a group of people in a large hall next to an old wooden ship with the name HMS Pandora on the wall

The Great Gallery

Permanent exhibition

Recommended for all ages

Museum of Tropical Queensland


The Great Gallery is dominated by a replica of the HMS Pandora, the ship sent by the British Admiralty in 1790 to capture the Bounty and her mutinous crew in Tahiti.

Tragically, on her return journey in 1791, Pandora hit the Great Barrier Reef and sank. She remained undiscovered for 186 years and today, objects recovered from the wreck are part of the Pandora exhibition, adjacent to The Great Gallery.

Temporary closure from 14 August 2023. The museum will begin installing a mammoth exhibition Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators. If you're planning a visit, please be aware that The Great Gallery will be closed from Saturday 14 August until late January 2024, however all our permanent galleries including Pandora and Sciencentre will be open and accessible.

Things to see and do:

  • Travel along the museum walkways see the decks of the ship and get an insight into what they were used for, from storing food to housing cannons.
  • Get up close to the copper hull of the ship, nestled on The Great Gallery floor.
  • Look down at the blue Great Gallery carpet featuring a complete 2D blue-print of the ship showing its various galleys, decks and defence systems.
  • Marvel at the 1:24 scale model of the HMS Pandora constructed to the ship's plan and traditional ship-building techniques. The model took almost 7000 hours to complete and stands 2.6 metres long and 1.9 metres high.

The Great Gallery is also home to The Galley Cafe, where visitors can enjoy a coffee or light lunch with views over Ross Creek.

The Great Gallery at Museum of Tropical Queensland

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