Charting paths of discovery to Australia
Those who defined Australia
As you enter this exhibition, look up! The ceiling of stars shows the constellations that once helped guide navigators to Australia. If you watch long enough, you can see them twinkle.
Successive waves of sailors and settlers have navigated to our shores over thousands of years. Australia has been 'discovered' many times, some of them recorded, some not.
This exhibition takes us from early contacts with Asia, like the Makassan trepang trade in northern Australia, through to the European era of Dutch, French and British explorers. Follow the European story through historical maps and charts, instruments and paintings.
The exhibition also includes:
A piece from Captain Cook's ship HMS Resolution
A larger-than-life painting of the French in Tahiti
Artefacts recovered from Dutch shipwrecks
The 1602 Blaeu celestial globe
Open daily, 9.30am–5pm
See our Admissions page for full price information and to book your tickets. Our Plan Your Visit page has everything you need to know about a trip to the museum.
Become a Maritime Museum Member and receive FREE or discounted entry to all our events and exhibitions.
Join our monthly e-newsletter for the latest news including special offers, advance bookings, sneak previews and more.
Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates and be part of the conversation.
Excursion preparation information for visiting schools: Plan Your Visit
Book a school visit and program
Docked at the museum throughout the year the Australian-built replica of James Cook's HMB Endeavour is one of the world's most accurate maritime reproductions. When you come on board you may wonder whether James Cook and his crew have just stepped ashore somewhere on their voyage. The table is set, clothes are hung and the cat is slumbering. See visiting the HMB Endeavour
Extended to 6:00 pm in January
Last boarding time for Submarine and Tall Ships – 4.10pm
Closed Christmas Day 25 December.
+61 2 9298 3777
Sign up to our newsletters
© Copyright 2013
Australia National Maritime Museum
Every day 9.30 am - 5 pm
Extend to 6.00 pm in January
Closed Xmas Day 25 Dec.
2 Murrey Street
sydney NSW 2000, AU
+61 2 9298 3777