Set out on a discovery tour of the cultural and natural heritage of North Queensland in this interactive waterfront museum with ever-changing exhibits.
In the Museum of Tropical Queensland (MTQ), discover the state’s history from the time of dinosaurs and its First People, to the mining days and contemporary Northern Queensland culture. Explore an old sailing ship, learn to fire its cannon and learn more about the state’s world-famous rainforests and reefs.
The museum’s Flinders Street façade is framed around a 1889 building and a contemporary breezeway, which links the city’s waterfront pedestrian route with the museum’s galleries. Look up to see a big white “parasol” covering the Pandora Gallery, resembling a tall ship’s sail.
Inside, the views from the upstairs Pandora Gallery take in both Ross Creek and Castle Hill. See relics from the HMS Pandora, a ship that sank off the coast of Cape York in the far north after it had been sent to capture the Bounty mutineers in 1791. Elsewhere in the museum, you can even learn how to load and fire a replica of one of the ship’s cannons, with the Gun Team ready to explain this twice a day to all visitors.
Guide the kids through the Enchanted Rainforest by crossing its rope bridge and sliding down into the recreated ecosystem of the Daintree forest in Far North Queensland.
With mostly rotating exhibits, there is always something new to see in MTQ. Check the museum’s events calendar for lectures and themed programs. During school vacations, a big Ulysses butterfly named Beau cuddles little visitors. The kids can also meet the museum’s other mascot, a talking Dinosaur named Dinomite, and step back in time to enter a Jurassic world through interactive exhibits and story-book readings.
The museum is just off the southern end of The Strand, about a 10-minute walk from Flinders Mall in the heart of Townsville. Townsville’s Sunbus does regular runs between the mall and the ferry terminal and can drop you off at the bus stop just outside the museum. Street parking is available directly opposite the museum.
The Museum of Tropical Queensland is open daily, except December 25 and 26, Good Friday and April 25. Museum entry is free for toddlers and discounted for children up to 15 years old, families, locals, students and pensioners. MTQ’s café has great views and free WiFi.