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Your Ultimate Guide to Queensland Maritime Museum

Your Ultimate Guide to Queensland Maritime Museum

Did you know that the Queensland Maritime Museum, established in 1971, houses one of the country’s largest collections of maritime artifacts? Found along Brisbane’s scenic South Bank, this institution offers a captivating glimpse into the state’s seafaring legacy. 

Transitioning from its humble beginnings, the Queensland Maritime Museum now showcases a wide range of vessels, exhibitions, and interactive displays.

Continue reading our guide if you want to learn more about Queensland’s naval history, and discover how the stories shaped the town’s maritime identity.

Queensland Maritime Museum: Then and Now

Before its establishment, the Queensland Maritime Museum was just a dream for maritime enthusiasts longing to preserve the state’s seafaring heritage.

Back then, it was primarily a repository for maritime artifacts, documents, and historic vessels, aiming to showcase Queensland’s rich maritime history. Today, the museum has transformed into a vibrant hub of maritime exploration and education.

It houses an extensive collection of artifacts, interactive displays, and well-preserved vessels that offer visitors a captivating journey through Queensland’s maritime past.

The Queensland Maritime Museum is more than just a trip down memory lane. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the stories of explorers, traders, and sailors who shaped Queensland’s coastal communities.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nautical enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique cultural experience, this museum has something to offer everyone.

How to Go to Queensland Maritime Museum

How to Go to Queensland Maritime Museum

If you’re planning a visit to the Queensland Maritime Museum, getting there is a breeze! Whether you’re driving, catching a ride, biking, or using public transportation, there are plenty of options to choose from.

If you’re driving, you’ll find ample parking options nearby, including street parking and parking garages within walking distance of the museum. If you prefer ridesharing or taking a taxi, it’s a quick and convenient way to reach your destination.

For those of you who enjoy exploring on two wheels, biking to the museum is a great option. South Bank boasts bike-friendly paths and racks for secure parking.

And if you’re using public transportation, you can hop on a bus or train to reach the museum. Operated by Translink, the Brisbane to Queensland Maritime Museum service departs from Adelaide Street Stop 44 near City Hall and arrives at the museum.

No matter how you choose to travel, getting to the Queensland Maritime Museum is simple, ensuring that your visit starts on the right foot!

The Best Time to Go to Queensland Maritime Museum

The Queensland Maritime Museum, operates throughout the year, but there are certain times that might be ideal for your visit.

During the warmer months, particularly from September to April, Brisbane experiences pleasant weather, making it an ideal time to explore the outdoor exhibits and enjoy the waterfront views.

Plus, with longer daylight hours, you’ll have more time to soak in all the museum has to offer. However, keep in mind that the museum’s operating hours may vary depending on the season and holidays.

Typically, the Queensland Maritime Museum is open daily from 9:30 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon, except for Christmas Day and Good Friday when it’s closed.

To avoid crowds and make the most of your visit, consider arriving early in the day or visiting during weekdays outside of peak tourist seasons.

This way, you’ll have more space to explore the exhibits and take your time appreciating the maritime history on display.

No matter when you choose to visit, the Queensland Maritime Museum offers an enriching experience for visitors of all ages, so plan your trip accordingly and get ready to dive into Queensland’s maritime heritage!

Things to Know about Queensland Maritime Museum

If you’re planning a visit to the Queensland Maritime Museum, here are some things you’ll want to know before you go:

  • Entrance Fees: Adult admission is $18, children under 15 can enter for $8, and families (2 adults and up to 3 children under 15) can enjoy the museum for $42- $50.

Meanwhile, pensioners, seniors, and students with valid cards receive a discounted rate of $15. Tickets can be purchased at the museum entrance.

  • Parking Schedule: On Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, doors open at 10 in the morning and close at 3 in the afternoon, with the museum closing at 4 in the afternoon.

On Saturdays and Sundays, doors open at 9:30 in the morning and close at 3:30 in the afternoon, with the museum closing at 4:30 in the afternoon.

  • Parking Slots: Make sure to plan accordingly as parking slots may vary depending on the day and time of your visit.
  • Getting Around: Once inside, you’ll find the museum easy to navigate with clear signage and helpful staff to assist you.
  • Restrooms: Restrooms are available onsite for your convenience.
  • Accessibility: The museum strives to be accessible to all visitors. Most parts of the museum, including the grounds, have ramp or lift access.

However, please note that disabled access to HMAS Diamantina is restricted to the main deck. If you have any special needs or concerns, it’s advisable to reach out to the museum in advance.

  • Mobile Applications: If you’re planning a visit to the Queensland Maritime Museum, consider downloading the following apps to enhance your experience:
  • GPSmyCity – Download this mobile application to access self-guided walking tours around Brisbane.
  • MyTranslink – This mobile application will help you find the best transportation options such as bus, train, ferry, or tram. You can also check maps and corresponding fare fees.

With these tips in mind, you’re all set to enjoy a memorable visit to the Queensland Maritime Museum!

Queensland Maritime Museum Reminders

Here are some important reminders to keep in mind when planning your visit to the Queensland Maritime Museum:

  • Respectful Behavior: Please be mindful of other visitors and museum staff by maintaining respectful behavior at all times.
  • Photography: Feel free to capture memories of your visit through photography, but please refrain from using flash photography as it may damage delicate artifacts in the museum.
  • Food and Drinks: Outside food and drinks are not permitted inside the museum, but you can enjoy a snack or meal at nearby cafes and restaurants within the South Bank precinct.
  • Touching Artifacts: While the museum encourages hands-on learning, some artifacts may be fragile or sensitive to touch. Please follow any posted guidelines regarding touching exhibits.
  • Children: If you’re visiting with your kids, please supervise them closely to ensure their safety and the preservation of museum artifacts.
  • Lost and Found: If you misplace any personal belongings during your visit, inquire at the museum’s information desk for assistance.

By keeping these reminders in mind, you can help ensure an enjoyable visit for yourself and fellow museum-goers at the Queensland Maritime Museum.

Collections at Queensland Maritime Museum

If you’re curious about the impressive collections housed at the Queensland Maritime Museum, here’s a glimpse of what awaits you:

  • Vessels: Here, you can set sail on a voyage through maritime history with an impressive collection of vessels that have left their mark on Queensland’s seafaring legacy.

From majestic warships to humble fishing boats, each vessel tells a unique story of maritime adventure and exploration.

  • HMAS Diamantina: Explore the decks of this former Royal Australian Navy frigate and uncover its storied past in service to the nation.
  • Small Boats: Encounter a collection of small boats, including the Happy II, Fury, and Penguin, each with its tale to tell of life on the open seas.
  • Carpentaria Light Ship: Learn about the history and significance of the Carpentaria Light Ship, which guided ships along Queensland’s coastal waters with its guiding beacon.
  • Ella’s Pink Lady: Discover the inspiring story of Ella’s Pink Lady, the yacht that made headlines as the youngest solo sailor’s vessel to circumnavigate the globe.
  • Dry Dock: Explore the heritage-listed South Brisbane Dry Dock, a relic from the colony’s early days, and learn about its crucial role in maritime transport during the late 19th century.
  • Lighthouses: Discover the evolution of lighthouse technology through the museum’s extensive collection, which includes lamps, lenses, and even a fully restored ex-Cape Don Light.
  • Marine Engines: Be amazed at the museum’s working vintage engines, ranging from small steam engines to massive submarine engines, offering insights into Queensland’s maritime engineering history.
  • Nautical Equipment: Dive into the disciplines of navigation, surveying, and meteorology with the museum’s collection of nautical equipment, including compasses, sextants, and chronometers.
  • Ship Models: Admire over 300 ship models, depicting vessels from ancient times to the present day, showcasing the craftsmanship and artistry of maritime model-making.

With a wide range of collections, the Queensland Maritime Museum can educate you about the rich maritime heritage of Queensland and beyond.

Where to eat near Queensland Maritime Museum

If you’re hungry or just looking for a place to grab a bite, South Bank offers an abundance of dining options near the Queensland Maritime Museum.

Let’s check them out!


Address: 29 Stanley St Plaza, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3844 7777

Operating Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM; Friday: 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM

Located in the heart of South Bank, The Plough Inn welcomes you with its warm and inviting pub atmosphere.

This restaurant serves up classic Australian pub fare like juicy burgers, savoury steaks, and refreshing drinks—it’s a great spot to unwind after exploring the museum.

Here, you can enjoy the busy ambiance and outdoor seating area as you dig into your favourite comfort foods.


Address: 30ba Stanley St Plaza, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Contact Details: +61 408 973 096

Operating Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:00 AM – 8:30 PM; Friday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM; Saturday: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM; Sunday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

If you’re in the mood for casual dining with a laid-back vibe, the South Bank Beer Garden is the place to be.

With its relaxed outdoor setting and extensive menu of pub classics and craft beers, it’s a popular choice for locals and visitors alike.

Here, you can grab a table under the canopy and soak in the South Bank atmosphere while enjoying a satisfying meal.


Address: 3/133 Grey St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3077 7254

Operating Hours: Sunday – Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM; Thursday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM; Friday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

For those of you who may be craving craft beer and hearty comfort food, South Bank also has The Charming Squire.

This vibrant gastropub offers a diverse menu featuring wood-fired pizzas, gourmet burgers, and shareable snacks, all paired perfectly with their selection of locally brewed beers.

Whether you’re dining indoors or out on the terrace, The Charming Squire offers a memorable culinary experience.

Where to stay near Queensland Maritime Museum

If you’re planning a visit to the Queensland Maritime Museum and looking for a place to stay nearby, you’re in luck!

The neighbourhood around the museum, South Bank, is a vibrant and busy area known for its cultural attractions, dining options, and scenic riverfront views.

Let’s check nearby accommodations to make your visit worthwhile!

Address: 9 Glenelg St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

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Located just 5 minutes away from the museum, Rydges South Bank Brisbane offers modern and comfortable accommodations with stunning views of the Brisbane River and the city skyline.

This hotel features spacious rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, and onsite dining options, making it a convenient choice for travelers looking to explore the South Bank precinct.

Address: 161 Grey St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

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Located within a 10-minute walking distance of the Queensland Maritime Museum, Mantra South Bank in Brisbane offers contemporary apartment-style accommodations with all the comforts of home.

Here, you can enjoy the convenience of fully equipped kitchens, laundry facilities, and access to the hotel’s rooftop pool and bar, where you can unwind and take in panoramic views of the city.

Address: 35 Peel St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

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The Capitol Apartments is another excellent option near the Queensland Maritime Musuem.

Located in the heart of South Bank, the apartments offer spacious living areas, modern amenities, and a rooftop swimming pool with sweeping views of the Brisbane skyline. 

With its central location and proximity to the museum, you can easily explore the surrounding attractions and dining options.

Where to shop near Queensland Maritime Museum

If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy near the Queensland Maritime Museum, you’ll find plenty of shopping options within walking distance.

Let’s take a stroll down these shopping streets, where you’ll discover a diverse range of shops and boutiques to explore.

Media credit: @fridayology 

Address: Little Stanley St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Little Stanley Street is a charming cobblestone street lined with boutique shops, cafes, and specialty stores.

From fashion boutiques offering the latest trends to unique gift shops showcasing locally made products, there’s something for you on Little Stanley Street.

Treat yourself to a new outfit, pick up a souvenir, or simply enjoy browsing the eclectic mix of shops in this vibrant precinct.

Media credit: @stevenmilesmp 

Address: Grey St, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Just a 12 minute walk from the Queensland Maritime Museum, Grey Street is another shopping hotspot in South Bank.

Here, you’ll find a mix of high-end retailers, lifestyle stores, and artisanal shops. Whether you’re looking for designer fashion, home decor, or artisanal gifts, Grey Street has it all. 

Media credit: @its.isas

Address: Stanley St Plaza, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Operating Hours: Friday: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM; Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

If you’re in the mood for a unique shopping experience, don’t miss the South Bank Lifestyle Market. This open-air weekend market is a must-visit for locals and tourists alike. 

Here, you can wander through the colourful stalls that line the streets and discover handmade crafts, artisanal goods, gourmet treats, and more.

From handcrafted jewellery and clothing to organic skincare products and delicious local delicacies, the market offers a diverse selection of items to suit every taste and preference.

Take your time exploring the stalls, and even chat with the friendly vendors, and soak in the lively atmosphere of this busy market. 

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