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Queensland Maritime Museum

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by Lloyd Marken (subscribe)
Lloyd Marken is a freelance writer with a passion for the arts who has been published with Scenestr, Heavy, Buzz, X-Press, FilmInk and Weekend Notes. Visit my blog at https://backtothedrawingboardproductions.com/
Published February 7th 2021
One of Australia's largest maritime museums
Photos: Lloyd Marken - Queensland Maritime Museum
Photos: Lloyd Marken - Queensland Maritime Museum


The Queensland Maritime Museum (QMM) is opening their doors for trial re-openings as they fight for their ongoing survival.

This is a chance, maybe for the last time, to take in the most recent maritime history in the region from colonial period to Federation, through two world wars to the 21st century when a young 16-year-old girl made an epic voyage around the globe.

Photos: Lloyd Marken - Queensland Maritime Museum Interior
Photos: Lloyd Marken - Queensland Maritime Museum Interior


The main building is full of things you would hope to see in such a museum. Painstakingly constructed scale models of giant cruise liners that sailed the open seas, donated historical artefacts scrubbed up and preserved that were held by crew members decades ago, search lights that predate electricity, unique leisure craft built by handy locals and paintings drawn quite often by sailors themselves who capture a mariner's life in a way only they could.

Photos: Lloyd Marken - Smoking Room of QGSY Lucinda
Photos: Lloyd Marken - Smoking Room of QGSY Lucinda


There are some surprises along the way, including a recreation of the smoking room from the Queensland Government Steam Yacht Lucinda where Sir Edmund Barton and Charles Kingston finalised the draft constitution of the Australian Commonwealth while sailing the Hawkesbury River in 1891.

Photos: Lloyd Marken - Porthole

Another display dedicated to Jessica Watson brings home the scope of her achievement. During her voyage she could not stop at any port - nor take any re-supply from another boat. She was on her own out there for 210 days with only what she had packed onboard, making repairs and enduring harsh storms.

Photos: Lloyd Marken - Ella's Pink Lady
Photos: Lloyd Marken - Ella's Pink Lady


Outside sits her historic vessel, the 10-metre-long Ella's Pink Lady, a physical reminder of the courage and tenacity she displayed in making her journey.

Photos: Lloyd Marken - Walk the Deck of HMAS Diamantina.
Photos: Lloyd Marken - Walk the Deck of HMAS Diamantina.


There is also in the dry dock, HMAS Diamantina that served in World War II and held surrender ceremonies on its deck by Japanese forces in the Pacific.

Photos: Lloyd Marken - View from the deck of HMAS Diamantina
Photos: Lloyd Marken - View from the deck of HMAS Diamantina


Later as an oceanographic survey ship in the 1960s she discovered the deepest part of the Indian Ocean and served as an escort ship to the royal yacht during an Australian tour by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

Photos: Lloyd Marken - HMAS Diamantina discovered Diamantina Deep


While you cannot currently go below, you can still walk the decks of the Royal Australian Navy frigate that has been maintained by volunteers that have kept the museum running for decades.

Photo: Lloyd Marken - Anti-aircraft gun on HMAS Diamantina

The scope of their laudable work can be found in every display, just one example is a 'renovated tractor' from the 1920s that was used at the Hamilton Wharves and changed hands from a car museum in the 1970s to the Queensland Museum to the QMM.

Photos: Lloyd Marken - 'Renovated' Towmotor Tractor Model B
Photos: Lloyd Marken - 'Renovated' Towmotor Tractor Model B


It took over ten years work from two volunteers who moved from one museum to the other, but that tractor now looks brand new. More impressively, over a century after it came off the factory line these two volunteers have made it fully operational again yes it runs!

Photos: Lloyd Marken - Commonwealth Light Ship 2 Carpentaria in dry dock.
Photos: Lloyd Marken - Commonwealth Light Ship 2 Carpentaria in dry dock.


The sea brought with it trade, migration, and war in all its forms. Our maritime history is one of regrets and shame but also development and rebirth. The Museum allows you to experience and learn about all of this.

Photos: Lloyd Marken - The Dry Dock.
Photos: Lloyd Marken - The Dry Dock.


Having opened fifty years ago this year, the Museum has its own history too. Having been through multiple economic downturns and had its dry dock flooded twice in 1974 and 2011 it was COVID that made it untenable to stay open.

Photos: Lloyd Marken - The Queensland Maritime Museum needs your help.
Photos: Lloyd Marken - The Queensland Maritime Museum needs your help.


However, a petition has been raised calling on the QMM to be made part of the Queensland Museum Network which would secure its future. So far over 15,000 people have showed their support and signed the petition which can be found here.

Photos: Lloyd Marken - The Queensland Maritime Museum is fighting to stay open.


A trial re-opening occurred the last week of January under a COVID-safe plan and off the back of media coverage to great success. But ongoing support from the community will give the museum its best chance of remaining open well into the future.

Now is the time to visit.

The sea is calling, will you heed her call and step aboard the Queensland Maritime Museum before it's too late.

Photos: Lloyd Marken - The Queensland Maritime Museum welcomes you aboard.
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Why? Experience our local maritime history.
When: Check website to book available times.
Phone: 07 3844 5361
Where: Cnr Stanley & Sidon Streets, South Brisbane
Cost: Adult - $18 Child - $8 (under 15) Family - $40 (includes 2 adults and up to 3 children under 15) Pensioner, Senior and Student - $15 (with valid card)
Your Comment
Please when events are posted include the address. Don't assume that interested parties know the physical location. Thanks
by talfo (score: 0|6) 20 days ago
great article LLoyd. I love the maritime museum.
by May Cross (score: 3|7806) 20 days ago
Well presented article Lloyd. History, in all its shapes and forms should be preserved. It is almost criminal that saving our history is left in the hands of volunteers.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|1655) 20 days ago
Thank you May. Check the QMM website for updates on when the next open sessions may be. Hopefully you can visit the Museum again soon and thank you for the kind words.
by Lloyd Marken (score: 1|39) 19 days ago
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