Tropical North Queensland is much more than pristine beaches, scuba diving or birdwatching. There is a wide variety of museums and art galleries to visit, ranging from aircrafts collections, dinosaur displays, mining gear or historical artifacts. Nearly every town in North Queensland has a museum worth checking, and in this page we have gather them all together to save you the trouble of having to search for them. Enjoy them!!!
CAIRNS AND SURROUNDS MUSEUMS AND ART GALLERIES
Corner of Shields and Lake Streets
Phone (07) 4051 5582, Fax (07) 4051 5586
The Cairns Museum is housed in the historic Old School of Arts Building. The museum showcases a number of collections, and features a wide array of material that illustrates the development of the city of Cairns into the cosmopolitan city that it is now. A gift shop, selling a wide selection of historical books and souvenirs, is also housed in the museum.
CENTRE OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS
96 Abbott Street
Phone (07) 4050 9401 / Fax (07) 4050 9409
The Centre of Contemporary Arts is home to three arts companies: JUTE, a professional theatre company; KickArts, a contemporary visual arts company; and the End Credits Film Club. Together, their ever-changing artistic and educational programs continue to inspire, surprise and entertain. KickArts Contemporary Arts is the leading contemporary visual arts organisation in regional Queensland and one of the most innovative in the state.
CAIRNS REGIONAL ART GALLERY
Corner of Abbott and Shields Streets
Phone (07) 4046 4800, Fax (07) 4031 6410
The Cairns Regional Art Gallery is located right in the heart of Cairns, in a two storey heritage building, and is North Queensland's only visual art museum. For more than 10 years, Cairns Regional Art Gallery has been documenting and presenting history, heritage and contemporary culture of North Queensland through the visual arts, craft and design. Housing exhibitions of fine arts from major Australian and international collections, including the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, the gallery also organises tours for the general public on Wednesday and Friday mornings.
DOONGAL ABORIGINAL ART & ARTEFACTS
14-22 Coondoo Street, Kuranda
Phone (07) 4093 9999 / Fax (07) 4093 9003
Doongal Aboriginal Art showcases the finest collection of authentic Aboriginal art and artifacts. Doongal only sells the finest quality art, made by local artists and only the items that meet their high standards will subsequently be on display within their shops.
BOB'S WOODART & GALLERY
8/24 Coondoo Street, Kuranda
Phone (07) 4093 9044
Showcasing an everchanging display of fine woodcrafts, Bob's Woodart & Gallery specialises in souvenirs and gifts. Their collection includes items such as trays, cutting boards, kitchen tongs and salad servers.
IAN STEPHENS FINE ART GALLERY
Shop 5/6, Windmill Complex, 25 Coondoo Street, Kuranda
Phone (07) 4093 7223 / Fax (07) 4055 3351
The comparative isolation of country living complemented Ian's personal, artistic development and allowed him to create his unique style of art in characteristic sepia tones.
ATHERTON TABLELANDS MUSEUMS
THE CRYSTAL CAVES
69 Main Street, Atherton
Phone (07) 4091 2365 / Fax (07) 4091 3285
Crystal Caves is a fascinatingly crafted mineralogical museum. Explore a labyrinth of caves on 2 levels over 250 square metres to discover spectacular and colourful natural crystals, ancient fossils, and rare delicate minerals. You will be given a miners helmet and your adventure begins! Venture into the man made cave system, which offers an amazing labyrinth of gemstone, crystals and fossils studded into the walls.
DIMBULAH RAILWAY STATION MUSEUM AND INFORMATION CENTRE
Phone (07) 4093 5999
The Dimbulah railway station features a museum, open Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. The Dimbulah Museum offers a good oportunity to have an insight into the old days, with many items on display.
Phone (07) 4094 7109
A private collection that includes local Aboriginal artefacts and a collection of pieces of mining equipment. A highlight of the museum is the projectors from the town's old cinema, in particular the manually operated silent projector.
BECKS AVIATION AND MILITARY MUSEUM
Kennedy Highway, Mareeba
Phone (07) 4092 3979 / Fax (07) 092 6946
Becks Aviation and Military Museum houses the largest privately owned collection in the Southern Hemisphere. See a variety of aircrafts and tanks from the wartime. Open daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm except Christmas Day and Good Friday.
CHILLAGOE ARTS & CRAFTS AND LAUNDROMAT
Queen Street, Chillagoe
Phone / Fax (07) 4094 7139
Hosts: Sue and Colin Colman
Open daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm except Christmas Day. Open later on request from groups.
CHILLAGOE BP FUEL DEPOT & VINTAGE FORD DISPLAY
Airport Road, Chillagoe
Phone / Fax (07) 4094 7108
Inspect Tom's collection of Vintage Fords, which include amongst others, Ford Blitz, 1942 Dodge Weapons Carrier, T-Model Ford, and Ford Pilot. Open daily from 8:00am to 6:00pm.
EACHAM HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Situated in the Main Street of Millaa Millaa, this small museum contains aboriginal artefacts, household memorabilia relative to pioneering days, and items pertaining to the timber and dairying industries and alluvial gold mining. The Museum is a great educational facility and is regularly visited by groups of school children and their teachers. It is run by volunteers, so opening times vary.
THE FOSSIL HOUSE (Chillagoe Creek Homestead)
Aerodrome Road, Chillagoe
Phone / Fax (07) 4094 7160
The Chillagoe Creek Homestead is home to a small, but select, collection of fossils. Local guide and hostess, Mary Bolam, offers a personalized one hour 'Walk through the Aeons of Time', which explores Chillagoe's timeless past, down to the present day.
Corner Marion Street and Kennedy Highway, Tolga
Phone (07) 4095 5573
Tolga houses the gallery of Bruce Duncan, one of Australia finest photographers, where award winning photographs are on display. It is a great opportunity to see wonderful photos of Australian landscape, and they can be purchased straight away.
HERBERTON TIN MINING MUSEUM
Jacks Road, Herberton
Open seven days a week, from 9:00am to 4:00pm
With a large display of metals, photos and other artifacts showing the fascinating history of both Herberton and its mining history, the Herberton Tin Mining Museum is located on the site of the first important discovery of tin at the Great Northern Mine. The Museum also includes a small theatrette for multi-media displays and tin panning for whoever wants to try their luck is available.
HOU WANG TEMPLE
86 Herberton Road, Atherton
Phone (07) 4091 6945 / Fax (07) 4091 6946
The Hou Wang Temple was the social and religious heart of Atherton's Chinese community. Apart from the temple itself, there was also a community hall, kitchen and a pig oven. People gathered here to worship, celebrate festivals and discuss community issues.
Nowadays, it is the only remaining structure of the original town. This unique building houses elaborate carvings and has an intriguing past. The site and temple were bought by a number of Chinese families who donated it to the National Trust in 1979. It is the only temple outside China known to be dedicated to HOU WANG, and is the only surviving timber and iron temple in Queensland. The Temple contains a substantial number of original artifacts. The Chinese were pioneers of agriculture in North Queensland and, as such, played an important role in opening up the Atherton area for settlement.
LOUDOUN HOUSE MUSEUM
Post Office Street, Irvinebank
Phone (07) 4096 4020
Built in 1884, the Loudoun House Museum is the former home of John Moffat, Queensland's greatest mining entrepreneur. The house is also the oldest high set timber and corrugated iron (QUEENSLANDER STYLE) house in the north. Nowadays converted into a museum, the house provides an insight into the town's past, as well as a display of an important mineral collection and a very extensive collection of photographs, depicting the town and life from the early years of the last century.
MALANDA DAIRY CENTRE
8 James Street, Malanda
Phone (07) 4095 1234
The Malanda Dairy Centre showcases the historical progress of Malanda and its surrounds, offering an insight into the region's history. The centre also houses a gift shop with a variety of local arts and crafts on sale.
MALANDA ENVIRONMENTAL AND VISITORS CENTRE
Atherton - Malanda Road, Malanda
Bookings are essential by calling (07) 4096 6957.
Open from 9:30am to 4:30pm, seven days a week, excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday.
The Malanda Environmental and Visitors Centre presents different displays to give visitors an insight into the history of the Tablelands. One of the best ways to learn about the history, rainforest and culture of the local aboriginal tribe is to take part in a guided tours with one of the Ngadjon Guides.
MAREEBA HERITAGE MUSEUM & INFORMATION CENTRE
Centenary Park, Byrnes Street, Mareeba
Phone (07) 4092 5674 / Fax (07) 4092 5674
The Mareeba Heritage Centre is an excellent starting point for further information on the Wheelbarrow Way. Of particular interest is the old rail ambulance, which is associated with a Chillagoe doctor who removed his own appendix. Toilets, shop, parking, shade, bookings, and information on road conditions. Open daily from 8:00am to 4:00pm except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday.
THE HUB CHILLAGOE
Queen Street, Chillagoe
Phone (07) 4094 7111 / Fax (07) 4094 7122
The interior walls of the Hub are home to an amazing interpretive display where the story of Chillagoe's amazing past comes to life. Enter and an astounding geological story unfolds, one that tells of long lost seas and ancient coral reefs which teemed with fabulous creatures that have long since passed into oblivion. The Hub is the Central co-ordinating office for the National Park Cave Tours.
TIN TOWN GALLERY
8 High Street, Irvinebank
Phone (07) 4096 4009
The gallery is a showcase for local artists. From post office to mining accommodation to providing light teas and lunches with a historical bent for those interested in the old society way of life. The upper level (tours by arrangement) is the home of Dan and Annette who operate the gallery with their daughter Melissa.
SPY AND CAMERA MUSEUM
49 Grace Street, Herberton
Phone (07) 4096 2092
Enjoy a personalized tour of the world's rarest, oldest and smallest cameras, oldest sewing machine, Police pocket watch camera 1904, KGB Russian spy cameras, Hitler German cameras and Leica Gold cameras.
THE CHALET RAINFOREST GALLERY
Gillies Highway, Yungaburra
Phone / Fax (07) 4095 2144
The Chalet Rainforest Gallery in Yungaburra has many unique and wonderful items which are exclusive to our gallery. There is a large array of tempting items, all at very reasonable prices.
CASSOWARY COAST MUSEUMS
AUSTRALIAN SUGAR INDUSTRY MUSEUM
Bruce Highway, Mourilyan
Phone (07) 4063 2656
The Australian Sugar Industry Museum offers a permanent display, featuring contemporary and historical photographs, books, historic tractors, locomotives, domestic objects and artifacts used in the sugar industry, including a working model of a 500 horsepower steam-driven crushing engine.
MISSION BEACH COMMUNITY ARTS CENTRE
Marcs Park, Cassowary Drive, Mission Beach QLD 4852
Phone (07) 4088 6116
BARRAMUNDI DISCOVERY CENTRE
148 Yappar Street, Karumba
Phone (07) 4745 9359
The Barramundi Discovery Centre is located in what's believed to be one of the first of its type in Queensland, a barramundi farm in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Barramundi Discovery Centre in Karumba includes interactive displays, videos and guided tours around the hatchery.
CROYDON MINING MUSEUM
Samwell Street, Croydon
Croydon Mining Museum holds a Working Mine display, restored stamper, miner's hut and related mining machinery. There is also a collection of early mining machinery located next to the Croydon Shire offices in the heritage precinct.
CLONCURRY/MARY KATHLEEN MEMORIAL PARK AND MUSEUM
McIlwraith Street, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1361
Open from 8:00am to 4:30pm on weekdays. From May till the end of September also open on weekends, from 9:00am to 3:00pm.
The Cloncurry/Mary Kathleen Memorial Park and Museum contains relics from the abandoned uranium mining town of MARY KATHLEEN, between Cloncurry and Mount Isa. The museum also houses an excellent collection of rocks from the area. Its prize possession is the waterbottle of early explorer Robert O'Hara Burke.
CLONCURRY INFORMATION CENTRE
At the Information Centre, in McIlwraith Street, visitors can choose from a wide range of guided and self-guided tours that present the history of Cloncurry and special places in and around the town. The tours will guide visitors to attractions such as the Mary Kathleen Mine and township site, historic hotels, mining sites both old and new, the Chinese and Afghan cemeteries and the town's Indigenous culture.
ERNEST HENRY MINE
Zingary Road, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 1361
Ernest Henry Mine is named after the father of Cloncurry, ERNEST HENRY. Ernest Henry Mine is situated within the present day boundaries of the pastoral property. It was open in 1997 but commercial production did not start until March 1998. It's possible to visit the mine. It's advised to start with The Pit, which in 2006 was 335 metres deep and 1,280 metres wide, with 11.5 milion tones of ore and 53 million tones of waste mined through the 2004/2005 financial year. Here you can also see the machinery that was used to excavate the material, a working crusher and a mill where the ore is concentrated to a product ready for smelting.
FLINDERS DISCOVERY CENTRE AND DINOSAUR DISPLAY
37 Gray Street, Hughenden
Phone(07) 4741 1021 / Fax (07) 4741 1029.
The Flinders Discovery Centre and Dinosaur Display is home to the MUTTABURRASAURUS LANGDONI, a skeletal life size replica seven metres tall by three and a half metres wide. There's also memorabilia from the Hughenden Historical Society as well as information about the history of Hughenden. The Discovery Centre opens daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm except Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
JOHN FLYNN PLACE MUSEUM
Corner of Daintree and King Streets, Cloncurry
Phone (07) 4742 4125 / Fax (07) 4742 1989
Open from 8:00am to 4:30pm during weekdays. From May to the end of October, it is also open on weekends and public holidays from 9:00am to 3:00pm. (It is closed in December and January).
The John Flynn Place Museum commemorates the founding of the ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE. It incorporates the Cloncurry Gardens, the RFDS Museum, Fred McKay Art Gallery, the Allan Vickers Outdoor Theatre and the Alfred Traeger Cultural Centre. If any of those names are unknown to you, then you definitely should head to John Flynn Place, and brush up on your history.
In 1995, Kronosaurus Korner was built around the local archaeological finds, fossils that date back to around 120 million years ago. Among the fossils on display are the Kronosaurus, a large Pliosaur of about 18 metres long, and the Richmond Pliosaur, similar to a crocodile measuring 4.25 metres. Visitors can even view the most complete dinosaur skeleton to be found in Australia, an Ankylosaur called Minmi.
The Macintyre Museum, in Burke Street, Julia Creek, houses an extensive collection of photographs, memorabilia and old equipment, related to the early pioneering days and the beginnings of the sheep and beef industries.
OUTBACK AT ISA
19 Marian Street, Mount Isa
Phone (07) 4749 1555 or 1300 659 660 / Fax (07) 4743 6296
Outback at Isa is a major tourism precinct in the centre of Mount Isa - a fantastic home base for travellers discovering the Queensland Outback. Don't miss on this fabulous attraction and visit attractions such as the Hard Times Mine, an artificial mine constructed using the mining techniques of the region.
RICHMOND MOON ROCKS
If you're in for something different, then you must see the Lions Park Monument, located in Richmond. The monument is made of different shaped limestone rocks that have been positioned one on top of each other. The rocks are a local phenomenon known as 'moon rocks', very heavy rocks that can weigth a few tonnes each, and often have fossillised remains of shells and fish inside.
Opened in 1976 to celebrate the sealing on the Flinders Highway, the monument resembles the sort of plasticine model made by a pre-school kid. Also in Lions Park there is an old 'flood boat', used to shift provisions across the river when it was flooded.
RIVERSLEIGH FOSSILS CENTRE "Only in one or two places on the surface of our planet, in the course of the last three thousand million years, have conditions been just right to preserve anything like a representative sample of the species living at any particular time. Those places are the rare treasure houses of palaeontology. Riversleigh is one of them."Sir David Attenborough.
Riversleigh is located 340 kilometres north west of Mount Isa and since 1984 has been part of the Lawn Hill National Park. Fossils discovered at Riversleigh include bones and teeth of extinct prehistoric animals such as lungfish, frogs, crocodiles, huge flightless birds, marsupials, turtles, snakes, lizards, tiny bats, rats and even insects and other arthropods, that go back to as far as 15 or 20 million years. The site was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1994 as representing a major stage of the earth's evolutionary history, and an outstanding example of ongoing ecological and biological processes.
ZARA CLARK MUSEUM
Mosman Street, Charters Towers
Phone (07) 4787 4161
The Zara Clark Museum, which was a general merchant's shop built in 1888, is one of the most interesting buildings. It houses a large collection of photographs, early transport vehicles, equipment and other memorabilia that reflects Charters Towers golden past. Don't forget to ask for a demonstration of the
FLYING FOX Open daily, from 10:00am to 3:00pm.
DAINTREE AND CAPE TRIBULATION MUSEUMS
DAINTREE DISCOVERY CENTRE
Cnr Cape Tribulation and Tulip Oak Roads, Cow Bay
Phone (07) 4098 9171
This award-winning world class interpretive facility, offers visitors the opportunity to learn about and explore the rainforest in Far North Queensland, one of the few remaining unspoiled stretches of lowland through boardwalk tours, a 23 metre high Canopy Tower, Aerial Walkway and comprehensive Display Centre.
DAINTREE TIMBER GALLERY
12 Stewart Street, Daintree
Phone / Fax (07) 4098 6224
The Timber Museum showcases the town's timber milling history, with photos of the massive red cedar trees that timber cutters cut down. The museum also holds an exhibition of carpenter's tools and techniques as well as a woodworking shop. Open from 10:00am to 4:00pm, seven days a week.
DAINTREE ENTOMOLOGICAL MUSEUM
Turpentine Road, Cape Tribulation
Phone / Fax (07) 4098 9045
The Daintree Entomological Museum features the largest collection of rare and exotic Butterflies and Beetles of the Daintree rainforest to the worlds most beautiful insects. You can view living seasonal specimens of Australia's fascinating insect fauna.
JAMES COOK MUSEUM
Helen Street, Cooktown
Phone (07) 4069 5386
The James Cook Museum is regarded as one of the best regional museums outside any capital city in Australia. Nowadays the anchor and cannon of the HMS Bark Endeavour are on public display, including some extracts from Cook's journal. The Museum also presents an insight into the Aboriginal history of the area, the mining times and their Chinese legacy. From the top of the building you can have the best views of the town and river. Open daily from 9:30am to 4:00pm.
TOWNSVILLE & MAGNETIC ISLAND MUSEUMS
6-10 Elena Street, Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island
Phone/Fax (07) 4778 5096
This fantastic lab and aquarium, open to the public, features 21 year old aquacultured giant clams, weighting more than 60 kilos, among other marine fish and invertebrates. If you make it to Aquasearch, you will see something unseen in nature due to competition between fish species: clownfish swimming amongst giant clams.
ARMY MUSEUM NORTH QUEENSLAND
Jezzine Barracks, North Ward, Townsville
Phone / Fax (07) 4721 1495
In 1979 a committee was formed to refurbish the old battery in Townsville as a Military Museum. It was opened on 12 June 1980 to display artifacts relevant to colonial years, World War 1, the inter-war years and World War 2.
The Museum is open Wednesday and Friday 9:00am to 1:00pm, and Sunday 10:00am to 2:00pm. Visits can be arranged outside these times by prior arrangement.
MUSEUM OF TROPICAL QUEENSLAND
70-102 Flinders Street, Townsville
Phone (07) 4726 0600, Fax (07) 4721 2093
The museum's main feature is the collection of outstanding relics from the wreck of the PANDORA. Also on display is the largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils you will see anywhere, tropical marine mammals, and exhibits focused on the cultures of the Torres Strait Islands and Aboriginal groups in Townsville. The Museum is open from 9:30am-5:00pm, 7 days a week, except Good Friday, Christmas Day and the morning on ANZAC Day (25 April) when it will open at 1:00pm.
2-68 Flinders Street, Townsville
Phone (07) 4750 0800 / Fax (07) 4772 5281
Reef HQ, the world's largest living coral reef aquarium, is not only a uniquely North Queensland attraction, it is the education centre for the Great Barrier Reef and a 'must see' for both locals and visitors to the region. Reef HQ is the place to see many underwater species that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef.
TOWNSVILLE MARITIME MUSEUM
42 - 68 Palmer Street, South Townsville
Phone (07) 4721 5251 / (07) 4721 5759
If you want to have a fascinating insight into the naval and maritime history of Townsville, head to the Maritime Museum. The museum also houses a large collection of relics from the SS YONGALA.
RAAF TOWNSVILLE MUSEUM
Ingham Road, Garbutt
Phone / Fax (07) 4752 1712
The RAAF Townsville Museum documents the military aviation history in North Queensland and other theatres of conflict from 1939 to the present.
PERC TUCKER REGIONAL GALLERY
Corner Denham Street and Flinders Moore, Townsville
Phone (07) 4727 9011 / Fax (07) 4772 3656
The Gallery has a combination of visiting exhibitions as well as its own permanent collection of modern paintings, with over 2,000 works. The collection focus on works that are related somehow to North Queensland, being the tropics the global theme. Visitors to the gallery can also enjoy floor talks, lectures and performances to complement the exhibitions.
VAN BEMMEL FINE ART STUDIO
Corner of Hayles Avenue and Appian Way, Arcadia, Magnetic Island
Phone (07) 4758 1299 / Fax (07) 4758 1298
Mobile 0422 133 275
Vonnie is a local artist who can often be seen around in the bush, painting. Most of her subjects are a direct reflection of the surroundings; the wildlife, views characters, flora and fauna, all magnificently available in its natural form or habitat. Her studio contains a beautiful display of her works, that can be purchased. Other items for sale are postcards and frigde magnets.
One of Ayr's most unique attractions, the Ayr Nature Display exhibits an unusual collection of native fauna, butterflies, rocks and shells, with more than 60,000 species on display; a focal point at the centre of the Display is a colourful rock wall made from 9,400 pieces of Queensland rock.
BURDEKIN THEATRE COMPLEX
161 Queen Street, Ayr
Phone (07) 4783 9880 / Fax (07) 4783 9998
Apart from the the 530 seat Burdekin Theatre, The Burdekin Theatre Complex houses the 150 seat Music Loft, the 700 capacity outdoor entertainment Plaza and the Starlight Foyer - cabaret performance & function space. Inside the Burdekin Theatre Complex, visitors can contemplate the 'Living Lagoon' sculpture, located in the theatre forecourt, sculpture that recognises the importance that water plays in the Burdekin every day life.
ASHWORTH'S TREASURES OF THE EARTH
170 Eight Avenue, Home Hill
Ashworth's Treasures of the Earth is a fantastic tourist attraction. Visitors to the gallery will see, besides the gallery, a rock shop and the Ashworth's Jewellers and Potters Workshop. Asworth's Treasure also offers guided tours to the Inkerman Sugar Mill on weekdays during the crushing season that lasts from June to November.
BOWEN HISTORICAL MUSEUM
22 Gordon Street, Bowen
Phone (07) 4786 2035
Bowen Historical Museum, regarded as one of the best historical museums of North Queensland, offers a wide display of artifacts that date back to the early days of the town. From CATALINA FLYING BOATS to the amazing story of JAMES MORRIL, Bowen Historical Museum is a must stop for those interested in the fascinating history of the town.