The Great Cobar Museum
On a clear western night, travellers approaching Cobar could see a sky filled with blazing red light and intermittent splashes of silver and gold. What was this awesome spectacle that could be seen from over 20 miles?
No. It was the smelter of the Great Cobar Copper Mine in full production.
In 1911, Cobar was Australia’s leading producer of copper while gold and silver were found at nearby mines. The richness of these mines is matched by the richness of Cobar’s history, all of which can be explored at the Great Cobar Heritage Centre.
The Great Cobar Museum, completed in 1912, was originally the administration offices of the Great Cobar Copper Mine. The beautiful building is a fitting place for the display of Cobar’s history, having been not only part of a great mining operation but also having spent time divided into flats, as a derelict ‘haunted house’, and boarding house before becoming the museum.
In 2021, the exhibitions were completely redesigned and renewed and the building had conservation works that reveal its original layout in all its glory. Cobar is particularly proud that it is the home of the Royal Far West Health Scheme, which still operates today. A restored Baby Health Clinic railway carriage is part of the extensive outdoor displays.
Cobar is on the crossway of two major highways, the Barrier and the Kidman Way. No matter in which direction you are travelling, don’t miss the chance to stop awhile and soak up some of the history and atmosphere of this very special place.