Townsville Museum and Historical Society Incorporated

The Townsville Museum and Historical Society is a voluntary organisation that operates with the support of the Townsville City Council. The Museum collects and displays artefacts from or pertaining to Townsville and also collects paper material pertaining to North Queensland. We have a small publication programme. Visitors are welcome to view our collections and some research assistance may be available. We also mount small exhibitions outside our premises on request. School and social groups are very welcome.


Townsville Museum holds an extensive collection of artefacts and adheres to the philosophy that museum displays have a primary function of showing and explaining original articles of local material culture. The Museum also holds extensive collections of original Townsville photographs and building plans.

The Museum's document collections extend beyond the Townsville area into the North Queensland hinterland, and provide researchers with valuable resource material.

Townsville Museum has two major display areas

Hall One is dedicated to the people of Townsville. It contains a rotating exhibition of individual histories and the fascinating artefact displays are also linked to local personalities. One of these is connected to violin maker/artist John Johnson and includes one of his violas as well as paintings and instrument plans.

Hall One also contains a major display of medical instruments and equipment. These were the property of long-time Townsville doctor and private hospital owner, Aubrey Bennett. This display comprises one of Australia's biggest collections of medical instruments.

Also in this part of our Museum, we are displaying a fascinating collection of pharmacist's ingredients and equipment, from early Townsville chemist, William Green.

Hall Two houses our larger exhibits, and traces our history from the time of European settlement. This Hall has kitchen, parlour and school rooms as well as smaller areas.

Hall Two houses a major history of printing in Townsville, including type setting, printing and book binding equipment. This is a new display and very comprehensive.

We also have a fascinating collection of tools and equipment from the now defunct trade of the telegraphic linesman. Next to this is a display of artefacts taken from the Operations room of the Coastal Radion Station (Overseas Telecommunications Commission).