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Hay has five museums, that's one for every 490 people.

Bullockies and bishops, cooks and coachbuilders, pastoralists and prisoners of war. Visit any of Hay's five museums and you're sure to meet some of the town's real characters, past and present. Characters like painter and preacher Bishop Ernest Anderson, Ah Mow the Chinese gardener, quilter Marion Gibson, or internment camp cartoonist Fred Schoenbach.

Hay's museums can introduce you to some of the really remarkable people who have contributed to our community. See Gallipoli through the camera lens of a Hay soldier. Glimpse the fairies that children imagined lived at the bottom of the Bishop's Lodge garden. Track Italian POW Colonel Simone's escape from the Hay Gaol. Marvel at the contribution shearers have made to Australian culture. Striking images, intriguing exhibits, evocative sound, and playful interactivity bring Hay's heritage to life.

The quality and vibrancy of our five museums is testament to the passion and pride local people feel about Hay's past, present and future. A team of nearly 100 enthusiastic local volunteers has created Hay's museums, and their dedication shows. If you're lucky, you might meet some of them.

Fun, engaging, moving: each of our five museums offers a different experience. Together they tell the story of a town full of characters.

Guided tours are available.

Contact the Hay Outback Info Centre 02 6993 4045

Hay Gaol Museum

Church Street
Hay NSW  2711
02 6993 4045
Open 9am to 5pm every day
Entry is adult $4 and children $1
Wheelchair access, toilets, education programs, venue hire.

A community Museum since 1976 that holds a fascinating collection of local artefacts and memorabilia. Feel the chill of the gaol cells as you discover the stories of their inmates. The complex has had many uses since it was built in 1878: gaol, maternity hospital, lock hospital for the insane, prisoner of war detention centre, institute for girls and now a museum.

Exhibits include the growing collection of antique windmills, beer pumps used in Hay’s hotels and a Chinese insense stone along with Australia’s largest flown boomerang and the oldest known original bark canoe, and much more.

The Apex Park in the Gaol grounds is a great place for a picnic, and it has play equipment for the kids too.

The Gaol Museum is the hub of Hay’s stirring Australia Day celebrations, which start with a hearty breakfast, flag raising ceremony and presentation of the town’s citizenship awards.