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Best Little Museums in Brisbane

Best Little Museums in Brisbane

Ready to dive into the quirky and captivating world of Brisbane’s best little museums? Don’t let their size fool you – these pint-sized repositories of history and curiosities pack a punch that’s larger than life.

From uncovering the secrets of vintage barber tools to mingling with ancient maritime artifacts, we’re about to embark on a journey through the nooks and crannies of the city’s most charming little museums in Brisbane.

So, grab your magnifying glass – or just your reading glasses – and let’s uncover the hidden gems that prove that good things come in small packages!

1. Redcliffe Museum 

Address: 75 Anzac Ave, Redcliffe QLD 4020


Contact Details: +61 7 3480 6700, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Wednesday-Sunday: 10 AM–4 PM

Nestled by the tranquil waters of Moreton Bay, the Redcliffe Museum offers a captivating journey through time, delving into the tales of the land and people that have shaped the vibrant tapestry of Redcliffe.

From the narratives of First Nations culture to films recounting the Peninsula’s early days – including the legendary Rollerdome – every corner echoes with the whispers of bygone eras.

But this museum isn’t just a portal to yesteryears; it’s a living canvas that hosts a vibrant palette of temporary exhibitions, events, and workshops throughout the year.

And if you’re visiting with the young ones, don’t miss the Imaginarium – an enchanting space where kids can play, create, and explore.

Whether you’re strolling through Corscadden Park or indulging in waterfront cafes, make sure to carve out time for this little treasure trove that invites you to uncover the layers of history that have shaped the region’s rich tapestry.

Pro tips:

  • Before leaving, don’t miss the chance to peruse the museum’s gift shop. It’s a treasure trove of historical books, souvenirs, and locally crafted gems. 
  • The museum often hosts a dynamic lineup of temporary exhibitions and workshops. Check their website for upcoming events and align your visit with something that piques your interest.

2. Queensland Police Museum

2. Queensland Police Museum
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Address: 200 Roma St, Brisbane City QLD 4000


Contact Details: +61 7 3364 6432

Operating Hours: Monday-Thursday: 9 AM–4 PM

The Queensland Police Museum offers a captivating window into the history of crime, law, and order since the inception of the Queensland Police force in 1864.

Housed within the Queensland Police HQ, this unique museum unveils a rich tapestry of the force’s evolution and notable criminal cases. 

The exhibits showcase a wide range of artifacts, from early policing equipment and handcuffs to chilling mock crime scenes for visitors to solve.

With over 25 informative displays, the museum delves into various aspects of policing, from historical milestones to infamous Queensland crimes like the enigmatic Betty Shanks murder.

Among the notable items on display are remnants from the Whiskey Au Go Go mass killing, homemade bombs linked to notorious murderer Karl Kast, and gas masks from World War II air raid shelters, offering an immersive experience.

Pro tips:

  • If available, join a guided tour which offer valuable insights, stories, and context that can enrich your museum experience. They might point out details you might have otherwise missed.

3. Pine Rivers Heritage Museum

3. Pine Rivers Heritage Museum
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Address: 901/904 Dayboro Rd, Whiteside QLD 4503


Contact Details: +61 7 5433 2710, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Wednesday-Sunday: 10 AM–3 PM

The Pine Rivers Heritage Museum is located in Old Petrie Town and presents a captivating snapshot of the district’s compelling history.

Amongst its rich tapestry of displays, visitors can step back in time to experience an authentic 1890s school classroom and gain insights into early timber-getters and the industries that shaped the region.

This museum also offers a glimpse of life in a bygone era within an original farm worker’s cottage.

With interactive exhibits and captivating dioramas, the museum unearths the stories of pioneering families. It artfully weaves together tales of exploration and settlement that resonate with the very foundations of the area.

Pro tips:

  • Consider bringing along a picnic basket filled with your favorite treats. The lush grounds of Old Petrie Town offer a delightful spot for a leisurely outdoor meal.
  • Keep an eye on the museum’s events calendar before your visit. They often host workshops, talks, and special events that offer a deeper dive into specific aspects of local history.

4. Redland Museum

Address: 60 Smith St, Cleveland QLD 4163


Contact Details: +61 7 3286 3494, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 10 AM–3:30 PM

Situated behind an unassuming brick façade, the Redland Museum features an impeccably curated collection spanning from colonial to the late twentieth century.

Here, you’ll step into a captivating realm across various themed zones, encompassing farming, maritime, schooling, transport, textile, medical, musical, communication, and social history.

From vintage rail motors and steam engines to colonial kitchens and well-preserved transportation relics, the museum paints a vivid portrait of Redlands Coast’s evolution.

This museum enbales you to delve into the agricultural legacy of Redlands Coast, marvel at the detailed exhibits like the Dan Holzapfel Farm Pavilion mural, and explore the recreated settings of a blacksmith shop, chapel, classroom, and post office.

Pro tips:

  • Nearby, there are cafes and spots to enjoy a meal or snack. Why not pair your museum visit with a stroll through the quaint streets of Cleveland or a relaxing picnic in one of the nearby parks?

5. Macarthur Museum

5. Macarthur Museum
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Address: Macarthur Chambers, 201 Edward St, Brisbane City QLD 4000


Contact Details: +61 7 3211 7052, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday: 10 AM–3 PM

Tucked within the historic MacArthur Chambers Hotel lies a hidden treasure, the MacArthur Museum, offering a glimpse into Brisbane’s wartime history.

This unassuming museum holds a significant role as the World War II headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur, the man who orchestrated the defense against the Japanese invasion of the Pacific region.

Stepping into the MacArthur Museum feels like stepping back in time. The museum preserves the very office from which General MacArthur strategized and directed crucial wartime efforts.

Visitors can experience history firsthand, sitting in the same chairs where strategies were devised and viewing artifacts that shed light on Brisbane’s role as a frontline city during the war.

The museum also presents compelling film footage, photographs, and a heartfelt letter from Prime Minister Curtin to Australian school children, all offering poignant glimpses into the challenges and resilience of the era.

Pro tips:

  • Engage with the interactive displays and multimedia presentations. These offer a dynamic way to immerse yourself in the history and gain a deeper appreciation for the pivotal role Brisbane played during World War II.

6. Logan Village Museum

6. Logan Village Museum
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Address: 1-5 River St, Logan Village QLD 4207


Contact Details: +61 418 738 468

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 9 AM–12 PM

At the heart of Logan Village lies the charming Village Green, home to the Logan Village Museum. This hidden gem is a testament to the dedication of passionate volunteers who strive to preserve over 150 years of local history and share its myriad stories.

What sets the Logan Village Museum apart is not just its collection, but the contagious enthusiasm of its volunteers to breathe life into tales of people and places. By sharing these narratives, they deepen their own understanding of the past’s relevance.

Offering assistance in genealogy research, the museum extends its hand in preserving personal histories. Among the captivating exhibits, there’s a focus on both WWI and WWII, accompanied by a rich array of books from those times.

With the burgeoning suburb of Yarrabilba nearby, the museum’s scope now extends to the early 1940s, when the region was home to the “Camp Cable Army Base,” shedding light on yet another layer of history waiting to be explored.

Pro tips:

  • Strike up conversations with the dedicated volunteers who bring the museum to life. They’re brimming with local knowledge and personal stories that add depth to your experience.
  • If you’re curious about your own roots, take advantage of the museum’s genealogy assistance. They’re eager to help you uncover connections to the area’s rich history and families.

7. Brisbane Tramway Museum

7. Brisbane Tramway Museum
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Address: 20 Tramway St, Ferny Grove QLD 4055


Contact Details: +61 7 3351 1776

Operating Hours: Sunday: 12:30–4 PM

Entry Fee:

  • Adult – $16
  • Concession – $13
  • Children – $9
  • Family – $50

Nestled in picturesque surroundings near Ferny Grove station, the Brisbane Tramway Museum represents a tribute to the city’s tram history.

Beyond the six operational trams, ranging from 1901 to 1961, the museum boasts a collection of tram-related artifacts, including depot buildings, a signal cabin, and vintage relics salvaged from the Buranda depot.

Strolling through the grounds, guests can also explore a treasure trove of memorabilia and photographs, each offering glimpses into a bygone era.

What truly sets this museum apart is the opportunity to hop aboard these historical trams for a ride along the museum’s perimeter.

With working bells and destinations like the old Milton Tennis Courts, these trams breathe life into history and create an enchanting experience for visitors of all ages.

Admission includes unlimited tram rides, allowing patrons to journey through time on these meticulously restored vehicles.

Pro tips:

  • Browse the museum’s gift shop for unique souvenirs that reflect the tram era’s charm. From vintage postcards to tram-related memorabilia, you’ll find treasures that serve as delightful keepsakes of your visit.
  • Before heading out, take a moment to check the tram schedule for the day. While multiple trams from different eras operate, the availability may vary due to maintenance or service requirements.

8. Antiquities Museum

Address: Level 2, Building 9, University of Queensland, St Lucia 4067


Contact Details: +61 7 3365 3010

Operating Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:30 AM–4:30 PM

The Antiquities Museum, situated discreetly within one of UQ’s Great Court Buildings, offers a captivating journey through the annals of history.

Housing an array of ancient artifacts spanning over 4000 years, it presents a rare opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the cultures of past civilizations. 

From Egyptian funeral masks to intricate Roman lamps, and delicate Italian figurines to ancient Greek vases, the curated collection offers remarkable insight.

This compact yet comprehensive showcase, featuring items such as burial urns, Roman tombstones, and Greek pottery, transports visitors to a bygone era.

Prior arrangements are recommended, providing a tailored experience that makes this museum a must-visit for those who seek to explore the world’s past in a distinct and personal way.

Pro tips:

  • Since the Antiquities Museum is situated within one of UQ’s Great Court Buildings, consider exploring the stunning Great Court as well.
  • Contact the Department of Classics and Ancient History in advance to let them know you’re coming. This small, tucked-away museum appreciates a heads-up, ensuring a personalized visit tailored to your interests.

9. Department of Classics and Ancient History

9. Department of Classics and Ancient History
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Address: 115 William St, Brisbane City QLD 4000


Contact Details: +61 7 3221 4198, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 10 AM–4 PM

Entry Fee:

  • Adults – $10
  • Concession / Tertiary Students – $8
  • School Pupils – $5
  • Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) – $20

Positioned at the heart of Brisbane’s bustling CBD, The Commissariat Store Museum is a historical treasure, tracing its origins back to 1828. It eloquently captures the spirit of yesteryears and preserves the essence of the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement era.

As the second oldest surviving edifice in Queensland, the museum’s significance lies not only in its convict-built architecture but also in the rich tapestry of stories it weaves together.

The Commissariat Store Museum beckons visitors into an immersive voyage through time. Beyond its weathered walls, a mosaic of exhibits unfolds, chronicling Queensland’s convict and colonial heritage.

With a dynamic calendar of events, an extensive library, and a resolute commitment to safeguarding and sharing the state’s enthralling history, this unassuming gem takes its rightful place as one of Brisbane’s best little museums.

Pro tips:

  • Before setting out, give the museum a quick call to confirm the schedule of exhibitions and events. 
  • Keep an eye on the museum’s upcoming events and workshops. Participating in these activities not only enhances your experience but also connects you with fellow history enthusiasts, creating a sense of community.

10. Samford District Historical Museum

10. Samford District Historical Museum
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Address: 21 Station St, Samford Village QLD 4520


Contact Details: +61 7 3289 2743, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Wednesday: 10 AM–3 PM, Sunday: 10 AM–4 PM

The Samford District Historical Museum is a living tribute to late 19th and early 20th century life. Led by enthusiastic volunteers, some of whom are walking repositories of local lore, the museum goes beyond static displays.

The collection boasts gems like the original Ferny Grove railway station, complete with its signal room and a poignant reminder of the 1947 Camp Mountain rail disaster.

Children are in for a treat at the Toy Museum, where vintage dolls, matchbox cars, and schoolroom recreations ignite a sense of wonder.

From the humble schoolhouse to the working blacksmith’s forge, the museum creates an immersive experience, while nearby facilities like the BMX track and playground ensure a day filled with historical exploration and family fun.

Pro tips:

  • Pack a picnic and relish the free-to-use barbecue facilities in the area. Enjoy your meal surrounded by the historical ambiance, creating a memorable and wholesome experience for the whole family.


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