Skip to Content

Arts, Culture & Heritage

Northam is home to a multitude of historical, cultural, and modern attractions, ranging from a large collection of historically significant buildings to exciting new public art pieces.

Bilya Koort Boodja

Northam’s key attraction is Bilya Koort Boodja: Centre for Nyoongar Culture and Environmental Knowledge. The Centre protects, celebrates, and shares the culture of the Nyoongar people and highlights land management practices that draw upon the knowledge of the land’s traditional custodians. Click here to find out more about the centre building. This state-of-the-art facility also offers an interactive educational experience that recognises the rich Aboriginal and environmental presence in the Nyoongar Ballardong region. The interpretive space details the six Aboriginal seasons and the history of Ballardong people in the Northam Region.

Bilya Koort Boodja is also a great place to purchase authentic aboriginal artwork by local Nyoongar artists, or locally produced gifts and souvenirs, food products, and artefacts. Throughout the year the Centre also offers a cultural and environmental tours, local workshops, cultural events and rooms to hire.


Morby Cottage

Morby Cottage is one of Western Australia's oldest surviving colonial residences. The cottage was built in 1836 by John Morrell, the first European to settle in Northam in 1832. Morrell built the farmhouse using locally sourced materials, but the doors and window frames and panes travelled with him by ship, on his long and arduous journey from England. The cottage was crucial to the early colonial life in Northam, serving as the town's first church, school, courthouse, and retail and postal outlet. Morby Cottage is open to the public on Sundays 11am - 3pm or by special appointment. 

70 Katrine Road, Northam

Open Sundays 11am-3pm (Closed end of December until March each year).

Admission Cost- $5 Adult, $3 Concession & $2 Children (CASH ONLY)

Northam Heritage Centre

Take a trip back in time at Northam’s original train station. With numerous displays and exhibitions and train carriages to explore the Northam Heritage Centre is not to be missed. Please contact the Northam Visitor Centre ahead of time to ensure that the museum is open. (Closed end of December until March each year).

425 Fitzgerald Street Northam

08 9621 1739

[email protected]


Heritage Buildings and Tours 

The Shire of Northam recognises that arts and culture are valued components within the community. There is potential for growth within the area of arts and culture that will result in enriching the lives of residents as well as attracting visitors. The Shire of Northam is working to raise awareness and appreciation of our cultural heritage, history and contemporary arts practice. Soak up Northam’s rich heritage in one of our many heritage-themed experiences.

At present, the Northam Visitor Centre operates a number of tours around the historic town of Northam.  Tours do not operate from December to March) All tours are subject to availability.

  • Historical Buildings Bus Tour

You must supply your own bus and driver, for a flat fee of $115 per tour.

Prepare to be taken back in time on our most popular tour around Northam. During the tour, you will see many of the iconic buildings of Northam’s history, and will learn about the important people who lived and worked there. 

  • Guided Heritage Walking Tour Groups of 10 or more $115 or $13.50 per person.
  • Self-Guided Tours

We offer a number of self-guided tour options, including two different historical drives (or walks). Ask Visitor Centre Staff for more details.

PUBLIC Silo Trail

The PUBLIC Silo Trail, completed in September 2018 by cultural organisation FORM in partnership with the State’s largest grain handler CBH Group, has become one of Western Australia’s iconic drive trails linking together strong cultural narratives, storytelling and world class art, along one self-drive route.

 The Northam Silo murals were completed in 2015 by international artists Phlegm and Hense. Over two weeks they painted the huge silos, all while the CBH went about usual operations. Please note this is a working railway yard and there is no public access. 

 Visit the PUBLIC Silo Trail website for further information on the massive works of art and to plan your Silo Trail adventure across WA.


Shire of Northam Art Collection

The Shire of Northam’s art collection originated in the late 1950’s, following a bequest of works from philanthropist Sir Claude Hotchin. It has since grown to consist of more than 140 pieces by both local and well-known artists, including pieces by Will Ashton and Arthur Boyd, among others. The pieces represent a wide range of styles and mediums.

Recently one art display has been held, which showcased a number of pieces of the Sir Claude Hotchin at Northam Visitor Centre. Following a positive reception of this display, it is the intent to  hold further exhibitions, and to explore new methods of displaying the pieces to the public around town. 

Following the initial bequest of the Hotchin collection, pieces have been either donated to the collection, or purchased by the Shire of Northam as the winning piece of the annual Northam Art Prize acquisitive art awards. In 2018 the tradition of the acquisitive art award came to an end so the Shire of Northam will no longer be adding the winning art piece to the Collection. The Shire of Northam councillors now pick a local Shire of Northam artwork to purchase and add to the collection each year.


Public Art in the Shire of Northam

The importance of public art is highly regarded within the Shire of Northam. Public art not only beautifies and brightens the streetscape of our towns, it also serves to boost community morale and enhances the social, cultural and economic value of the Shire. There are several examples of public art, including murals, sculptures and monuments throughout the Shire of Northam, and planning is underway to further develop the public art within the Shire.


Northam Historical Town Sculptures

While meandering down the main street of Northam (Fitzgerald Street) you will notice 12 sculptures placed outside historically significant places. This Northam Historical Town Sculptures project was a collaboration between the Avon Valley Arts Society and the Northam Historical Society to lift the veil on some of the interesting stories of Northam's past and illustrate the history of Northam through sculpture.

Bernard Park

The Sound Sculpture Project was completed in 1991 by Nick Compton, Simon Gilby, Ian Hill and Northam Districts High School Students using scrap metal. 


There are a variety of murals throughout the Shire. Of particular significance are the Silo murals which form part of the PUBLIC Silo Trail. The Shire is in the process of planning for new commissions of mural art as part of the Northam Town Centre Development and Connectivity Strategy, brightscaping strategy. Contact the Northam Visitor Centre for the public art trail brochure.


Avon Valley Arts Society

The Avon Valley Arts society are based at the Old Girls School on Wellington Street, and have gallery and exhibition space at the Northam Visitor Centre. They hold regular events and workshops, and offer items for sale from their talented members.