Busselton Museum in the Old Butter Factory

Star 4.7 (148 Google reviews)

The Heritage Butter Factory and Busselton Museum has many display rooms packed with photographs, equipment and memorabilia which trace the family, social, civic, commercial and maritime history of Busselton. Everything from agriculture to whaling; from crockery, clocks and cameras to sewing machines, travel and transport are included. The one-hectare site is nestled on the banks of the picturesque Vasse River. A replica of the Jetty Rotunda enhances the vista and the exhibits demonstrate Busselton’s diverse agricultural, forestry and maritime history. Special attention is focused on the famous 1920’s Group Settlement Scheme.
Owned by the State Government, through the Agricultural Department, this Butter Factory was opened in 1918. In 1926 South West Dairy Produce Co-operative became the owners and the name changed to Sunny West. Development of the Group Settlement Scheme in the area caused a great upsurge in production, as there were 735 farms in the Busselton district by 1926. Then came the Great Depression of the early 1930s, the 1939-45 war and the boom period which followed. This boom saw the factory reach peak production of about 30 tons of butter per week. Before the days of refrigeration, the factory also operated an Ice Works, supplying the town of Busselton and local fishermen with much sought after ice.

High overheads during the offseason coupled with more efficient road transport caused closure of this and several other factories. Operations were then centralised at Boyanup. Busselton ceased making butter in 1952. A dried milk plant was installed, but a slump in overseas markets made the process unprofitable and production stopped. The premises served as a depot for trucks and tankers until operations ceased altogether in 1973.

The building was vested in the Shire of Busselton which then leased part of it to the Busselton Historical Society.

The Museum opened in 1975 and is now run entirely by volunteers. Tuesdays are set aside for this willing band of workers who collect Busselton memorabilia, maintain the artefacts and build new displays.



Busselton Museum in the Old Butter Factory

Old Butter Factory Complex, Peel Terrace, Busselton WA 6280, Australia


Star 4.7 (148 Google reviews)
Conssumed 22 March 2024

There’s Lots to see here we underestimated how much there is to see. Need a good 1 hour to allocate for this place from what we saw I enjoyed my time here hope to come down again and see what I missed.

Dave A 06 August 2023

Apparently they had a serious fire through this museum (or part of it) a few years ago and it's a tribute to the hard-working volunteers that you'd never know if they didn't tell you. Stacks of interesting exhibits and a good historical overview of Busselton and the surrounding area. Well worth a visit!

Bryce McLean 19 September 2021

One of the best volunteer run historical museums I have ever visited (and I’ve been to a few). So many periods covered and so many artefacts from these. Room after room brings back many distant memories. I loved the old classroom and early readers. NB: No indigenous/first peoples history or their treatment is included.

Ivon Robson 16 November 2023

The quality of the displays is very good. Friendly staff with views of river outside