The 6 Best Museums to Visit In and Around Brisbane

Pip & Pop © The artists via GOMA
Pip & Pop © The artists via GOMA
Photo of Kelly Hawke
5 June 2017

Brisbane is not thought of as Australia’s cultural hub but it is home to many amazing museums and galleries where visitors can get their culture fix. If you want to learn more about Queensland, or just enjoy some art and soak in some culture then we’ve got just the places for you to visit.


Art Gallery, Cinema, Museum
Map View
Ram's Head, Blue Morning Glory at GOMA
Ram's Head, Blue Morning Glory at GOMA | © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) should be a must see, whether just visiting Brisbane or living in the sunshine state. This gallery has become an institution in Brisbane and is one of the leaders of contemporary art in Australia, Asia and the Pacific. With an impressive permanent collection, constantly changing exhibitions, a children’s art centre, cinema and cafes, it’s a one-stop cultural experience.

Queensland Museum

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Known as a museum of natural history, cultural heritage, science and human achievement, the Queensland Museum promises an educational experience for all ages. Home to the famous World Science Festival and living and fossil species, Queensland Museum has ever changing collections sure to engage the mind.


A huge part of Australia’s heritage is its surf culture. The perfect way way to learn more about this Aussie sport is a visit to the iconic Surfworld, situated on the Gold Coast, followed by an actual surf (or surf lesson) at nearby Currumbin Beach. Filled with Australia’s largest collection of surfboards, Surfworld also holds photography exhibitions and a range of iconic surfing memorabilia.

Surfworld, 35 Tomewin St Currumbin 4223, Queensland

Metro Arts

Art Gallery, Building
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Metro Arts Brisbane displays contemporary art in many forms across five stories of a heritage building in Brisbane’s CBD. Here you’ll find local artists in residence, exhibitions, events, performances, forums and more. It’s a melting pot of creativity and the gallery is open to the public to come in and enjoy, for free. While you’re there, pop in to Metro Arts Espresso and enjoy their coffee and popular treats, with funds from the cafe supporting Australian art.

North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum

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North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum (NSIHM)
North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum (NSIHM) | © NSIHM
The award-winning North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum (NSIHM) is a humble museum, located in the small North Stradbroke Island town of Dunwich. Only accessible by boat from Brisbane, it’s worth the trip over to ‘Straddie’ to explore this cultural island and its quaint museum. Filled with permanent displays about the Quandamooka people, convict history, shipwrecks and maritime history, the story of sandmining, as well as island memorabilia including photos of iconic fishing shacks, boats and buses that played a part in early tourism on the island. After a visit to the museum, there is a whole island to explore including lakes, parks and stunning beaches.

Brisbane Powerhouse

Building, Art Gallery, Market, Park, Theater
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Located along the Brisbane River in New Farm, the Brisbane Powerhouse hosts more than 1250 events year round, including live acts, workshops and visual art displays. Brisbane Powerhouse is home to Brisbane Comedy Festival, Australian Performing Arts Market, World Theatre Festival, Queensland Cabaret Festival, MELT Queer Cultural Festival, Wonderland and Brisbane Queer Film Festival. Tip: pack a picnic to enjoy at neighbouring New Farm Park, or enjoy Italian fare and river views at Bar Alto, located inside Brisbane Powerhouse.

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