Welcome to our New Home

Welcome to our new home at the Shellharbour Civic Centre! Shellharbour City Museum (formerly Tongarra Museum) is now open seven days a week.

Discover the history of Shellharbour and its people

Shellharbour City Museum is Shellharbour’s local history museum. We aim to share stories, past and present, of the people, places and events that make our great city what it is today.

Opening hours:

Monday to Thursday 9.30am – 8pm
Friday 9.30am – 5pm
Saturday 9.00am – 3pm
Sunday 12pm – 3pm


Shellharbour Civic Centre, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre NSW 2529 (corner of Cygnet and College Avenue) – Find us


(02) 4221 6100

  • Changing exhibitions of Aboriginal and European local history
  • Family history resources and friendly staff to help you
  • Artefacts, photographs, oral histories
  • Maps, lithographs and historic documents
  • Heritage walking trails


Telescope from Cooby Farm

Telescope from Cooby Farm

This telescope was used at Cooby farm, Stockyard Mountain. The Smith family who lived at the property, would keep watch for ships coming into Shellharbour, and then make their way to the harbour to sell their farm produce.

read more


Henry and Louis Mood

Henry and Louis Mood

Born in Germany, Henry and Louis came to Australia as young boys. In 1875, they established a coach building business in Shellharbour Village.

read more




Cedar played an important role in the region. Learn about forest clearing at Tongarra. In the early 1800 free permits were given to cattlemen so they could bring their cattle down to the meadows and open pastures to graze.

read more


Lake Illawarra

Lake Illawarra

The area around the lake entrance was part of an original 1821 grant to Thomas Davey. Lake Illawarra itself covers 38 square kilometres.

read more
Amazing Stories image  

Online Exhibition

Amazing Stories

Learn more about the events and characters, that have shaped the history of the Shellharbour area, with this great collection of online stories.

View Exhibition

Opening hours

Monday to Thursday 9.30am–8pm
Friday 9.30am–5pm
Saturday 9am–3pm
Sunday 12pm–3pm