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Museum of Underwater Art

Project overview

The Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) in North Queensland will be a major tourism attraction highlighting reef conservation, restoration and education on a global scale. The museum, the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, has been developed over three stages, delivering a series of storytelling sculptures submerged in the waters off Townsville.

This project aims to enhance the region's art and reef experiences.

Artworks will inspire and educate visitors on reef and ocean conservation action, to showcase local Indigenous culture and provide positive environmental impacts for the reef.

The first stage has been completed with an iconic installation overlooking Townsville’s Strand and a series of sculptures at John Brewer Reef.  An additional series of sculptures is expected to be installed in late 2022 and will firmly establish Townsville as a premier diving destination.

The Artist

Art installations within the museum have been created by the world’s leading underwater sculptor, Jason deCaires Taylor, with support and engagement from local community artists. Jason deCaires Taylor’s work is renowned for attracting global interest from tourists and divers eager to learn and interact with his sculptures.

This project is a part of the $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, $48.6 million Attracting Tourism Fund, $25 million Growing Tourism Infrastructure (GTI) Fund 2020/21 and Queensland’s Unite & Recover Economic Recovery Plan aimed at creating jobs and accelerate the State’s recovery from COVID-19.

Ocean Siren

Ocean Siren is an intertidal sculpture on the Townsville Strand and is modelled on local Traditional Owner, Takoda Johnson. The sculpture changes colour as the water temperature changes.

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  • Forecast to support 38 construction jobs and 119 ongoing jobs once operational

  • Estimated to attract an additional 50,000 visitors annually

  • Estimated to boost the local economy by $22.5 million per year

Installation of the underwater art museum


  • “I am excited by the installation which will become one of Queensland’s iconic destinations where people can see not only the greenhouse but the coral gardening installations that will support the gallery.”

    Jason deCaires Taylor, UK based, world-renown sculptor, environmentalist and a professional underwater photographer engaged by MOUA for this project.

Last updated: 06 Jul 2022