The absence of archaeological narratives in Australian museums reflects a complex post-colonial history of research and museology. In this context, Connections across the Coral Sea at the Queensland Museum (December 2021 to 9 July 2023), Brisbane, is a welcome contribution to the important mission of sharing the ancient Australian past with the public. This object-rich exhibition illuminates the lives of coastal peoples, as understood through the ‘Coral Sea Cultural Interaction Sphere’ hypothesis—that is, the idea that during the late Holocene, this was a region of substantial maritime-based exchange between mainland Aboriginal Australians inhabiting Cape York and the peoples of the south coast of Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait Islands (see McNiven et al. 2004; Figure 1). The key archaeological content on display includes evidence from excavations on Lizard Island (Jiigurru) off the east coast of Cape York, short films on the Cultural Interaction Sphere hypothesis and how it has been investigated, and a 3D-printed stratigraphic section accompanied by an impressive interactive virtual stratigraphic section (Figure 2). Proponents of the Coral Sea Cultural Interaction Sphere hypothesis argue that, although groups shared ideas, they continued to maintain their individual identities, in many cases choosing not to adopt technologies used in other areas (e.g. the continued use of spear throwers in Australia versus bows and arrows in the Torres Strait Islands and Papua New Guinea).