is dedicated to preserving the history of the coal mining industry in the Illawarra region. The museum features artifacts, photographs, and documents that tell the story of the coal miners and their communities. It provides a poignant insight into the challenges and triumphs of the mining industry.

Shellharbour Museum

The Shellharbour Museum, also known as Tongarra Museum, offers a comprehensive look at the history of Shellharbour and its surroundings. The museum’s exhibits cover various themes, including maritime history, Indigenous culture, and European settlement. It provides a well-rounded perspective on the region’s historical development.

Helensburgh Historical Society

The Helensburgh Historical Society operates a museum that showcases the history of the town and its mining heritage. The museum features a collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that highlight the lives of the early settlers and the impact of coal mining on the community. It is an excellent resource for those interested in local history.


What is the best museum to visit in Wollongong? The best museum depends on your interests. For aviation enthusiasts, the HARS Aviation Museum is a must-visit. Art lovers will enjoy the Wollongong Art Gallery, while families with children should not miss Science Space (better for primary school aged) or Early Start Discovery Space (better for toddlers and pre-school age).

Are there any free museums in Wollongong? Yes, Wollongong Art Gallery is free entry.

Which museum in Wollongong is best for kids? The Early Start Discovery Space is the best museum for kids in Wollongong. It offers interactive exhibits designed to engage and educate young minds.

Can you ride the trains at the Illawarra Light Rail Museum? Yes, and it’s awesome! Illawarra Light Rail Museum can enjoy rides on restored light rail vehicles, providing a unique and enjoyable experience.

What can you see at the Australian Motorlife Museum? The Australian Motorlife Museum features a vast collection of vintage cars, motorcycles, and automotive memorabilia, showcasing the evolution of motoring in Australia.

Does the Wollongong Art Gallery offer educational programs? Yes, the Wollongong Art Gallery offers a variety of educational programs, workshops, and exhibitions designed to engage visitors of all ages.


Ok we are biased, but Wollongong is awesome! Wollongong’s museums offer a rich tapestry of history, culture, and education. From the fascinating exhibits at the HARS Aviation Museum to the artistic treasures of the Wollongong Art Gallery, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Discover the vibrant history of the Illawarra region by exploring these remarkable museums.

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