Marvellous Maritime Words

Unpacking our new packaging

  • Did a cup bring you here? Or was it a bottle? A bag perhaps? If it's 'none of the above' then perhaps you haven't been to YOTS, our Harbourside café, and seen our new range of packaging inspired by marvellous maritime words.

    Read on to find out the stories behind the lingo...


    First language first

    Curious campaign - small cup graphic.

    "The Eora people called Darling Harbour ‘Tumbalong’ in the Eora language, meaning a place where seafood is found. The shores were littered with shell middens where the remnants of oyster shells and other shellfish remains accumulated over thousands of years; and it is this that led the Europeans to call the area around the Australian National Maritime Museum, ‘Cockle Bay’. You can learn more about maritime Aboriginal culture in our gallery Eora First People and discover more about the history of our museum online and at the museum."
    – Donna Carstens, Curator


    A variety of vessels

    Curious campaign - dispenser graphic.

    "We have vessels of all shapes and sizes here at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Our largest is the destroyer HMAS Vampire – one of many vessels along our wharf. You can find out more about the huge variety of vessels in our Australian Register of Historic Vessels. As part of our out-reach programme I enjoy facilitating projects where we are working with Aboriginal communities building nawi (tied-bark canoes)."
    – David Payne, Curator


    Spectacular sounding swimwear

    Curious campaign - large cup graphic.

    "Our swimsuit collection is spectacular and has swimwear going back to the 1890s, as well as more figure-hugging trunks like the ‘low rider viper’. We also have a collection of negatives from Australian commercial photographer Gervais Purcell. His swimwear work contains negatives of models wearing swim and beach wear shot in studio settings, beaches and other outdoor locations during the 1940-1960 period – it’s a great way to track the evolution of swimwear."
    – Sabina Escobar, Assistant Registrar


    See our sea art

    Curious campaign - bottle graphic.

    "These are some of the sea creatures portrayed in the Museum art collection. People are often surprised to find how much art we have in the museum collections and if you want to know more we have books and prints showcasing our art exhibitions and collections. Highlights include paintings and sculptures of fish, fishing and life by the sea by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists which feature in 100 stories of the Australian National Maritime Museum."
    – Matt Lee, Manager of Retail, Merchandise & Visitor Services


    The language of boats

    Curious campaign - bag graphic.

    "When I went aboard our replica of the Endeavour I learnt a whole new language. Yards, booms, gaffs and the bowspirit are all names for different wooden poles. There are even more names for all the ropes – of which Endeavour has a staggering 29km. Thankfully when you voyage as a crew member you can use normal loos not the 18th century seats of ease."
    – Alex Gaffikin, Head of Interpretation and Design

    • Visit our replica of the HMB Endeavour. Considered one of the most accurate historical reproductions in the world, this 44-metre square-rigged ship is a replica of the original vessel sailed by James Cook on his epic 1768–71 world voyage.
    • Sail the Endeavour on one of its many annual voyages. Go back in time and experience life as an 18th-century sailor.

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