Established in 1979, the Augusta Historical Museum offers visitors a comprehensive display documenting the rich history of Augusta and Districts since European settlement in 1830.
Displays include details of families involved in the 1830s, artefacts from local shipwrecks, from the MC Davies timber empire (1880s to 1915); the local environment, personal effects of early settlers, details of the 1920s group settlements, commemorative china, coins and medals, and garments from various eras.
There are also displays covering the history of the construction of the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse and a photographic exhibition recalling the events surrounding the rescue of a school of 114 false killer whales which were stranded on Augusta’s main beach on 30 July 1986. Assistance came from all over the south west and for two days the rescuers attempted to send the whales back to sea. The result was that 96 of the whales were saved. A remarkable achievement.
The museum is located on Blackwood Avenue and open from 1 September to 30 April from 11.00 am – 4.00 pm. From 1 May to 31 August it is open from 1.00 pm – 3.00 pm. Tel: (08) 9758 0465.
Although a modern church, Augusta’s Lumen Christi Catholic Church is of interest because it has been constructed out of rammed earth and features a very unusual and idiosyncratic front porch.
It is a celebration of the region’s long association with hardwood with the interior being a superb modern use of the timbers of the area.
Located 8 km south of Augusta, Cape Leeuwin is a particularly beautiful rocky headland which Matthew Flinders described as ‘the southern and most projecting part of Leeuwin’s Land’.
The walk to the lighthouse, through an area which in spring is ablaze with wildflowers, and the view across the Great Southern and Indian oceans is an essential part of any exploration of this beautiful and dramatic coast. At certain times of the year, it is possible to see exactly where the two oceans meet.
As a plaque on Cape Leeuwin points out, “At various times of the year the different ocean currents, waves and swell patterns are evident in the waters around the Cape. This can create unusual conditions in the nearby waters. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current [in the Southern Ocean] circles Antarctica west to east … its northern edge turns north and heads up along the western Australian coast. From May to September each year the Leeuwin Current [in the Indian Ocean] transports warm tropical water southwards around Cape Leeuwin.”