National Cartoon Gallery, Coffs Harbour

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Art Gallery · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Bunker Cartoon Gallery is Australia's first and only dedicated cartoon gallery. Its aim is to promote the art of cartooning, and exhibit and preserve Australia's cartooning history for future generations.

Built in 1943 during the second world war, the underground bunker was the Base Operations Unit No.12. It housed the RAAF's communication equipment, necessary to help protect the nation.

Today, the Bunker is custodian of the Coffs Cartoon Collection, with over 22,000 cartoons from leading Australian and international cartoonists. Its role, although different to its wartime past, is still one of communicator and protector of Australia’s history, albeit in satirical form.

In 1995, Coffs City Rotary Club formed the Bunker Cartoon Gallery Inc. (BCGI) and raised over $350,000 via grants and the support of the local community to restore the derelict bunker building. The doors officially opened as Australia’s first and only cartoon gallery on 24 August 1996.

The BCGI continues to run the Bunker Cartoon Gallery today. It is a not-for-profit, registered charity with charitable gift recipient status granted by the Taxation office.

The Bunker has been the recipient of many awards, including the distinguished Stanley Award presented by the Australian Cartoonists Association (ACA) for outstanding contribution to cartooning and North Coast NSW Tourism Awards for Heritage and Culture.

The Gallery boasts a great team of volunteers who play an important part in the daily running Gallery, as well its future.
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  • An old World War 2 bunker has been converted into an art gallery, as attractive outside as it is inside. It has become the only cartoon gallery in the world. At present it has two exhibitions; the...  more »
  • Upstairs is the Bill and Johannes Leak Collection - well worth a visit. Downstairs are mainly caricatures.  more »
  • I came across the Bunker Cartoon Gallery at the local tourist information centre, by accident. It's not promoted widely which is a shame. Entry is only $2!! I spent an hour wandering through, checking out the many cartoon entries in the Rotary Cartoon awards...fascinating! The Bunker is staffed by volunteers who are passionate & happy to show you around. You can even purchase a high quality copy of your favourite cartoon. The history of the Bunker is presented well in the short video & I learned a lot about the The role Coffs Harbour played in WW2. An excellent way to while away an hour or so....highly recommended!
  • Fun place with a history. Good place to stop for an hour.
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