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Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators at the Maritime Museum

Home > Sydney > Animals and Wildlife | Exhibitions | Family | Fun for Children | Indoor
by Jade Jackson (subscribe)
Hi, I'm a travel writer, photographer and podcaster based in the Blue Mountains. Explore my work here >> www.jadejackson.com.au
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Learn About Real Sea Monsters
Sea Monsters, Sea Monsters Exhibition, Sea Monsters Maritime Museum, Maritime Museum Sydney, Jade Jackson
Sea Monsters Exhibition is currently on at the Maritime Museum in Sydney. Image supplied.


To listen to an audio version of this article, click on the play button below:


The big summer exhibition currently on at the Sydney Maritime Museum is Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators.

The exhibition explores the rise of oceanic monsters throughout the Triassic and Jurassic Eras and includes modern apex predators like orcas (they've been known to kill great white sharks).

It included displays of genuine bones and fossils from ancient sea creatures, (behind glass) and there's plenty of casts which you can touch of different teeth, skin and scales.

As someone who asked for a shark for a pet, every birthday until I was in my teens, I was super excited about this exhibition.

Though exhibitions these days have a tough task in the 15-second attention span era, but the Sea Monsters exhibition clearly tried to cater to all visitors, regardless of age or ability.

There was lots of reading, (as most museums have) which revealed fascinating facts, but the language was easy enough to understand, though it may have been missed by younger kids.

Sea Monsters, mososaur, Sea Monsters Exhibition, Sea Monsters Maritime Museum, Maritime Museum Sydney, Jade Jackson
A replica mosasaur skeleton at the Sea Monsters Exhibition at the Maritime Museum. Image by Jade Jackson.


There were three full-size skeleton casts (created from an original), including a mosasaur (from Jurassic World) which were impressive, but unlike the Tyrannosaurs exhibition (where the shadows of the skeletons moved) a few years back, there was no interactivity with these and you couldn't touch them.

For younger kids, there was dress ups, floor puzzles, mini dioramas (at floor level) and a fun colour-in station, where they scan your sea monster artwork, and it comes alive on a video screen (though adults are also allowed to participate in this).

Whilst I was hoping for more shark stuff, I did learn something new - sharks secrete excess salt from their bottom!

sea Monsters, shark facts, Sea Monsters Exhibition, Sea Monsters Maritime Museum, Maritime Museum Sydney, image by Jade Jackson
Do you know how sea creatures expunge excess salt? Image by Jade Jackson.


The highlight for me was a National Geographic 3D movie Sea Monsters 3D: A prehistoric Adventure (runs for about 20minutes at set times 11am, 2pm, 3pm) which is included with your ticket price and features an animated story about the fossil within a fossil on display.

There was also examples of a megalodon tooth next to a great white shark tooth to give you an idea of how small great whites are compared to their giant extinct relatives.

Sea Monsters, Sea Monsters Exhibition, Sea Monsters Maritime Museum, Maritime Museum Sydney, Jade Jackson
Megalodon tooth next to a great white shark took at the Sea Monsters Exhibition at the Maritime Museum. Image by Jade Jackson.


The best example to help kids understand how big these creatures were, was a photograph taken in 1914 of an archelon fossil (ancient giant turtle) to showcase how creatures we consider adorable and cute, were once just as fearful as crocodiles. Its missing hind flipper was probably bitten off by a shark.

Sea Monsters, Sea Monsters Exhibition, Sea Monsters Maritime Museum, Maritime Museum Sydney, Jade Jackson
A photograph of an archelon fossil at the Sea Monsters Exhibition. Image by Jade Jackson.


There was a special pop-up gift shop for the Sea Monsters exhibition where you could buy genuine megalodon shark teeth, fossils and other ancient paraphernalia ranging from $30 - $999. There was also t-shirts, models, books and fluffy toys.

You can purchase a ticket for only the Sea Monsters exhibition (including the 3D film) which is:
Adults $20
Children (4-15)/Concession $12
Children under 4 are Free

If you have a full day to spend at the Maritime Museum, you can get 'The Big Ticket' which includes entry to all exhibitions (currently the wildlife photography exhibition is on as well) plus entry to the big ships. Cost for this is:
Big Ticket Family (2A,3C) $89
Adults $35
Children (4-15) $20
Concession $25
Children under 4 are Free

You can book tickets online here.

The light rail stops near the Maritime Museum or you can catch a ferry to Pyrmont Bay. See the getting here section for more info. Nearby the Darling Harbour Shopping Centre has an okay food court with lots of dining options including your usual fast foods. I had a beef and spinach gozleme for $11 which was huge.

If you're looking for a fun rainy day activity for kids interested in dinosaurs or sea creatures then the Sea Monsters exhibition is worth exploring.

sea Monsters, Sea Monsters Exhibition, Sea Monsters Maritime Museum, Maritime Museum Sydney, Jade Jackson
Replica (cast) skeleton of a Thalassomedon or long-necked plesiosaur at the Sea Monsters Exhibition at the Maritime Museum. Image by Jade Jackson.
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Why? Fascinating exhibit featuring fossils from ancient sea creatures and a 3D movie.
When: Open daily from 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Phone: 02 9298 3777
Where: Maritime Museum 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Cost: Ticket to the Sea Monsters Exhibition is $20 (adults), $12 (children 4-15/concession), under 4 free.
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