The Voyage Game

Play The Voyage Game and travel to Van Diemen's Land in 1830

Voyage across the globe in this interactive online game.

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    Can you Keep Your Convicts Alive?

    The year is 1830. You're the Surgeon Superintendent aboard a convict vessel transporting its human cargo from Britain to the far reaches of the known world – Van Diemen’s Land. You're charged with delivering several hundred convicts to the colony in the shortest time with minimum loss of life. This is the way to make money and further your reputation and position. Are you up to the task?

    The Voyage is an online game based on real convict voyages. Players make decisions, solve problems and deal with conflicts on a perilous journey across the globe. Sign on for your voyage here! 

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    On the voyages the Surgeons General were generally young, and often did several voyages to earn rewards. At the end of their voyaging career those that chose to stay in Australia were given grants to set up a medical practice in the colony, which often came with a parcel of land. 

    As the population of Tasmania grew this had major repercussions for Indigenous people of the area, as well as the environment. People were pushed off their land resulting in loss of cultural practices and traditions. 

    The two films below - European Impact and Fear and Anger - show the impact of this on the Indigenous people of Tasmania, both then and now. 

    European Impact

    Aboriginal Tasmanians talk about the arrival of Europeans on tall ships.

    The Descendants

    Descendants of convicts discuss their ancestors and how discovering their stories provides historical context about their life.

    Women & Children

    Historians talk about the experience of women and children on convict voyages.

    Fear and Anger

    Historian Kristyn Harman on the European occupation of Tasmania.

    The Historian

    Some of Australia’s leading convict historians dispel some of the myths about convict life and voyages.

    The Creators

    The game developers talk about some of the challenges involved in making the game fun but also historically correct.

    Further Study - recommended online Indigenous education resources:

    The Australian National Maritime Museum would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of lutruwita (Tasmania) and pay respect to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community and their  Elders past and present.

    Explore the collection

    Our collection contains hundreds of objects, artworks, documents and other primary sources relating to early voyages and convict transportation. Browse a selection of highlights below or search the collection online

    Watercolour of hulks at PortsmouthShip's medicine chest used by a Liverpool CaptainEngraving of the dock at Chatham, UK by Robert CruikshankSurgeon's case belonging to Doctor John Coverdale, c1830sConditional pardon issued to Mary Weeks who arrived in Hobart in 1830 on board MELLISHModel of prison or convict hulk York
  • Teacher Resources

    Teacher Resources



    You may like to try some of these  activities to complement and extend your classwork on The Voyage game. Most can be adapted to suit a range of ages and abilities. A variety of teaching and learning strategies should be used to assist students to reflect on their own learning. Activities should address a range of learning styles and preferences, and challenge students of all abilities.

    Assessment could be through a series of informal activities and observations, plus a formal assessment task which outlines the outcomes, task requirements, assessment criteria and marking guidelines. This may be a piece of creative writing, the presentation of some research, a response to a given question or a group activity.

    These activities and source materials will help you to further explore the world of 18th and 19th century convict transportation from Britain to Australia.They're designed to complement and extend your classwork on the Voyage Game. Some may be also be useful as pre-game exercises and most can be adapted to suit a range of ages and abilities. A variety of teaching and learning strategies should be used to assist students to reflect on their own learning.

    Although these resources focus primarily on history, the Voyage Game has many curriculum connections in subject areas such as English, Mathematics, Science, Visual Arts, Computer Science and Technology as well as the cross-curriculum priorities. The resources will be expanded in 2018 to include further primary resources for history and curriculum information and activities in other subjects.

    View classroom activities >>

    Explore the story of Elizabeth Blair, 15 year-old convict transported in 1841>>

    Australian Curriculum History Connections

    YEAR 5 HISTORY:  Australian communities – their past, present and possible futures (colonial Australia in the 1800s)

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    Inquiry questions
     What do we know about the lives of people in Australia’s colonial past and how do we know?  
     How did an Australian colony develop over time and why?  
     How did colonial settlement change the environment?  
     What were the significant events and who were the significant people that shaped Australian colonies?  
    Knowledge and Understanding (History)
     Reasons (economic, political and social) for the establishment of British colonies in Australia after 1800 (esp. VDL)  ACHASSK106
     The nature of convict or colonial presence, including … patterns of development, daily life  and how the environment changed.  ACHASSK107
     The reasons people migrated to Australia and the experiences and contributions of a particular migrant group…  ACHASSK109
     The role that a significant individual or group played in shaping a colony.  ACHASSK110
     The impact of a significant development or event on an Australian colony.  ACHASSK108
    Historical Skills
     Questioning – develop appropriate questions to guide an inquiry.  ACHASSI094
     Researching - locate and collect relevant information and data from primary and secondary sources.  ACHASSI095
     Researching –  organise and represent data in a range of formats using discipline-appropriate conventions.  ACHASSI096
     Researching –  sequence information about people’s lives, events, developments and phenomena using a variety of methods.  ACHASSI097
     Analysing – Examine primary and secondary sources to determine their origin and purpose.  ACHASSI098
     Analysing  – Examine different viewpoints on actions, events, issues and phenomena in the past and present.  ACHASSI099
     Analysing – Interpret data … to identify, describe and compare distributions, patterns & trends, and infer relationships.  ACHASSI100
     Evaluating and reflecting – evaluate evidence to draw conclusions.  ACHASSI101
     Evaluating and reflecting – work in groups to generate responses to issues and challenges.  ACHASSI102
     Evaluating and reflecting – use criteria to make decisions and judgements and … preferring one decision over others.  ACHASSI103
     Evaluating and reflecting – reflect … to propose personal/collective action in response to an issue or challenge, and predict effects.  ACHASSI104
     Communicating –  present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes.  ACHASSI105

    YEAR 9 HISTORY:  The making of the modern world (Depth Studies: The Industrial Revolution and the Movement of Peoples)

    Untitled Document
    Inquiry questions
     What were the changing features of the movements of people from 1750 to 1918?  
     How did new ideas and technological developments contribute to change in this period?  
     What was the origin, development, significance and long-term impact of imperialism in this period?  
    Historical Knowledge and Understanding: Overview content
     The nature and significance of the Industrial Revolution and how it affected living and working conditions, including…Australia.  ACOKFH016
     The nature and extent of the movement of peoples in the period (convicts and settlers)  ACOKFH015
     The extent of European imperial expansion and different responses.  ACOKFH017
    Historical Knowledge and Understanding: Making a better world? Depth Study 1, The Industrial Revolution, 1750-1914
     Technological innovations that led to the Industrial Revolution.  ACDSEH017
     The population movements and changing settlement patterns during this period.  ACDSEH080
     The experiences of men, women and children during the Industrial Revolution, and their changing way of life.  ACDSEH081
     The short and long-term impacts of the Industrial Revolution, including global changes in landscapes, transport and communication.  ACDSEH082
    Historical Knowledge and Understanding: Making a better world? Depth Study 3, The Movement of Peoples, 1750-1901
     The influence of the Industrial Revolution on the movement of peoples throughout the world, including … convict transportation.  ACDSEH018
     Experiences of … convicts and free settlers upon departure, journey abroad, reactions on arrival, including the Australian experience.  ACDSEH083
     Changes in the way of life of a group(s) of people who moved to Australia in this period, such as free settlers … in Australia.  ACDSEH084
     The short and long-term impacts of the movement of peoples during this period.  ACDSEH085
    Historical Skills
     Chronology – use … sequencing to demonstrate the relationship between events and developments in different periods and places.  ACHHS164
     Chronology, terms & concepts – use historical terms and concepts.  ACHHS165
     Historical questions & research –  identify and select different kinds of questions about the past to inform historical inquiry.  ACHHS166
     Historical questions & research –  evaluate and enhance these questions.  ACHHS167
     Historical questions & research –  identify and locate relevant sources, using ICT and other methods.  ACHHS168
     Analysis & use of sources –  identify the origin, purpose and context of primary and secondary sources.  ACHHS169
     Analysis & use of sources –  process and synthesise information from a range of sources for use as evidence in an historical argument.  ACHHS170
     Analysis & use of sources –  evaluate the reliability and usefulness of primary and secondary sources.  ACHHS171
     Perspectives & interpretations - identify and analyse the perspectives of people from the past.  ACHHS172
     Perspectives & interpretations – identify and analyse different historical interpretations (including their own).  ACHHS173
     Explanation & communication - develop texts … that use evidence from a range of sources that are referenced.  ACHHS174
     Explanation & communication - select and use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologies.  ACHHS175