About the Bunker Cartoon Gallery
The Bunker Cartoon Gallery is Australia’s only dedicated cartoon gallery exhibiting the largest private collection of contemporary cartoons in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Gallery is housed in an authentic underground WWII bunker that has been converted to a funky exhibition space.
This metamorphosis from a bunker to a gallery, is largely thanks to the Coffs City Rotary Club and in particular, two drivers of the project, Tom Hamilton-Foster and the late John Champion. Their work in acquiring sponsorships and local business funding enabled the restoration of the building to proceed. Their caricatures are proudly displayed in the Gallery’s foyer.
Today, the Bunker is custodian of the Coffs Cartoon Collection, with well over 23,000 cartoons from leading Australian and international cartoonists including private donations and bequeaths of rare works. Its role, although different to its wartime past, is still one of communicator and protector of Australia’s history, albeit in satirical form.
The BCG 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 of the Gallery and ensuring its future.
1 John Champion Way, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales (off Hogbin Drive at Racecourse Roundabout)
7 days, 10 am to 4 pm (except Christmas Day & Good Friday)
Children under 16 $3
Children under 5 Free
Friends of the Bunker Free
(Become a Friend of the Bunker for $10 per year)
General admission includes viewing the Gallery’s collection, children's activity area, and most exhibitions.
Toilets. Picnic area. Wheelchair accessible. Plenty of (free) on-site parking. Bus/coach friendly.
We welcome school groups, social groups, tour operators, and special needs groups, simply phone to book.
Morning and afternoon tea available for a small extra charge. Let us know if you would like a guided tour of the gallery’s history and exhibition.
Contact us for more information or to make a booking.
Timeline: 1943 to Today
Built 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.
First Rotary Cartoon Awards competition run by Coffs City Rotary Club
Refurbishment of Building Commenced
It officially opened on 24 August by the then Minister for Communication and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston
Commenced operations on 1 July by the Bunker Cartoon Gallery Inc.(BCG) under licence from Coffs Harbour City Council.
Want more about the history of the Bunker?
You can download this Factsheet: Bunker and Gallery beginning (PDF)
Make your next private event a little out of the ordinary
The Bunker Cartoon Gallery is available for hire and ensures your presentation, corporate function or private event is memorable.
The venue is close to town but removed enough to not cause issues with neighbours. It is air-conditioned and extremely well sound-proofed (hey, it’s underground!).
We can offer bar, staff and catering, or leave it up to you. Special packages that coordinate our cartoon collection with your event can be arranged.
We love to host corporate functions, birthday parties, film nights, musical acts and even weddings.
Send us a message or call 02 6651 7343 to discuss your future event.
On the Road: Cartoons for Hire
Yes, you can book an exhibition for your venue (hotels, motels, schools, corporate offices, council chambers, galleries, etc).
Our cartoons, fully framed and ready to hang, love to travel.
To find out more, send us a message or call (02) 6651 7343.
Become a Friend of the Bunker and enjoy many benefits
We love visitors at the Gallery and we know that if you have a membership at an attraction you will be more likely to visit often and particularly to bring your friends and relatives when you are looking for things to do.
Friends of the Bunker pay only $10 annually and for this have free entry to almost all our shows during the year.
We also have a discounted rate for Friends for special events we hold
- You will be invited to all our opening nights and receive updates on new exhibitions coming up.
- Friends also receive via email free every two months our ‘Underground’ Newsletter.
- Purchases in the gallery shop also have a 10% discount for Friends.
- Our exhibitions change regularly with at least six new shows each year, so you can return many times to see them all.
Joining is simple. When you next visit the Gallery, ask our friendly volunteers how to join and they will assist you.
Your membership becomes available immediately, so that first visit is free too! You will receive a numbered card which you can bring with you at future visits to gain your benefits.
Benefactors & Sponsorship opportunities
We welcome all donations and particularly value sponsors and benefactors to help us keep this wonderful Gallery going and to grow it for the future.
As a registered charity with charitable gift recipient status granted by the Taxation office, all donations are fully tax deductible.
We are sponsored by a number of generous organisations in various ways. We are always keen to know of companies that would like to assist us with our sponsorships which often take the form of ín-kind.
If you want to sponsor us in any way, please contact us for more information.
Please call us on 6651 7343 and we will be happy to provide you with additional information.