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Museum of Underwater Art Tickets

The Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) in Queensland opened in 2020.

highlights

  • Located in the central part of the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Townsville, it is a must-visit.
  • Explore the series of installations here by the leading underwater sculptor, Jason deCaires Taylor.
  • Admire Ocean Siren, a statue modeled after 12-year-old Takoda Johnson, that rises above the ocean.
  • Snorkel or dive into the water to see the Coral Greenhouse at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Future locations that the MOUA aims to make the most of are Palm Island and Magnetic Island.
  • A blend of art, science, culture, and conservation, the MOUA is the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

inclusions

  • Full day trip to the Great Barrier Reef
  • Snorkel the world-class Museum Of Underwater Art
  • All snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, fins, and full-length suit)
  • Demonstrations and instructions on snorkeling techniques
  • Experienced and friendly crew

cancellation policy

These tickets can't be cancelled or rescheduled.

what to expect

What is the Museum of Underwater Art?

While works of art can be found anywhere, you would hardly think to look inside the vast ocean blue. Yet, that is exactly what the wonder-filled Museum of Underwater Art offers. Located in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Townsville, the museum is the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Its goal is to highlight reef conservation, restoration, and education on a global scale. Find here the brilliant series of underwater art installations by the famous sculptor, Jason deCaires Taylor.

What to See at the Museum of Underwater Art

Discover a whole other world below the surface as you stumble upon awe-inspiring natural and man-made structures at the Museum of Underwater Art. From Townsville, venture to the central part of the Great Barrier Reef (the journey will be included in your ticket). En route, the expert crew on your vessel will give you snorkeling demonstrations and instructions so that you’re confident enough to dive. Once you arrive at the John Brewer Reef (this is where the MOUA is located), you can explore the installments of art by Jason deCaires Taylor that reflect reef conservation, restoration, and education. Fun fact: The reef was named after a troopship named John Brewer sailing from Sydney to India in 1842. Biologically, John Brewer Reef was first surveyed in 1984. In 2019, 74 different fish species were recorded here.

The Coral Greenhouse

Take the plunge and explore The Coral Greenhouse, a submerged 72-meter building adorned with trees and sculptures. It almost looks like it has glass walls, and when you peer in, you’ll be able to see beautiful coral gardens and marine life. Around the MOUA, there are plenty of other reefs to explore with depths ranging from one to 20 meters. This makes it ideal for experienced divers as well as beginners. As you swim around, experience the wonderful company of colorful reef fish like parrotfish, turtles, stingrays, and corals. The crew along with you will explain to you how the reef is managed, and the ways you can help to protect it and its vibrant creatures.

Ocean Siren

Installed alongside North Queensland’s Strand Jetty in Townsville, ‘Ocean Siren’ is a sight to behold. It is modeled on local Wulgurukaba Traditional Owner, Takoda Johnson, and has been built with a vision to inspire reef conservation action. The sculpture reacts to live water temperature data from the Davies Reef weather station. It changes color in response to the live variations in water temperature! The sculpture is free to view and open 24/7.

Future Locations

Palm Island

On the Greater Palm Island, you’ll find the Aboriginal community of Palm Island, also called “Bwgcolman.” The island is best known for its crystal-clear waters, sandy coastlines, and natural coral reefs. The MOUA aims to make the most of this setting through an installation that brings out the cultural story of Palm Island and connects it to the land and the sea. These Palm Island sculptures are expected to be installed by late 2021.

Magnetic Island

With an average of 322 days of sunny weather throughout the year, and 23 bays and beaches, Magnetic Island makes for the ideal year-round destination for locals and tourists alike. Plus, it’s got the largest colony of wild koalas in Australia! Stage three of the MOUA is expected to installed here. Funding is currently being sourced and the expected completion date is the end of 2021.

know before you go

Timings

The MOUA is open 24 hours from Monday to Friday. It is closed on Saturday and Sunday.

How to Get to the Museum of Underwater Art Queensland

Getting There

  • The closest bus stop is ‘Townsville City Stop A.’
  • Catch bus #200 or 201 to get here.

Things to Do Near the Museum of Underwater Art

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

A World Heritage Park, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem. Spend your time at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park indulging in some of their top recreational activities. These include helicopter tours, self-sailing on bareboat, diving and fishing charters, cruise ship riding, and whale watching. Just make sure to read up about the rules before you visit. For instance, there are no-take areas where fishing isn’t allowed and other specific areas where specific rules apply.

Museum of Tropical Queensland

The Museum of Tropical Queensland focuses on researching and interpreting the cultural and natural heritage of tropical Queensland. The main highlight of the museum is the HMS Pandora gallery. It was deployed to catch the famous Bounty and her mutinous crew. But the Pandora sank off the coast of Cape York in 1791. From its wreck, scores of amazing artifacts have been recovered and are on display at the museum. One of the most popular areas for kids is the Enchanted Rainforest. Constructed around a recreation of a quandong tree and featuring a slide and rope bridge, children can learn about rainforest plants and animals in a safe and fun environment.

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

Located in the heart of Townville’s city center, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery is a dynamic visual arts center. It has a spectacular collection of North Queensland art and is housed in one of Townsville’s finest heritage buildings. Find here exhibitions featuring North Queensland artists. Attend floor talks, lectures, music performances, and theatre and dance exhibitions.

additional information

Museum of Underwater Art Queensland: FAQs

Q. What is the Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA)?

A: The Museum of Underwater Art blends art, science, conservation, and culture in the form of underwater installations on the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Townsville, North Queensland.

Q. What can you see at the Museum of Underwater Art?

A: Ocean Siren is free for the public to see and is open 24/7. This sculpture is modeled on Takoda Johnson, with a vision to inspire reef and ocean conservation action and achieve positive environmental outcomes. You can also go on a day tour to see the Coral Greenhouse, the first-ever underwater building created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor. Weighing more than 58 tonnes, the ‘Coral Greenhouse’ has 20 “reef guardians” who are caring for corals and are trying to spread the message of reef conservation. You can take a boat to get here and spend a day snorkeling or diving and exploring the reefs.

Q. Where is the MOUA located?

A: It is located off the coast of Townsville North Queensland. The museum has installations currently at The Strand Jetty and John Brewer Reef in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Area.

Q. Who manages the MOUA project?

A: The Museum of Underwater Art Board was established in 2016 from an idea forged by marine scientists Dr. Adam Smith and Dr. Paul Marshall, in partnership with tourism expert Paul Victory. The MOUA is a registered not-for-profit organization.

Q. Is the MOUA open to the public?

A: The Ocean Siren is already available, free, and accessible to the public, via access on The Strand Jetty shoreline. The Coral Greenhouse (on John Brewer Reef) is open to the public as well, with tours leaving Townsville and Magnetic Island.

Q. What is the next phase for the MOUA project?

A: Palm Island is designated as the next phase of the MOUA project. It is expected the Palm Island sculptures will be installed by the end of 2021.

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