Immerse yourself in arts and culture

As the cultural capital of regional Australia, Townsville's cultural and performing arts scene is part of the fabric of community life, with a variety of acts, live shows and exhibitions regularly presented through the city's creative spaces and galleries.

Townsville's inner city laneways, warehouses and buildings are a stage for a vibrant collection of urban street art. Grab your camera and take yourself on Townsville's street art photography trail. 

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Army Museum of North Queensland

The Army Museum of North Queensland is located within Jezzine Barracks, Kissing Point in Townsville. The Museum collects and exhibits memorabilia associated with past and current military units and personnel from North Queensland, including a geographic area between Rockhampton in the south, extending north to Torres Strait and west to the Northern Territory border. The Collection extends from the establishment of the first defences at Townsville and Thursday Island until the present day. Initially housed in the old Kissing Point Fort, the new Museum has moved to the newly refurbished building at the centre of Jezzine barracks. Showcased within the Museum is a gallery displaying pre-federation Army and a gallery showing more recent conflicts of Vietnam and Korea, and the history of Sir John Lavararck and Lavarack Barracks. A third gallery is planned for 2012 and will house World War I and World War II displays, including the Townsville Honour Boards from both these conflicts.

Brandon Heritage Precinct

If your interests include machinery or history, make sure you visit the Brandon Heritage Precinct. With plenty on display, the complex is the base of the Burdekin Machine Preservationists. This group of machinery enthusiasts are happy to welcome visitors to view their collection of machinery, tractors and other relevant items of interest. The Brandon Heritage Precinct contains a Workshop area, Steam Shed and Blacksmith Shop and displays a collection of machinery that was used in the Burdekin District. The Burdekin Machine Preservationists have completed their restoration project of a 1910 Marshall C Class Tractor. This tractor, which is on display at the complex, is the only one of its class left in the world. Tours can be taken through the complex on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9am and 4pm when the Burdekin Machine Preservationists are in attendance. Suggested entry is gold coin donation. They have a wealth of mechanical knowledge, so feel free to ask lots of questions.

Herbert River Museum

Learn about the history of the Hinchinbrook region and discover a treasure chest of historical artefacts at the Herbert River Museum. Located on Macrossan Street in Halifax, the Museum offers an interesting step back in time and is co-located with the local gallery. For those wanting to view more of their Local History, the Herbert River Museum/Gallery can be found in the old Shaw's Building, Macrossan Street, Halifax.

Historic Ambulance Centre

The Historic Ambulance Centre, located in Charters Towers, dates back to 1903 and was restored and reopened to the public 100 years from its first opening. The Centre was the first ambulance station outside of Brisbane and houses a wonderful collection of vehicles, uniforms and an enormous number of log books recording the cases treated by ambulance officers during the past 100 years. The Centre is open on Sundays and at other times by appointment.

Maritime Museum of Townsville

The Maritime Museum of Townsville is best known for its display about the doomed ship SS Yongala, sunk south of Townsville in 1911 with the loss of all 122 on board. The display includes a video recording showing the discovery and archaeology of the wreck, one of the world’s premier wreck dive sites. Other fascinating exhibits include The Women’s War Two display, which provides an insight into the lives of women living and working in Townsville during the Second World War; information about the Royal Australian Navy, the history of Townsville and its port, and the hard hat diving industry of Townsville. A model boat building room, boat shed, small research library and barbecue area can also be found here. The Museum is located on the southern bank of Ross Creek, and is just a short walk to city restaurants and other attractions.

Museum Of Tropical Queensland

If you've ever wanted to fire a cannon, find out about life on board an old sailing ship or discover more about the rainforests and reefs, then add the Museum of Tropical Queensland to your Townsville itinerary. The Museum's family-friendly exhibitions and displays explore life in the tropics from prehistoric times to modern day. Located in the heart of Townsville, the Museum has temporary and permanent exhibitions to captivate visitors and our ever-changing school holiday programs offer something for kids of all ages. The Great Gallery is dominated by a replica of the HMS Pandora, the ship sent to capture the Bounty and her mutinous crew. Discover her ill-fated journey for yourself and view priceless objects recovered from the wreck, which rests off the coast of Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef. Join the HMS Pandora Gun Team at 11am and 2.30pm daily and learn how to load and fire a cannon like they did in the 1700s. On the second Tuesday of each month there're public Discover More Talks on a range of eclectic topics, from dinosaurs to isopods, Townsville history to climate change.

National Trust Heritage Centre

Journey back to the late 1880s and discover a quaint collection of heritage houses and their stories at the National Trust Heritage Centre. The three heritage houses featured at the centre have been furnished and restored to their original period glory and include a Worker's Dwelling (1878), a grand villa residence known as The Currajong (1889) and an early North Queensland farm residence known as The Farmhouse (1921). Guided tours are available.

Old Brandon Church

The Old Brandon Church is the place to go if you're looking for something unique. This historic building has become the home of the Burdekin Artisans. Formerly Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, the building is listed on the Registers of both the National Estate and the National Trust of Queensland. This excellent example of a 'carpenter Gothic' church has stood on two sites in Brandon. After severe damage from cyclone Aivu in 1989, it was purchased by the Burdekin Shire Council, and in 1991 moved to its present site. Restored, and now opened as a gallery space, admission is free. The gallery is open Friday and Saturday, from 10am to 4pm, and staffed by volunteer members. On Fridays, combine this visit with a visit to the Burdekin Machinery Preservationist's shed right next door. In the Old Brandon Church, browse through the range of locally produced art works, sculpture, felting and jewellery. You may even pick up one or two original and beautifully created pieces for your home! The Old Brandon Church is an hour's drive south of Townsville, and five minutes north of Ayr.

Pinnacles Gallery

Pinnacles Gallery is a dynamic art space committed to offering a diverse exhibition program with a strong community focus. Pinnacles Gallery is located in Townsville's premier Riverway precinct in Thuringowa, providing a perfect backdrop for you to enjoy local and touring exhibitions of visual arts, craft, social history and more. Once you have browsed the latest exhibition, take a swim in Riverway lagoon, stroll along the riverfront under the shade of the large rain trees or catch a performance at the Riverway Arts Centre.

Stock Exchange Arcade

Imagine back to the days of the 1800s, when the gold rush was at its prime and the township of Charters Towers was the second largest city in Queensland. An arcade was designed by Sydney architect Mark Day and built by Sandbrook Brothers of Sydney in 1888 for local civic leader and businessman Alexander Malcolm. Known then as the Royal Arcade, it housed one of Australia's first regional stock exchanges, the Charters Towers Stock Exchange from 1890. At one time the price of gold was set in that very Arcade, an indication of the importance of the Charters Towers' economy at the time. Today, the stockbroker's offices have been converted into shops and make for an interesting insight into the buildings history. Wander through the Don Roderick Gallery, enjoy the building's magnificent architecture and don't miss the "Calling of the Card," a ghostly reminder of Charters Towers' golden days.

Venus Gold Battery

Located on the outskirts of Charters Towers, the Venus Gold Battery offers an insight into an amazing real life gold rush of the late nineteenth century. The Battery is of national cultural significance as the largest surviving Battery relic in Australia and the oldest surviving Battery in Queensland. Constructed in 1872, it was a public or custom mill in its prime and became a State Battery in 1919 to provide ore crushing facilities for small miners long after other mills had closed. It ceased commercial operations in 1973 after a century of service. Guided tours are available daily. One of the highlights is a fascinating film presentation that shows not only the process of extracting gold from ore, but also the story of the Battery's working life and some of its ghosts.

World Theatre, The

Explore the World Theatre, a cultural complex where the unique blend of heritage architecture and state of the art technology meet. Browse at your own leisure and check with the friendly staff for details of the live shows, movie times, morning melodies and the free local and touring exhibitions of art, sculpture, photography and more. For an interesting insight into the past ask the staff to tell you the story of the 'Murder on Mosman'.

Zara Clark Museum

This National Trust museum houses a large collection of photographs, equipment and other memorabilia that reflects Charters Towers' golden and military past. Their friendly volunteers are only too willing to share their special stories and demonstrate some of the equipment that is housed in the historic Burns Philp building, built in 1888. Ask for a demonstration of the flying fox (the Lampson Aerial Cash System from the old Pollards building). There are many other items too that will pull you into the drama and excitement that was Charters Towers 130 odd years ago. History buffs and collectors can put themselves to the test with the Museum's display of objects that so far have defied efforts to identify or date and the volunteers are delighted to show them off. Charters Towers has a proud military history from the Boer to Vietnam wars, housed in the Charles Wallace Military display. One of the more poignant pieces from World War I is a pair of half knitted socks, abandoned when a mum received news that her son had been killed, they are displayed exactly as she left them 100 years ago. Allow half an hour at least.