“Best museum we have visited. Well done” Cooper (August 2018)

“The best social history museum we have seen. Excellent” Pope (July 2018)

Over a century of Australian farming history is on show across half a hectare of under cover exhibition space. The interpretive displays bring together the history of Kadina and surrounds with the stories and the farming collections for which the Yorke Peninsula is well known.

The museum is owned and managed by the Kadina Branch of the National Trust of South Australia and lays claim to be the country’s best farming museum. It is well worth a visit, with something for everyone.

Please allow at least an hour to be able to fully appreciate all that is available to see and explore with the self-guided tour through the centre. Guided tours, by Kadina National trust volunteers, are available for group bookings.

Entrance Fees
Adults $10
Children $3
Family (2+3) $25
Under School Age Free
National Trust Members Free

(The museum is operated by volunteers and entrance fees assist with running costs and improvements)

Matta House

Matta Matta House was built in 1863 as a residence for Edward Austin Horn, the manager of nearby Matta Mine This was short lived however (1860-1870) and a succession of families lived in the house up until 1966. It was bought from the Cock family after the Rotary Club of Kadina and Yorke Peninsula Field Days each provided money so that it could be preserved as a museum. Matta House, a historic bungalow with its shingle roof has been refurbished to the late Victorian period, when the local copper mining industry was at its peak. Matta House was officially opened as a museum on the 25th March 1967.

Kadina’s Story

Depicts the social history of the township of Kadina, from the founding in 1861, it traces a century of development using thematic and photographic displays. The life-size model of an underground mine is a spectacular feature. Many local stories are also featured and are well worth a read, such as when WG Grace and his English cricket team played in Kadina instead of Adelaide.

Dis ‘n’ Dat

This amazing collection of items not currently displayed in the main exhibitions is well worth exploring. It includes “Life on the Wallaroo Mine” and “They Served” as well as other themed displays including “When Monday was Washing Day,” entertainment, fashion and medical paraphernalia.

Her Side of the Story

This display explores the contribution of women on the dryland farms and the social impacts farming had on families.


Pioneer lifestyle displays feature shearing, dairying, blacksmithing and farm horses

Land clearing

Learn about the invention of the stump jump plough and how it changed farming forever.

Stationary engines

Marvel at the large engines which once upon a time powered saws, chaff cutters and assisted pumping water.

Printing Press

A separate collection of huge machines from pre-computer era.

School room

This 1950’s schoolroom was moved to the museum shortly after the school closed. The school house is furnished as a typical rural schoolroom of the era. It will scare many, how familiar the school room is and intrigue the young with its lack of computer gadgets.

Rural Transport

Don’t miss the varied vintage farm vehicles, horse drawn and motor powered.

Telephone Exchange

A great example of a country telephone exchange, this building from Cunliffe, serves as a reminder of the importance of communications in rural communities.

Band Rotunda

The Wallaroo Mines Band Rotunda was relocated to its current location from the Kadina Showgrounds in 1975, its home for 50 years. The Rotunda was first erected next to the Wallaroo Mines Institute by the Wallaroo and Moonta Mining Company for the miners’ Federal Brass Band and was declared open in 1905. In 1915 is was moved to the nearby Mines Recreation Ground.

Lighting plant

Housing several generators. outlying farms were still being connected to electricity in the 1960s. Before that time farming families were reliant on generators for power to maintain lighting and any other appliances.

Ruston Hornsby Engine

This large diesel operated Hornsby Engine was used to drive generators in the powerhouse at Lochiel saltworks.