If you’re lucky enough to be here on the second Tuesday of the month, you’ll have the chance to hear a museum expert give an hour-long lunchtime talk as part of the museum’s “Discover More” lecture series. Subjects cover everything from underwater robotic research to frogs to the history of Townsville. With its curved roof, shaped like a ship under sail, this interesting museum holds the treasures salvaged from the wreck of the HMS Pandora, which sank in 1792 and lies 33 m (108 ft.) underwater on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. This is the highlight of the museum, and the exhibit’s centerpiece is a full-scale replica of a section of the ship’s bow and its 17-m-high (56-ft.) foremast, crafted by local shipwrights. The exhibition traces the ship’s voyage and the retrieval of the sunken treasure—make sure you watch the film about the salvage. The museum has five other galleries, including a hands-on science center; a natural history display; one dedicated to north Queensland’s indigenous heritage, with items from Torres Strait and the South Sea Islands; and stories from people of different cultures about the settlement of north Queensland. Another is devoted to touring exhibitions, which change every 3 months. Allow 2 to 3 hours.
- Frommer's Staff