Community / 2nd November 2023
Warrumbungle mural to return home
A stunning mural of the Warrumbungle Mountains once displayed at the Miniland Museum will soon be making a return to Coonabarabran – to be displayed at another of our local treasures.
by JIMMY WHALAN & KAYLA HARRIS
The giant 3.5 by 2-metre tall artwork painted by Margaret Hadfield, took pride of place in the Miniland museum in the 80s, but was later given away following the closure of the theme park in 1999.
Ms Hadfield said she had lovingly restored the painting herself after it had been eaten by white ants and covered with bird excrement over the years.
She had used the artwork as a backdrop for her art studio in Canberra, but made the decision to sell the piece with hopes of the artwork making its way back to its rightful home in Coonabarabran.
After a Facebook post created conversation amongst the community, many suggestions were made for local businesses to purchase the mural including Siding Spring Observatory, the Visitor Information Centre, and the Warrumbungle Visitor Centre.
The masterpiece was ultimately purchased by another of Coonabarabran’s local treasures, Crystal Kingdom.
Ms Hadfield said she was thrilled that the piece was purchased by Crystal Kingdom owners, Ken and Debbie Newton.
“Congratulations to the Newton family! I know the Zorgdrager, Head and Bredereck families of the past will be very happy with this arrangement,” Mrs Hadfield said.
“This is a significant art piece that featured in the Australasian Post in 1987.”
Crystal Kingdom owners Debbie and Ken Newton and daughter Angela said it felt like it was destiny that they were able to bring such a historic piece back to Coonabarabran – like the final piece of the Crystal Kingdom puzzle they didn’t know was missing.
“It’s great to bring a piece of Miniland back home and we think the mural will really complement our collection and help bring it all together,” Ms Newton said.
A magnificent backdrop for visitors to take photos, Ms Newton said the mural would also work as a learning tool during school visits.
“As a teacher, education has been one of my priorities for the business and this piece will be great when talking about different volcanoes and the geology of the Warrumbungles.”
Ms Newton said the mural is due to arrive by the new year, with some exciting plans in the works to celebrate 50 years of Crystal Kingdom in 2024!