Australia is a land of stunning uniqueness in its people, its history, and the way of life both in the cities and out and about throughout the Outback. So it should come as no surprise that some of the weirdest museums you can find anywhere would also be located in The Land Down Under. While you might not be able to hit all of them in one run, setting up your campervan hire is the first step to making your way through this list and adding to your very Aussie experience exploring some of the strangest museums the country has to offer.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Queensland
Technically an “odditorium” versus museum if you buy the marketing, this Queensland attraction shouldn’t surprise anyone with its place on this list. Very much removed from the beaches, surf culture, and even general city vibe, Ripley’s goes full on carnival and museum of the strange as you take a look at a massive collection of exhibits.
The sheer randomness definitely throws many people off, from musical stairs to strange wax figures, to showing off oddities like a piece of Mars or the smallest car in the world…there’s a lot here and it’s a lot of fun for children or adults who are children at heart.
Museum of Fire, New South Wales
Actually about firefighting, the Museum of Fire in Penrith, New South Wales is incredibly focused on the history of fire fighting in the area and features old protective gear, modern firefighting gear, and even old fire engines long since out of use. Diving into deep detail it’s a bit of an odd niche for a museum but manages to pull off being interesting in its own quirky devoted way.
Old Ghan Heritage Railway and Museum, Northwestern Territory
You have to travel a bit out of your way to find Alice Springs, as this town is located decidedly in the heart of The Outback, but this quirky and interesting little town has long been used as a great jumping off point for tours of the wild Outback from larger cities like Adelaide, but in addition to this the Old Ghan Museum is definitely worth a visit.
Not only is this museum built in an old train station (no longer in service) but it is a collection for an impressive and odd assortment of railroad paraphernalia. This includes random bits and pieces of rusting iron that are “interesting,” to full-sized locomotives, old tickets and adverts, dinner dishes, 60-year old travel posters, and everything in between. With a focus on how railroad took the place of camel transport for getting to and from Ghan, this museum is a fun and odd little trip that really adds on to the experience of Alice Springs when you’re going way off the beaten path.
The Johnson Collection, Victoria
Named after William Johnson, a prominent antique dealer before his death, his home was a stunning collection of antiques, furniture, art, are antiques of every kind imaginable. In fact, there are so many that The Johnson Collection gets a new look every few months as a new curator is brought in to arrange many of the antiques based on a “theme.” That’s right, there’s so many that the collection is re-arranged by theme.
Definitely call in advance, however, as the strange and wonderful Johnson Collection is always in high demand.