Now, a 'wool' museum may not sound like a lot of fun - but this will give you some insight into Australian culture (both now and in the 19th Century) - this is not just a museum full of different types of yarn.
It was also a place we would always go to on a school trip and here's why: "The National Wool Museum is Australia's only comprehensive museum of wool, showcasing wool's enduring impact on Australia social and economic life. With a brief to explore the past, present and future of the Australian wool industry, the Museum acquires, documents, preserves, stores and exhibits objects and materials directly related to and which reflect significant developments in the Australian wool industry.
Appropriately located in a century old (1872) refurbished bluestone wool store, the Museum uses unique objects and innovative displays to tell the story of the Australian wool industry from early settlement to the present day." http://www.arts.vic.gov.au/arts/general/archive/postcards/NWM.htm
There is also a really good gift shop here with 'Australiana' products (plenty of wool products, but jewellery, toys and othet things as well). Within the gift shop area is also a tourist info point to find out more about Geelong and the surrounding area.
Geelong`s major tourist attraction is the National Wool Museum. Housed in a historic bluestone building this museum has three separate galleries focusing on the history, politics and heritage of one of Australia`s major indrusties. When completed in 1872 the building was an architectural masterpiece of the time and was used for the storage, inspection and sale of wool.
The National Wool Museum is Australia's only comprehensive museum of wool, showcasing wool's enduring impact on Australia social and economic life.
Located in a century old refurbished bluestone wool store, the Museum uses unique objects and innovative displays to tell the story of the Australian wool industry from early settlement to the present day.
Facilities include: touring exhibition space shop, conference facilities, cafe, bar and restaurant.
Open daily from 9.30am until 5pm
At certain times of the day in the museum, they operate a large mechanical weaving loom and you can see small carpet rugs being made (which are later sold in the Gift Shop downstairs).
It's quite interesting, and a lot more complicated than I had imagined, with all the different colours, and the pattern on a kind of 'reel' a bit like on a Pianola piano.
The National Wool Museum is a must see for those interested in the pastoral history of Australia.
It contains mainly displays about wool, fleece and sheep, with some audiovisual information.
I'm from the countryside and knew a lot about sheep already, but even so, I still found this museum fairly interesting and informative.
For instance, I learned that Australia is the biggest wool and sheep producer and exporter in the world (New Zealand must surely be a close second).
There are several hands on activities within the museum, such as trying your hand at weaving on a small loom, and carding sheeps fleece (to tease it out and make it ready for spinning). In this picture you can see one of the different sheep fleeces on display and feel the difference in texture and appearance between this wool and that of others alongside it.
Geelong was once the hub of the Wool growing & manufacturing industry. As the saying goes Geelong used to 'Ride on the sheep's back'. Many of the old wool stores still stand today, including the National Wool Museum which also houses the Geelong Visitor Information Centre & Deakin University