Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum

The Australian National Maritime Museum based at Darling Harbour offers so much for adults and children. Squeeze through a real submarine, captain the HMAS Vampire Destroyer, or dive into Australia’s colourful beach culture and there’s much, much more.

This museum houses one of the world’s biggest and most diverse museum fleets.

Open daily from 0930 to 5pm except Christmas Day.

Current exhibits include: “Coming to Australia”, a collection of photographs capturing post WWII European Migration, “East Coast Encounter”, an interesting look at Captain Cook’s discovery of Australia. “Blue Whale”, an eye to eye encounter with the greatest minds of the sea.

For more information please visit:

Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum

The Site’s First Traditional Owners:

Opened in 1991, the Australian National Maritime Museum occupies an outstanding harbour-side site close to the centre of Sydney – Australia’s oldest city and for a long time the nation’s busiest port.

It stands on land traditionally owned by the Gadigal people who found a rich source of fish and shellfish in the sheltered waters of Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay. Indigenous culture is explored in our core exhibition Eora First People.


The Australian National Maritime Museum was planned and built more than 20 years ago as part of the massive Darling Harbour and Pyrmont redevelopment.

The museum was the site’s showpiece and remains the Australian government’s most visible national cultural institution in Sydney.


Darling Harbour, close to the site of the first British settlement at Sydney Cove, soon became the cradle of the colony’s maritime commerce. Later, this inner-city branch of Sydney Harbour served as the industrial and cargo transport hub of New South Wales. Here cargo ships from local ports and across the world docked and departed, immigrants arrived in streams of thousands to start a new life in a new land and waterside workers – wharfies – became engaged in a struggle against work conditions and practices they found increasingly oppressive.

Darling Harbour’s importance as a transport hub accelerated through the 19th century as NSW’s railways reached out into regional areas, drawing more and more primary produce into the capital for shipment out across the seas. Large tracts of land, particularly on the western side of the waterway (where the museum now stands) were given over to railway lines and sidings, storage sheds and workshops.

And then came a period of extraordinary change. With the introduction of new cargo handling technologies, particularly containerisation, Darling Harbour’s port activities started to move away from the city centre to Botany Bay and other places.

By the 1980s Darling Harbour was almost redundant as an industrial centre and transport interchange. It would soon pass through a remarkable transformation – to become a relaxed and welcoming harbour-side recreation and tourist district.

Great location
- Metro Apartments on Darling Harbour 912joanneg, Trip Advisor, July 15 2015