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MU SEA UM - Australian National Maritime Museum - Sydney, NSW, Australia


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Australian National Maritime Museum

Australia’s Museum of the Sea, located in Sydney, is a place to explore our relationship to the oceans, rivers, and lakes around us and to dive deeper into the rich maritime heritage that binds us all.

As the national center for maritime collections, exhibitions, experiences, and knowledge, we are custodians of historic vessels and a cultural hub for Australian maritime heritage and contemporary stories of the sea. These stories come to life for visitors at our Sydney Harbour site and connect with national and global audiences in immersive and innovative ways, including online experiences that can be explored from anywhere.

The Site's First Traditional Owners

The Australian National Maritime Museum occupies an outstanding harbor-side site close to the center 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.

A Hub of Commerce

Darling Harbour, close to the site of the first British settlement at Sydney Cove, soon became the colony's maritime commerce cradle. 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 regional areas, drawing more primary produce into the capital for shipment 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 containerization, Darling Harbour's port activities started to move away from the city center to Botany Bay and other places. By the 1980s, Darling Harbour was almost redundant as an industrial center and transport interchange. It would soon undergo a remarkable transformation - to become a relaxed and welcoming harbor-side recreation and tourist district.

Australia’s largest museum vessel HMAS Vampire



HMAS Vampire at sea








HMAS Vampire facts -

  • HMAS Vampire is Australia's largest museum vessel
  • It is a Daring Class destroyer, the largest destroyer built in Australia
  • Vampire served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1959 to 1986
  • Vampire had a peaceful career, even while escorting troops to Vietnam in the 1960’s
  • Vampire was built on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour, its keel laid in 1952
  • In 1977, Vampire was RAN escort for HMY Britannia during the Queen's Silver Jubilee tour of Australia
  • In 1980, it was refitted as a RAN training ship
  • In 1997, it was transferred to the Australian National Maritime Museum

Vampire’s arsenal included -

  • 3 twin turrets housing 6 x 4.5-inch guns (still in place)
  • 2 single-gun and 2 twin-gun Bofors anti-aircraft guns (still in place)
  • 5 anti-ship torpedo launchers (removed in 1970)
  • surface to subsurface anti-submarine mortar (removed in 1980)

Machinery -

  • Two Foster Wheeler three drum super-heated boilers; two English Electric Company geared steam turbines, generating 40,284 kW (54,000 hp); twin screws and rudders

Other exhibits include:

  • HMAS Onslow - Oberon class submarine
  • HMB Endeavour - Replica of original James Cook's Endeavour.


...and much more

Links for more information -

MU SEA UM Website



Twitter (X)

Address - 

Australia’s Museum of the Sea

2Murray Street, Darling Harbour
Sydney NSW 2000



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