The Great Gallery

The Great Gallery is dominated by a replica of the HMS Pandora, the ship sent by the British Admiralty in 1790 to capture the Bounty and her mutinous crew in Tahiti.


Tragically, on her return journey in 1791, Pandora hit the Great Barrier Reef and sank. She remained undiscovered for 186 years and today, objects recovered from the wreck are part of the Pandora exhibition, adjacent to the Great Gallery.


Things to see and do:

  • Look up and see taxidermy displays of sea birds flying near the ship and nestled on its mast.
  • Along the Museum walkways see the decks of the ship and get an insight into what they were used for, from storing food to housing cannons.
  • Get up close to the copper hull of the ship, nestled on The Great Gallery floor.
  • Look down at the blue Great Gallery carpet featuring a complete 2D blue print of the ship showing its various galleys, decks and defence systems.
  • Marvel at the 1:24 scale model of the HMS Pandora constructed to the ship's plan and traditional ship-building techniques. The model took almost 7000 hours to complete and stands 2.6m long and 1.9 metres high.

The Great Gallery is also home to the Museum Cafe, where visitors can enjoy a coffee or light lunch with views over Ross Creek.

At the end of the Great Gallery is also the Museum Theatre, where monthly Discover More talks are held as well as other special events. The Theatre is also available for private hire.

Our daily talks and tours also depart from under the hull of the Pandora replica. All talks and tours are free with Museum admission and operate outside school holidays.