Climb aboard real and replica ships, view memorabilia and artifacts and interact with nautical displays at the family-friendly Australian National Maritime Museum. Discover the country’s fascinating maritime history in leisure, work and defence, from pre-colonisation to the current day.
Explore the museum in a guided tour or at your own pace. The permanent and changing exhibits are both local and international in content. Find out about the nautical history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and see the beautifully painted Pukumani burial poles from the Tiwi people and Yirrkala bark paintings from Yolngu country in Arnhem Land.
Perhaps the most popular exhibit is the stunning replica of the HMB Endeavour, the ship James Cook sailed on his historic world voyage from 1768 to 1771. Step inside the dining room where a table is set for dinner and a cat sleeps curled on a chair. View the fireplace where Cook chatted with Joseph Banks, the famed botanist. Up on deck, see approximately 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) of rigging and 28 sails. This replica ship has sailed around the world twice and visited 29 countries. As a moving exhibit, HMB Endeavour is not always in dock, so you may want to check ahead before your visit. Be assured there are plenty of other ships to explore and things to do.
Understand the experience of travelling over miles of water, like the convicts in the 18th century and the refugees of the 21st century. Board the the HMAS Vampire, the largest museum vessel in Australia, which sailed troops to Vietnam in the 1960s. Discover the important role of lighthouses in keeping seafarers safe, learn about submarines, understand Australia’s love of the sea, and view photographs of Australian beach culture.
A short walk from the main entrance is the Wharf 7 Maritime Heritage Centre. Admire an excellent collection of significant historic watercraft from across the country.
Bring a picnic lunch or pick up a bite to eat in the open-air café while enjoying the scenic views of Darling Harbour.
The museum is located on Darling Harbour and is accessible by bike, bus, ferry and light rail. Parking can be found for a fee at the Harbour side Secure Parking. The museum is open daily and admission prices are tiered.