In 1888, Tamworth became the first city in Australia to be lit by municipal electric street lighting. This important moment in national and local history is preserved at the Tamworth Powerstation Museum. Established in 1988, it is located on the site where the 1888 steam engines powered the street lighting system, and the 1907 Power Station / Municipal Electric Showroom building has been refurbished to display a range of unique exhibits.
It is easy to overlook the important role electricity plays in our everyday lives. It has led to numerous developments in technology: from street lights and industrial machinery, to kitchen appliances and hair dryers. Tamworth Powerstation Museum is Australia’s only dedicated electrical museum. We invite you to join with us in exploring the history of electrical innovation.
The highlight of any visit to the museum are the two John Fowler steam driven engines, the only two of their type operating in the world and working replicas of the 1888 Crompton Pattern No 15 Dynamos which represent the beginnings of electric street lighting in Tamworth. During the Country Music Festival and at intervals during the year, visitors can experience the excitement of the engines in operation. See our Events page.
Tamworth Powerstation Museum could not operate without the support of our committed volunteer team and help from our dedicated sponsors.
A new Strategic Plan for the Museum was adopted by Tamworth Regional Council in June 2016 and updated in 2021.
1988 Institution of Engineers Australia – Heritage Marker
1989 Electricity Supply Engineers Association of NSW – Merit Award
2009 KAB: Tidy Towns – NSW Cultural Heritage Award
2010 National Library Aust. – Program Significance Accreditation
2014 Museums & Galleries NSW – IMAGINE Award
2016 Tamworth Heritage Awards 2016 – Best Heritage Tourism Product
2016 Museums & Galleries NSW – IMAGINE Award
2016 Museums & Galleries NSW – IMAGINE Highly Commended
2017 Museums & Galleries NSW – IMAGINE Award
2019 Australian Memory of the World Register – Veness Letter Book
The Powerstation Museum acknowledges the Kamilaroi/Gamilaroi people as the traditional custodians of this place we now call Tamworth.