Museum of Tropical Queensland was first opened in 1987 along Ross Creek in Townsville’s CBD. At the time it was named “Queensland Museum, North Queensland Branch”.
It wouldn’t be until 1990 when it officially adopted the name "Museum of Tropical Queensland" to reflect the museum’s focus on researching and interpreting the cultural and natural heritage of tropical Queensland.
Due to the strong interest in the HMS Pandora expeditions (one of Australia’s most significant shipwrecks) and widespread support from the Townsville community, the Pandora Foundation and government, fundraising efforts ensured the development of a new purpose-built museum on the site of the original, to house and display the artefacts that were recovered from the Pandora wreck site.
In 2000, the new museum was opened which included a 1:1 replica of the bow of the Pandora as homage to the wreck, a dedicated Pandora Gallery and additional two levels of galleries and exhibition spaces. The museum also became home to extensive coral, biodiversity, maritime and cultural collections that now form part of the State Collection of Queensland.
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