Brisbane experiences

Maritime Museum

Located along the banks of the Brisbane River, the Queensland Maritime Museum is situated next to Goodwill Bridge on the corner of Stanley and Sidon Streets. The convenient location provides easy access from the bridge and is within walking distance from the city.

maritime museum brisbane

The museum opened in 1971 and is run completely on a volunteer basis. The museum is home to a large collection of maritime artifacts, long lost documents, books and photographs that all pertain to maritime navigation. The museum is broken up into sections by headings. These headings include the popular Ship Models, Vessels, Marine Engines, Navigation, Lighthouses and the Dry Dock.

The volunteer run museum brings maritime information to life through its exhibits and displays. Many of the onsite volunteers are retired naval personnel and ship masters who have firsthand experience with the historical displays. The volunteers offer a fresh insight to onlookers and provide a wealth of information due to their experiences.

Tour groups are available at the museum and may be guided by a volunteer or self-guided. The guides are available to answer questions the guests may have while touring the museum. Schools groups of children and teachers are often seen travelling through the museum. Reservations may be made in advance.


The story of the Titanic, the ill-fated passenger steamship that struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage in 1912 and sank, has an enduring fascination and is known to many. But right here in Brisbane is a ship of similar, if less glamorous, historical status.

The HMAS Diamantina, commissioned in 1945, was a warship, not a passenger ship, but her history is fascinating and her contribution significant. Best of all, she is not, like the Titanic, miles under the ocean, but docked at the Queensland Maritime Museum and open for tours.

The ex-Navy frigate HMAS Diamantina is one of the most significant objects on display in Australia. She also happens to have a very strong Queensland connection, especially with the people of Queensland. Diamantina is the sole surviving River Class frigate in the world of the 133 such ships constructed by the UK, Canada and Australia. She was constructed at Walkers of Maryborough and commissioned into the RAN in 1945. The ship saw service in the Pacific Campaign and ultimately hosted the final surrender of World War II at Ocean Island on 1 October 1945.

The River Class frigate was a product of the Battle of the Atlantic in 1940. They were the first frigates constructed since the early 1800s. The success of the design was quickly realised by the UK, Canada, USA and Australia and the River Class became the benchmark for the design of frigates and destroyer escorts.

The frigate Diamantina is named after the river in western Queensland that gave us Waltzing Matilda. That river was named in honour of Countess Diamantina Roma Bowen, wife of Queensland's first Governor. The ship's crest is the family crest of Countess Diamantina.

Diamantina was placed in reserve in 1946 and then recommissioned in 1959 for oceanographic and hydrographic research. The ship was assigned to the Indian Ocean and over the next 20 years her work placed Australia at the forefront of knowledge of that ocean. It was a thankless task but one of inestimable value.

In 1960 she discovered in the Southern Indian Ocean a fracture zone that carries her name. This region of 150,000 sq. nm (roughly six times the size of Tasmania) is called the Diamantina zone in recognition of her work. Three species of crustacean are named after her.

Diamantina is the largest and most complex World War II exhibit on display in Australia. She is a credit to her Australian builders, she is a tribute to the past and present personnel of the RAN and today she is a credit to the volunteers of the Queensland Maritime Museum who have cared for her for the past 29 years.

Corner Stanley and Sidon Street, South Brisbane

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