Brisbane is home to many museums, some more unique than others. After you've checked out the main ones, such as the Museum of Brisbane and Sciencentre head off the beaten track to these hidden gems.
Brisbane Opal Museum
This museum is literally filled with gems. Learn more about the beautifully colourful and fascinating opal. There are many different types you'll see here, including black, dark, crystal, light or white, boulder and matrix.
The boulder opal is particularly special as it's only found in Queensland. They are formed when ironstone boulders have empty cracks that are filled with a solution of water and silica. The opal is formed from this solution and when hardened, is removed with part of the ironstone. The ironstone and opal become part of each other because the cracks are so small, and this creates a lovely and distinctive gemstone.
Before you jump in your rental car and speed off to your next destination, don't forget to check out the store. You can pick up some loose opals or a beautiful pendant, ring or earring to take home.
Brisbane Tramway Museum
At this attraction, you'll see two things that make Brisbane special – the bushland and trams. Trams are a significant part of Brisbane's past. In June 1968, the City Council said it was going to shut down tramways in favour of buses.
There was a movement from the public to preserve the trams, and many of them have been brought together to form the Brisbane Tramway Museum Society. When it was first established, there were 24 tramcars and two trolleybuses to see.
In 2001, thanks to help from the Queensland Government, the museum expanded and now includes an engineering workshop, a building specifically for maintaining and restoring trams, and new tram tracks that run through the complex.
If you're around on Sunday, from 12:30 – 4pm, head over to see the trams and enjoy an afternoon tea.
Queensland Police Museum
This is a unique insight into the world or crime and justice in not only Brisbane but Queensland. The informative displays will show you all about policing history, specific crimes and significant figures.
You'll learn all about crimes from history, what investigation techniques were used to solve them, the increasing role of police women, and individuals who've been awarded medals for their bravery and service. A real highlight of the experience is the simulated murder scene – you'll have the chance to put on your police hat and figure out what happened.
The museum is open every weekday from 9am to 4pm and 10am to 3pm on the last Sunday of the month. Those Sundays are something special because a knowledgeable guest speaker will be present.
On August 31 Senior Sergeant Melissa Bell will talk about the science and patterns of blood splatters. Lectures run from 11am to 12:30pm and are held in the conference room, so don't miss out!
RD Wilns Antiquities Museum
Have you ever wondered what Egyptian people used as pillows or what Romans used to fight? This museum has a collection of 7,000 pieces, filled with amazing artefacts from ancient Greek, Egyptian, Roman and Near Eastern cultures. There are so many stories to uncover.
The museum often has events taking place that highlight various aspects of history. Friday September 12th at 6pm Ancient Attitudes – Classical Life Drawing will take place. The Attitudes is Lady Emma Hamilton's works of art that take mime and translate it onto paper, depicting various 'attitudes' that convey feminine independence, power and sensuality.
You'll have the opportunity to take part in a life drawing session with a professional artist. Allow yourself to be inspired by the collection of Greek vases in the museum, just as Lady Emma was inspired by her husbands collection of Apulian vases.