For the first time, thousands of rare and remarkable items in museums, cultural centres and private collections across Western Australia have been brought together in a new online portal.
WAnderland is packed with hidden treasures and tales – from the cultured to the kitsch and everything in between. The website opens a doorway to WA’s fascinating regional collections – inspiring you to hit the road and experience them for yourself.
Discover the collections on your device and add things that intrigue you to an online itinerary planner, building a bespoke bucket list for your next real-life adventure.
Head upstairs above a Chinese restaurant in Broome to find an unexpected and mesmerising personal collection featuring items from five generations of the Yu family.
Experience the culture of WA’s diverse Aboriginal peoples at centres like Bilya Koort Boodia in Northam, where a bold and beautiful display of the region’s Ballardong Nyoongar culture is revealed through a mesmerising mix of projected video art, light and sound that evokes the Dreamtime.
Marvel at little-known places like the Dolly Mix in Esperance, which holds a huge collection of large dolls presented amongst swathes of red velvet and sparkling chandeliers.
Explore Gwoonwardu Mia Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre, a place that celebrates the five language groups of the Gascoyne and see the award winning exhibition, Burlganyja Wanggaya, which shares stories of the Gascoyne’s Aboriginal people in their own words using text, images, audio and film.
The WAnderland project, led by the WA Museum, is the culmination of two years’ work and more than 10 weeks on the road. Project director Roz Lipscombe travelled with a photographer and regional writers across a third of Australia to identify and document rarely seen items from private and public collections.
WAnderland not only showcases locations and the surprising items you can see, but it shines a light on the people behind the collections. You’ll find interviews with some of the warmest and most knowledgeable people from across the State as they share their stories. The website has written articles from collection owners and a series of five mini-documentaries, from Perth film producer Paul Barron.
Block Branding was appointed to develop the project, leading the branding and website design, with Doghouse – through District CMS, responsible for the website development. Block and Doghouse have worked on the project for the past 18 months up until its launch this week, with Wanderlust Communications handling the marketing and PR now that it is live.
Culture and the Arts Minister, David Templeman, said: “It’s such a joy to discover charming local characters, quirky buildings and incredible historic collections, and WAnderland is going to encourage more people to get out there and experience it for themselves.
“There’s a world of colour and curiosity waiting to be discovered out there; every location is a treasure box filled with surprises. This is a showcase of extraordinary items you’ve never seen, hidden in towns you may never have visited, collected by characters you’ll never forget. Whether you’re heading to the Coral Coast, Golden Outback, North-West or South-West, you’ll find inspiration for stops along the way to see these amazing collections for yourself.”
Tourism Minister, Roger Cook, said: “This new online gateway will entice people out to our wonderful regions, where they can explore all the quirkiness and beauty our State has to offer. From Eucla to Kununurra, Balgo to Augusta, more than 220 collections have been identified and profiled. I encourage all Western Australians to take a look and plan their next Wander out Yonder to explore.”
Natalie Jenkins, CEO of Block, said: “Block was thrilled to have been awarded the tender by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries in 2020 to develop a tourism portal promoting regional WA’s vast array of amazing collections.”
“At that time, the state was locked down and we were being encouraged to ‘wander out yonder’ and hence, brand WAnderland was conceived. We are so pleased to see it launched this week – it’s been a pleasure working closely with the Department and the WA Museum and in collaboration with Doghouse via District CMS. WAnderland is such a fantastic resource for regional WA and for anyone wanting to explore our regions’ stories.”