Sydney: Blue Mountains- Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum

Travel Period : 1 May – 7 May 2014

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Day 6

Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum 

When we alighted from the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus at Stop 19, we were greeted with a lovely sight of a mansion gleaming under the sun. It didn’t look like a ‘museum’ nor even anything close to a ‘railway museum’ as it was housed in a huge garden compound.

We walked across and found the sign, “Museum Station Entrance“. The surroundings were quiet and we were the only visitors there. If not for the sign and doing our research beforehand, we wouldn’t dare to walk in, feeling like a trespasser on a private property.

Day6BlueMountains_LeurallaMuseumEntrance

It took a while of walking before we reached the main entrance and walked up the flight of stairs. Vin went in to ask and found a staff sitting at a desk. He recommended us to visit the toy exhibits and rooms in the building first before walking out to find the ‘railway exhibits’ in the gardens. We had to pay a small fee before entering. We didn’t mind since it’s used to upkeep the museum.

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I was taking the photo of Dar looking at the exhibits when the staff stopped me. “No Photography Allowed”, he said. So these are roughly what we saw during our tour of the rooms on two levels of the house.

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This house was first owned by Mr Harry Andreas and his wife Alice and now owned by their grandson, Mr Clive Evatt Jnr, who founded the museum with a toy and railway collection. The toy collection was large indeed and we saw many vintage cartoon memorabilia, mostly of the 20th-Century. Read more on the entire toy collection on their website.

Dar was as usual more interested in the trains models but at the entrance, he took time to look at the Tintin figurines and Harry Potter collection. We had only recently finished watching the 7 episodes of Harry Potter with Dar so he knew all the characters.

Other collections which interest us were the Enid Blyton’s Noddytown, Popeye the Sailorman, Disney and Barbie Dolls. One room had cabinets of all kinds of dolls with those haunting eyes staring lifelessly at you, which is a little creepy, but had me admiring the fine workmanship! There were also adult stuff such as souvenirs of America with focus on the Presidents and vintage photographs of Australia.

We love looking at the insides of the historic old house too, which was completed before World War 1 and still has its original decorative finishes. I love reading English historical stories from young, so it was a wonder for me to walk up the carpeted stairs and explore the rooms, going back in time.

The second storey showcases rooms of the children and a few of them was decorated in a princess-like fashion with tea parties accessories , dolly cabinets and flowery beds. We could only look through the doors at the exhibits though. There was a boy’s room with every vehicle toys imaginable and Dar was looking at them with shining eyes.

Leuralla Gardens

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We came out soon after and began our exploration of the Gardens which starts at this little entrance, between two hedges. It was quite exciting as we do not know what’s ahead of us as we walked through the narrow pathway, as if in a maze.

It was the autumn season now so we were wowed by the maple leaves and display of colour from different species. They made good photography material and we took a few nice shots. Along the way, we also met a friendly gardener and made small talk with him. He helped us to take a family portrait under some maple trees.

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After the walk through the secluded maze-like garden, the space became an open forest.

We played ‘tag’ and catch each other with the wide, open space and sat on benches to enjoy the quiet forest with sunlight streaming through the leaves. I took the opportunity to take some ‘feeling’ shots here too.

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We continued our walk through the Gardens, this time encountering another section with nice archways that reminded us of the Torii Gate of a Japanese Shinto Shrine.

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It was again another lovely path before we reached the Railway exhibit.

Leuralla Railway Model

There were two parts to the Railway Exhibits. One was indoor and behind grilled windows. The other was a huge fake mountain with an old real train outside.

We went to the indoor one first and discovered that we had to insert $1 to a machine to watch the movements of the trains.

We dropped one into the box just outside the gated door and started looking through the window grilles at the trains that moved. It was not an easy thing to do and we have to walk several times to and fro to see them. I wished they hadn’t been so stingy to block the view after we paid for it. 🙁

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We moved on to the fake mountain and got Dar to drop in a $2 coin to start the outdoor railway model exhibit. A red train started chugging out of a hole in the mountain followed by different kinds of trains coming out in several places. This was more interesting to watch but we had to run around the mountain to get to the other side with a clearer view so as not to miss it.

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It soon finished in about a few minutes and that was barely enough for Dar. He requested for a second time. This time, we got Dar to go to the other side of the mountain to wait there before we deposit another coin to view the whole process again.

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Dar was standing on a high stand with steps where we could have a higher view of the entire movement of trains.

Besides the railway models exhibits, the large compound was built like an old train station with lots of historical train signages and a ticket counter with a ‘man’ selling tickets. We got Dar to pretend to buy some tickets from him.

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It was a lovely relaxed visit to the Gardens and we thoroughly enjoyed the tranquil stroll with only a few other visitors around.

At the end of the visit, we ended with our only ‘jump shot’  for this trip just in front of the Museum House (We had forgotten about it through the rushed days of sight-seeing T_T).  The Gardeners were there at the side, probably amused by us.

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::More Info::

Opening Hours: Daily 10-5pm
Official Website: Leuralla  NSW Toy and Railway Museum
Fee: Adults $14, Children $6.

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