Just over an hour’s drive southeast from Melbourne is an eclectic shop at the end of a dirt road. It’s home to countless fossils, crystals, and gems, complete with a dinosaur garden, a meteorite gallery, and a famous and perfectly preserved great white shark—affectionately named Rosie. Crystal World is not your average crystal shop, though it does have a wide array of geologic marvels for sale.
The shop’s proprietor is Tom Kapitany, a degreed botanist and geologist who—if he’s not in the shop—is likely scavenging the far corners of our planet for meteorites, fossils, and minerals. That he sells those specimens from his shop here in Devon Meadows makes his business a major exporter and importer of a range of geological wonders. Rosie is a separate story.
The 15-foot long great white shark was killed after getting caught up in tuna nets off Australia’s south coast in 1998. She was purchased to be put on display at Wildlife Wonderland, but while she was en route, reports of a missing woman necessitated an emergency necropsy (which turned up no trace of the woman). Rosie remained at Wildlife Wonderland until it was abandoned in 2012. Rosie sat unattended in the decaying wildlife park until Kapitany paid for her transportation to Crystal Centre in 2019, where she now rests in a newly cleaned tank.
A highlight of the shop is the back area with rows and rows of bins containing rocks and minerals for very reasonable prices. Walk a bit farther and there’s a section with piles of rocks containing fossils, some you have to search for yourself, surrounded by the kitsch dinosaur figures.
Know Before You Go
Currently open from 12 to 5 pm every day.