Bush Mechanics

Thu 5 March - Sun 31 May 2020
10am - 5pm

Bush Mechanics: The Exhibition explores the importance of the car in the outback and provides insights into the life and culture of the Warlpiri people of Central Australia.

The exhibition captures the energetic and upbeat tone of the popular ABC television series created by David Batty and Francis Jupurrurla Kelly. It includes the two cars fondly remembered by fans — the blue Holden EJ Special Station Sedan from the first episode, and the spectacular painted Ford ZF Fairlane from the finale.

Image courtesy of National Film and Sound Archive

The exhibition was previously on show at the National Museum of Australia.

Visitors can see original footage from the series and try their hand at some of the ingenious and resourceful nyurulypa, or tricks, on the exhibition’s ‘bush driving simulator’.

Other objects on show include a:

  • Bolex camera with which David Batty shot the series.
  • Tin turuki, a toy truck made using a discarded milk tin and fencing wire.
  • Coolamon, a vessel for carrying grain or water, made from a Volkswagen hubcap.
  • Slingshot made using a tyre tube.
  • Mulga wood, spinifex and sand bush mechanic’s tool kit.

Newcastle Museum  acknowledges First Australians and recognises their continuous connection to country, community and culture.

Bush Mechanics: The Exhibition was developed by the National Motor Museum, a museum of the History Trust of South Australia, in conjunction with Pintubi Anmatjere Warlpiri (PAW) Media. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program.


  • Entry via tap and go EFTPOS donation $5
  • FREE


Newcastle Museum
6 Workshop Way