Eden Killer Whale Museum and Historical Society

Established in 1931, the Museum's collection was originally based around the skeleton of the killer whale Old Tom, which is well steeped in local folklore. The Museum's prime theme is the whaling industry. The secondary theme is general maritime and fishing while the third interest is the timber industry and local social history.

Imlay Street, Eden, NSW
Mon-Sat 9.15am-3.45pm, Sun 11.15am-3.45pm , longer hours during school holidays
Adults $5-50, children (under 15) $1.50
Wheelchair access, wheelchair provided, maritime and local history library, special and touring exhibitions, theatrette, guides for groups by arrangement
Artefacts relating to shore-based whaling, the timber industry, fishing and shipping, lighthouse, some agriculture and numerous domestic items, natural history specimens (skeletons, minerals, fossils) maritime artefacts (shipwreck relics, navigational equipment, ship logs) archival material (shipwreck relics, navigational equipment, ship logs) archival material (photos, diaries, order books, art work) Collection highlights: skeleton of famous killer whale (Orca) "Tom", Mako shark, ships rudder, tuna poling Machine, Sperm Whale skull, log cabin, aboriginal section, Post Office clock, Ly-ee Moon (wrecked 1886), Ben Boyd's yacht "Wanderer", jawbones of Blue Whale. Excellent> Eden is a seaside working community in pristine condition.


Reconstructed Skeleton

Skeleton, Orcinus Orca (killer whale) "Tom"

Sydney Museum Staff
Dismantled and reconditioned skeleton c.25' L., 5 tons weight, dorsal fin 5'6" H, teeth missing upper front jaw and worn down lower left jaw, due to practice of holding line between whaleboat and whale when slack and towing the boats around the bay (twofold bay). Known as Old Tom.
C 1931: reconstructed 1978-79
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Length 6.7m, Width 1.52m, Dorsal fin 1.73m, Side fins 1.37m. Close association with whalers in Twofold Bay - unique cooperation between man and animal not recorded elsewhere in the world. The museum was built to house Tom as a tribute to him and the killer Whale packs who worked the whales hunted by the whalers. Old Tom was the leader of one of the packs that hunted with local shore based whalers

Machine and pole

Automatic Tuna Poling Machine

Barry Warren (restorer,Eden)
Automatic tuna poling machine and pole (an important local industry)
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Two of these machines were installed on the Imlay in 1974. They had the capacity to catch fish in the 30-40 kilo range. Fish of that size demanded a double pole rig, so a crew of six men poling, only had 3 hooks working. One automatic machine was as good as two men on large tuna and unlike men they did not suffer from fatigue, did not need to be fed and were always on deck when needed. On the down side working smaller fish 10-15 kilo the machines could be outpaced by a man. The hydraulic pump that powered the machines was driven by a 7 hp, 415 volt electric motor. Each machine had a remote stop at a convenient place on the deck. A pendulum valve kept the poling arm at a constant level to the surface, keeping the hook in the water at all times, regardless of the rolling of the boat. When a fish struck, the machine was set in motion and the tuna hauled from the water on the pole reaching the vertical position, it would pause slightly and with the spring in the fibre glass pole flexing at the same time, this little bit of slack would unhook the tuna in mid air (the same as a man would do) and the pole would immediately return to the horizontal and commence jigging. In the event of the fish not unhooking the pole would continue inboard on its arc and stop at about 60 degrees to the deck and commence a motion similar to jigging to try and free the hook from the fish, this motion was not strong enough to pull the hooked fish outboard on the return arc, if this would not clear the hook, the machine had to be stopped and the fish unhooked manually. On many occasions when a large fast biting school of tuna was being fished manually, half the crew would have to stop fishing and stow catch below, loosing valuable fishing time.With the machines in operation most of the crew could have the deck cleared in half the time and be back poling while the school was still biting.

Replica of Shark

Mako Shark

Caught by Noel Rodahl - replica by Brian Jones, Eden.
Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus, 3.5 metres) 1995
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This replica is from a female caught near Boyds Tower in 1995 by professional fishermen. The feared and repected Mako is widespread in Australian waters.


Rudder from sailing ship

Rudder, wooden with copper sheathing C. 2.5m H, 1m W.
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Rudder described as "ancient" but no date assigned. Apparently from the wreckage of an unknown sailing ship the rudder was recovered in the net of Eden trawler 'Rosebud', during the late 1970's.


Sperm Whale Skull

Sperm Whale skull 4.7 x 1.9m x 1.3m H. Trawled up 23 nm SE of Gabo Island
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Donor's statement: "The skull was discovered big end down the net when we recovered the trawl on Rubicon that morning. It was down the net as far as the splitter rope, not quite into the cod end. The pointed end of the skull was projecting through the net. We winched the skull on board and cut the net to release it.