Having survived their disastrous journey from Italy in search of a promised land near New Guinea (outlined in the History section of the website), about 40 families eventually reunited to make their homes near today’s Museum. The displays include extensive memorabilia of the original families who came to farm here from 1882. Poor land produced great hardship. However, in the Australian bush they produced internationally award winning silk and made their own wine and salami.

Take a walk through our museum

(1) A Place Full of Stories

  • More than 30 families from Northern Italy left a land of poverty and political turmoil seeking a new start. Instead they found death and despair before being brought to Australia and settling in New Italy in the late 1880’s.

(2) Leaving Home, Why did they go?

  • The opportunity to make a better life for their families in ‘La Nouvelle France’ in the South Pacific was the lure that led many to flee the Veneto region of Northern Italy.

(3) The Swindler: Marquis de Rays

  • A master of deception and the creator of schemes doomed to failure, was looking to restore the wealth his ancestors enjoyed.

(4) From Hope to Despair

  • Can you imagine taking responsibility to pack up call family and move to an unknown land? It took desperation, hope and faith.

(6) Shipwrecked Mariners

  • Henry Parkes allows the Italians to settle in Australia, subject to some conditions.

(7) This Place

  • What was the landscape like before the Italians arrived?

(8) Pioneer Kitchen

  • Take a look inside the most important room in the early settlers’ homes.

(9) Establishing the New Italy Settlement

  • The northern Rivers was the last region in the colony still available for selection, and this was ‘left over’ land that other colonists had rejected.

(10) An expanding Community

  • The isolated community was almost entirely Italian in its founding year. Later Irish and Scottish families joined the community.

(11) Making A Living

  • As soon as the kids got big enough, they had to work.

(12) Tools: Making a place and working the land

  • Many tools were multipurpose, and it was said the tool should do at least half the work.

(13) Making Home

  • Life at home in New Italy

(14) Educating the next generation of Australians

  • The New Italy Public School was opened in 1885 with 29 children enrolled.

(15) Silk Industry at New Italy

  • New Italy was chosen as an area suitable to the cultivation of sericulture and produced award winning silk on the world stage.

(19) New Italy’s ANZACS Honour Roll

  • In memory of the sons of the Italian Families that settled New Italy in 1882, who served in the Australian Imperial Forces in World War 1.