Neil and Judy Baker Shell Collection set to become tourist must-see

Published on Thursday, 12 November 2020 at 12:00:00 AM

Visitors, tourists and community members will soon be able to experience one of Australia’s largest private collections of shells and other natural sea creatures in Onslow.

Shire of Ashburton President Kerry White said that she was thrilled Council were able to acquire the impressive shell collection from local residents Neil and Judy Baker.

“Neil and Judy are long-term residents in Onslow and have been collecting these shells for over 60 years”, said Councillor White.

“Most of the shells have been collected from the waters and islands surrounding Onslow and are a real drawcard for visitors to the town.

“The Shire of Ashburton working with Onslow Visitor Centre are delighted that the collection will now be transported to a central location within Onslow townsite and that visitors will be able to enjoy the collection well into the future.

“The Shire is also working with St. John’s in Onslow to secure their previous location as a site where the collection inclusive of all cabinets, display paraphernalia and accompanying material will be displayed.

“While the collection is invaluable, some of the shells are estimated to be worth $20,000, and many are one of a kind and irreplaceable.

“Located on the Pilbara coast, a mere 80km off the North West Coastal Highway on the journey up North, Onslow within the Shire of Ashburton is experiencing a reawakening as a tourist destination.

“We have so much to see and offer tourists in Onslow, we are a gateway to some of the best fishing in Western Australia. We have a rich history and heritage as the oldest town within the Ashburton Shire, being actively involved in World War II with the Navy refueling at the jetty and the town becoming the furthest town south to be bombed by the Japanese while our roots lie in agriculture, pearling and mineral and hydrocarbon resources.

“The site of the old Onslow townsite is extremely popular and visitors can enjoy a relaxed, easy-going atmosphere while soaking up year-round sunshine and sunsets over the Indian Ocean”.

It is anticipated the shell collection in its entirety will be transported and displayed in Onslow early next year.   

For media information contact:

Alison Lennon - Manager Media and Communications, Shire of Ashburton

M: 0409 314 140 | E: [email protected]

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