Queensland Museum, founded in 1862, is the keeper of the state's historical collections dating back to colonial times, with an indigenous and Torres Strait island floor, a sizable hands-on Discovery Centre of historical, cultural and scientific specimens and objects, interactive displays showing the biodiversity – marine and land - throughout the state, and the requisite dinosaur zones, indoors and outdoors.
The Discovery Centre is an interactive space where children and adults alike can brush up on their zoology, history and geology, and get up close and personal with everything from beaked whale skeletons, snake skins and taxidermied Tasmanian devils to precious metals and fossils.
Wild State is another highlight, taking visitors through five stunning environments pertinent to Queensland - arid outback, eucalypt forest, tropical rainforest, sunny coastal zones and teeming marine environments.
The fascinating pre-historic Lost Creatures exhibition features a full-size reconstruction of a Rhoetosaurus hind leg (over 2 metres tall), sections of dinosaur footprints from Lark Quarry that have never been displayed before, and a touchable fossil of an unidentified marine reptile.
Meanwhile, highlights for young children are the al fresco sponge-floored Dinosaur Garden, where lifelike statues of a T-Rex and Triceratops roam, children run, and burn off some energy with the Dancing Dino Shadow Show.
A last highlight to keep an eye out for is the hulking, great German Mephisto tank, one of only twenty manufactured and the only World War 1 tank left in existence. It was captured by Australian troops and shipped back to Australia, whereupon it resided for decades outside the old Museum building in the Valley, then lived downstairs in the Dinosaur Garden until it was damaged by the floods.
Those wanting more can buy a ticket and head downstairs to SparkLab, which is now incorporated into the Museum proper, otherwise exit via the Whale Mall with its suspended life-sized whales and reverberating primeval cries.
The Museum shop on the way out has a fantastic assortment of cerebral souvenirs, games and gifts for children of all ages.
Cnr Grey St