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The National Maritime Museum

Home > Sydney > Museums | Exhibitions
by Dora Bona (subscribe)
A freelance writer, and amateur photographer Dora also teaches creative writing classes. Check out her website at
Published February 25th 2011
Ahoy me hearties - if you're a fan of all things maritime, then you need to visit the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour.

Officially opened in 1991, the museum is relatively new, but the collection already features more than 40,000 items to interest everyone with an interest in indigenous and European seafaring, to aquatic sport and the maritime defence of our country's shores.

The Maritime Museum is home to 14 vessels including former navy destroyer the HMAS Vampire, a former navy submarine HMAS Onslow, a full-scale replica of Captain Cook's ship Endeavour and a variety of smaller vessels. You can go aboard
many of these and soak up the atmosphere.

HMAS Vampire, and HMAS Onslow

And for those who feel the need for speed on the water, the fastest boat in the world, you can see Ken Warby's 511 km/h jet powered hydroplane, the Spirit of Australia.

The Spirit of Australia

Inside the museum there are special and permanent exhibitions featuring a library, photographic studio, ship model workshop and display area. There's historic information and activities for the kids.

I was particularly fascinated by the exhibition "On their own - Britain's Child Migrants". It showcases the period from the mid nineteenth century when more than 100,000 children were shipped away from their homes in Britain through so-called child migration schemes to work on farms. Some were orphans, and others came from families who couldn't care for them. Some of these children went on to live happy, healthy lives but others suffered lonely, brutal childhoods. It evokes much emotion emotion.

Children at work on Fairbridge Farm

The museum has eight venues capable of hosting all kinds of functions. There's a cafe and bar where you can relax after a day of nautical overload.

Opening hours are Every day 9.30 am - 5.00 pm (6.00 pm in January)
Closed Christmas Day.

Admission Charges:

Galleries & Exhibitions Ticket
Adult $7
Concession/child $3.50
Family $17.50

Big ticket
(Galleries & Exhibitions vessels Kids on Deck)
Adult $25
Concession/child $10
Family $60
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Why? Because it's a museum with a difference
When: Daytime
Where: Darling harbour, Sydney
Cost: Affordable
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