This breathtaking underwater sculpture park is a coral garden too, supporting much-needed reef restoration.  

The Museum of Underwater Art near Townsville in Far North Queensland is a submerged sculpture park dedicated to reef conservation, restoration and education on a global scale.

Your art journey starts as you leave Townsville Harbour, passing the Ocean Siren, a statue based on local Wulgurukaba Traditional Owner, Takoda Johnson that changes colour in response to live variations in water temperature.

The gallery itself is a two-hour boat ride away, in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park at John Brewer Reef. 

The Ocean Siren (© Jason deCaires Taylor)
John Brewer Reef, home of the MOUA (© Tourism and Events Queensland)

The water here offers 15-20 metres of visibility.

It’s perfect for taking in the breathtaking sculptures that act as silent guardians of this extraordinary coral greenhouse.

The statues are the work of sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor.

They share the stories of local First Nations people as well as prominent figures in marine research like Professor John Edward Norwood “Charlie” Veron, known as the ‘Godfather of Coral.’

The Coral Greenhouse, just before it was opened (© Jason deCaires Taylor)
Part of the ‘artificial’ garden (© Jason deCaires Taylor)

In just over a year, the structure and the statues have become covered in cauliflower corals and brush corals. This in turn has led to a 295% increase in fish numbers, across 41 species

The gallery can be visited by booking a dive or snorkel experience with one of the local tourism operators. 

You can also take part in the innovative ‘Adopt a Coral’ program, where coral that has broken off the reef and fallen on the sandy bottom of the lagoon is rescued and planted as part of a coral garden within the structure.

For more information about the Museum and how to visit, drop by

Main image: A diver inspecting the Museum of Underwater Art in Queensland (© Jason deCaires Taylor)