Guide to Visiting the Australian National Maritime Museum

museum in Sydney

Australian National Maritime Museum ©Alex E. Proimos/Flickr

With so much water around, no wonder that Australia is home to so of the coolest maritime museums in the world. This young nation is proud in its maritime history, and this becomes obvious when visiting attractions like the National Maritime Museum. This Sydney based museum attracts a considerable amount of Sydney’s millions of tourists due to its various exhibitions and full scale ships. For a small sample of what this museum has to offer and how, when and why to get there, check out my guide to visiting the Australian National Maritime Museum:

Getting there

The museum is located in Darling Harbour, Sydney, and can be visited in every day of the year, with one exception: Christmas Day. As a highly popular attraction, the museum has good connections with the city centre. You can reach the museum by almost any means of transportation possible, from monorail to ferry boat. The reference point however is Pyrmont Bay.

Hours and admission prices

The museum is open every day, from 9:30 to 5:00 pm. The price of a regular ticket is 7$ (Aus), but for 25 $ you can hang around a whole day and visit not only the galleries, but also the famous ships and submarine. Kids get 50% off.

exhibit at maritime museum

Can boat ©jemsweb/Flickr

Collections and exhibits

The museum contains numerous permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions. These include ships and submarine parts or replicas, as well as interactive exhibitions presenting the maritime history of  Australia and some of its famous navigators.

war ship

HMAS Onslow ©Kookaburra2011/Flickr

The Spirit of Australia, once the fastest boat in the world, is the highlight of the Watermarks exhibition. But the real stars of the museum are the boats anchored outside. Those paying for the complete tour get the opportunity the visit the full-scale replica of HMB Endeavour, the famous vessel of Captain Cook, as well as a two war ships, a submarine and numerous small wooden replicas.


Well, learning about HMB Endeavour surely is fun, but what about sailing it? The ship does take short voyages along the Australian coast, however there is no such trip planned for 2012.  But you can stay tuned and in the near future you might just see yourself navigating just like in the 18th century!

museum in Sydney

Australian National Maritime Museum ©Alex E. Proimos/Flickr

As for the permanent activities you can enjoy around the museum, many of these are dedicated to kids. These children workshops and games usually run on Tuesday. Adults can also enjoy the various events, like talks, presentations, documentary screening or meetings with authors and historians.


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