The French explorer d’Entrecasteaux sailed along the southern coast of Western Australia in 1792, naming the locality of Esperance when he landed there, seeking shelter from a storm.
The Esperance Museum was established in 1976 and presents local social history as well as displays of agricultural, maritime, railway and space artefacts.
The museum is located in the former Esperance railway shed and the 4-8-2 steam locomotive W919 is on static display, after spending 18 years running between Kalgoorlie and Esperance.
The museum also has a large collection of wreckage from NASA’s 77 tonne Skylab space station that de-orbited and crashed near Balladonia in Western Australia on 12 July 1979. The collection includes a large cylindrical oxygen tank, spherical nitrogen tanks, small debris, newspaper clippings and other ephemera relating to the space station and its fiery re-entry. The Shire of Esperance jokingly fined NASA $400 for littering – this was eventually paid in 2009!
Open daily from 1.30-4.30 pm (except Good Friday, 25 December and a short winter maintenance period) and admission fees apply.