The Australian National Maritime Museum is the country's national center for maritime collections, exhibitions, research, and archaeology. Located on the shores of Darling Harbour, it is home to exhibits on Aboriginal and European explorers, the navy, surfing, sailing, and Australia’s beach culture. Over 850,000 people visit the Australian National Maritime Museum annually including families, interstate, and international tourists. Find here fascinating artifacts, thought-provoking exhibitions, and fun activities for kids (as well as adults). This is a chance to connect to Australia’s maritime past and present in surprising ways. Interestingly, it also has one of the largest floating historical vessel collections in the world!
The Australian National Maritime collection contains a diverse range of over 140,000 historic artifacts. It explores Australia’s close links to the sea through commerce, exploration, immigration, adventure, and sports. The museum also boasts one of the world's largest museum fleets, apart from interesting exhibitions throughout the year. There are three vessels that are open for public tours: the HM Bark Endeavour Replica, the destroyer HMAS Vampire, and the submarine HMAS Onslow.
The ever-changing exhibitions at the Australian National Maritime Museum are a must-explore while you're here. Current exhibitions include 'A Mile in My Shoes,' a pop-up store where you can try on somebody else’s pair of shoes and listen to their story. It celebrates the lives of migrants and refugees who have made this country their home – people who have changed the face of the nation and have been changed by it. 'Beach Couture' displays 'trashion' collected from beaches and oceans in Sydney, Australia, and Los Angeles, America. 'Mariw Minaral' displays some of the finest examples of Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait Islands) artist Alick Tipoti’s intricate linocut printmaking practice.
The Australian National Maritime Museum is known for being home to one of the largest floating historical vessel collections in the world. Some of its permanent exhibitions of vessels include the HMAS Onslow, which was built during the Cold War and was required to track Soviet submarines. With your ticket, you get to see the danger and drama of life on board Onslow in Action Stations, an immersive experience. 'Akarana' (Maori for ‘Auckland’) was built in Auckland to compete in Australian regattas back in the late 1800s. There's also the vessel 'Tu Do' which arrived in Darwin on 21 November 1977 with 31 Vietnamese refugees crowded on board.
For little kids with curious minds, the possibilities of exploration are endless at the Australian National Maritime Museum. They can climb and play aboard real-life tall ships and warships, or head to Sea Science Pontoon, where they can peek under the surface of the harbor on the waterfront. For carers and bubs, there's Seaside Strollers and Mini Mariners - themed exhibition and play areas. Kids can also try their hand at printmaking, sculpture, or painting at Kids on Deck.
Permanent exhibitions at the museum are focused around six gallery spaces. Inside 'Navigator', find artifacts relating to the discovery of Australia's coastline. 'Passengers' takes you through voyages made to Australia from original settlers to war brides, refugees, and cruise ship visitors. 'Eora-First People' gives you an insight into Aboriginal Australians, Torres Strait Islanders, and their relationship with the water. The 'Navy' gallery is home to models and histories of four Australian warships named after the city of Sydney, whereas the 'Australia-US relationship' gallery connects the links between the two countries. At 'Watermarks,' see the yacht Blackmores First Lady. Other galleries include the Tasman Light Gallery, which has original lenses from the Tasman Island Lighthouse. Three other galleries are used to host temporary exhibitions.
If you work up an appetite, head over to the family-friendly Yots Café (open from 11 AM to 4 PM), located on the harbor side of the museum. Or enjoy a quick coffee, a delicious delight, or healthy snack from The Coffee Kiosk (open from 8:30 AM to 11 AM), located on Pyrmont Bridge side of the museum.
You can even get your own lunch and picnic at the tables on the museum’s Waterfront Boardwalk overlooking Darling Harbour.
The Australian National Maritime Museum lets you get a sneak peek into Australia’s link to the sea. The exhibits featured here tell stories of naval wars, ancient saltwater traditions, modern beach culture, and aquatic sporting achievements.
It is located on the shores of Darling Harbour, (the Pyrmont side) at 2 Murray St, Sydney.
The museum is open daily from 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM (extended to 6:00 PM in summer). The last visit to the vessels is at 4:10 PM.
The Australian National Maritime collection contains a diverse range of over 140,000 historic artifacts. This includes artifacts relating to the maritime history of the Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders and galleries that give you perspective on subjects like immigration, naval defense forces, sailing, and surfing. It also has one of the largest floating historical vessel collections in the world.
The Big Ticket to the museum is priced at AU$25 for anyone aged 16 and above. Children aged 4-15 enjoy reduced ticket pricing at AU$15.
The ticket gives you access to the galleries and exhibitions. You also get access to several historic vessels, the likes of which include the HMAS Onslow, a submarine from the Royal Australian Navy, the HMAS Vampire, and more. Depending on the day of your visit, you may find one or more ships available to tour. Apart from the exhibitions and activities, you can also watch the short film Action Stations that showcases a re-creation of a mission event from each vessel. If you’re taking your kids along with you, they can get their hands dirty with printmaking, sculpture, or painting at Kids on Deck.
See Australia’s National Monument to Migration, the Welcome Wall. It celebrates those who have migrated from around the world to live in Australia. Also, see the historic vessels that the museum is home to. These include the Akarana, Krait, and Tu Do. Explore the galleries that display artifacts relating to the discovery of Australia's coastline and its native inhabitants.
Yes, it is. There’s even an educator-led tour through new exhibitions for carers and babies.
Yes, it is. You can get your own lunch and picnic at the tables on the museum’s Waterfront Boardwalk overlooking Darling Harbour.
Courtesy wheelchairs are available with a photo ID. Pre-booking a wheelchair is essential, please phone 9298 3777.
Self-serve lockers are available.
Museum visitors get $15 all-day validated parking at Harbourside Car Park and Star Casino Car Park. Remember to get your parking ticket stamped at the museum reception.
You can cancel tickets up to 24 hours before schedule for full refund.
They are all-day passes that are valid for the date selected during checkout.
Yes, you can. Although it is advisable to book your tickets online.