Centaur hospital ship

Maritime museum dusts off fleet of model ships

By Phil Hammond


For more than 200 years, ships have been integral to Australia's history. And the record of those ships, in a collection of 300 models, is housed adjacent to Brisbane's Goodwill Bridge at the Queensland Maritime Museum.

Warships from the 19th-century British Navy, like HMS Victory, and James Cook's converted 18th-century coal transporter, HMS Endeavour, are large, detailed scale models on permanent display in the museum's main hall.

On two upper levels, until February 6, the museum has dusted off 100 lesser-known items in its collection for the fascinating Great Model Ship Expo.

As preparations continue for southern Queensland's next government-funded maritime treasure hunt – locating the remains of the Centaur hospital ship torpedoed by a Japanese submarine off North Stradbroke Island during World War II, a model of the vessel is a poignant reminder of the tragedy.