Australian National Maritime Museum
Stories of life at sea
Located on the spectacular waterfront of Darling Harbour and a short walk from the CBD, the Australian National Maritime Museum is a distinctive indoor/outdoor attraction that’s great entertainment for all ages. The museum has one of the largest in-water fleets in the world, with the wharves home to a stunning fleet of vessels you can’t see anywhere else, each with colourful stories to tell of life at sea. Climb aboard the cold war submarine HMAS Onslow, the naval destroyer HMAS Vampire, the stunning replica of Captain Cook’s tall ship HMB Endeavour or the beautiful replica of Duyfken, the first European ship to reach Australia. Inside the museum, permanent galleries showcase the museum’s historical artefact collection, and an ever-changing program of temporary exhibitions bring alive Australia’s deep connection to the sea, past and present. Overlooking Darling Harbour towards the city, the museum’s café is a perfect waterfront dining location to relax during your visit to the museum.
- Climb aboard the museum’s famous vessels and sail through history, learning what life was like at sea for explorers, mariners and navy sailors. Venture into the secret world of cold war submarine warfare on HMAS Onslow and explore the drama of life on Onslow in Action Stations. Tour Vampire, an ex-navy destroyer and Australia’s largest museum vessel, and find out about the lives of the sailors aboard this ship. Glimpse a sailors life during one of history’s great maritime adventures, Captain Cook’s epic 1768-71 world voyage, onboard the Australian-built replica of James Cook’s HMB Endeavour. Or discover Sydney from a different perspective on a harbour cruise on the heritage motor launch Harman or a twilight sail on the beautiful tall ship Duyfken. Please note – you must be at least 90cms tall to board the vessels and prams and baby carries are not permitted on the tall ships, warships and submarine.
- The museum’s galleries are home to permanent exhibitions such as Shaped By Sea, exploring the deep time view of the extraordinary forces that created our country; Sydney Harbour Gallery, showcasing historical and contemporary stories of Sydney Harbour and Under Southern Skies, about navigating and voyaging around Australia. A changing program of temporary exhibitions also explores Australia’s deep connection to the sea, past and present, through topics such as migration, commerce, archaeology, ocean science, culture, and lifestyle.
- Ask the museum staff about the daily behind-the-scenes tours – included in the Big Ticket – and hear from our expert guides about the inner workings of the Australian National Maritime Museum and Sydney Heritage Fleet, including the conservation and restoration workshops.