About us

caption: The Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour, Sydney.

The Australian National Maritime Museum, on the western shore of Sydney's Darling Harbour, is in a lively heritage precinct with many attractions. The distinctive main building, with a roofline evoking waves and sails, houses exhibitions that:

  • explore Australia's links with the sea
  • consider how maritime activities and issues have shaped the lives of people in Australia.

These exhibitions are themed, ranging from Indigenous lore and European seafaring to aquatic sport and the maritime defence of our shores.

Wharf 7 Maritime Heritage Centre next door is the museum's 'backstage' area, housing the Vaughan Evans Library, museum collection storage, boatbuilding workshops, the conservation laboratory, ship model workshop and display area, a design studio, photographic studio and other facilities. Guided tours are available.

At our wharves, we have one of the largest fleets of any museum in the world. The 14 vessels include a former navy destroyer HMAS Vampire, a former navy submarine HMAS Onslow, a full-scale replica of Captain Cook's ship Endeavour and a variety of smaller vessels scaling down to an 8.6-metre couta fishing boat.

The National Maritime Collection

Officially opened in 1991, the museum is relatively new. Its collection however already comprises more than 40,000 objects including:

  • Ken Warby's 511 km/h jet-powered hydroplane Spirit of Australia - the fastest boat in the world.
  • a celestial globe produced by the great Flemish cartographer Willem Janszoon Blaeu in 1602 to train Dutch East India Company navigators for their voyages to the southern hemisphere
  • the Charlotte Medal engraved by convict Thomas Barrett on the transport ship Charlotte in January 1788 at the end of the First Fleet's voyage from Britain to New South Wales

A museum for all Australians

The museum's outreach programs connect it to regional Australia, through travelling exhibitions, voyages on the Endeavour replica and its online Australian Register of Historic Vessels. The Vaughan Evans Library is a valuable research resource. The Welcome Wall honours our immigrants, wherever they live. We welcome children and run popular weekend and holiday programs that link to our major exhibitions.

Our main audiences are families and others who enjoy our exhibitions and activities, schools, researchers and historians, other cultural, heritage and commercial organisations, community groups, museum members, sponsors, and those who use our function venues and other services.

We represent Australia internationally and welcome many overseas visitors.

We'll see you online!

The museum is just a click away, through our website and our informative and entertaining blog.

Teacher resources: Our resources help your class get the most out of a trip to the museum. Prepared by our professional education team, the materials cover a wide range of curriculum areas for students from Early Stage 1 to Stage 6. Join the Teachers' Friend free email for quarterly updates on our latest education resources.

Australian Register of Historic Vessels: This digital database includes background information on vessels, including specifications, designers and builders, classes and types. The museum is developing the ARHV to document and survey surviving historic craft and to encourage their preservation in the community,

Image collections: Can you help the ANMM describe our historical images on Flickr Commons? Your knowledge and information can help us identify who is in the photos, where they were taken and when. Even if you can't help, it's a chance to enjoy these images that are generally not on display to the public.

Share your photos: We love to see how you experience the museum and invite you to share photos of your visit on our Flickr page. Show us your day at the museum by sharing photos of your favourite object, moment or event.

Search our library catalogue: The Vaughan Evans Library contains around 30,000 titles.

Join our online social networks or subscribe to our e-newsletter to keep in touch with the latest exhibitions and events.

Our mission

The museum's mission is:

  • To develop and manage the National Maritime Collection through research, acquisition, conservation and interpretation.
  • To exhibit the National Maritime Collection and other historical material in its care.
  • To present information on maritime heritage through educational programs, events, publications and the internet.
  • To develop its self-supporting revenue sources. 

Our values

As an organisation and as individuals we remain committed:

  • To honesty, integrity and ethical practice.
  • To innovation, application and achievement.
  • To exemplary service standards.

Tell us what you think

We welcome your suggestions for improving our services and aim to resolve any problems promptly. We are committed to regular museum user surveys and research to ensure we are meeting your needs.

Here are some of the ways you can communicate with us:

  • Speak to a staff member in person.
  • Email feedback@anmm.gov.au
  • Complete the comments book in the museum foyer which is reviewed continually and responses given where possible.
  • Express your views on our exhibitions at the discussion points provided in our galleries from time to time.
  • Fill in a formal complaint form at our information desk.
  • Contact our customer services manager on +61 2 9298 3777, or fax +61 2 9298 3670.
  • Write to us at 2 Murray Street, Sydney, NSW 2000. We strive to reply within 14 days.

Monthly Highlights

highlightAmazing Whales
now showing
citizen curator
highlightBeautiful Whale
life-size photographs
highlightSchool holidays
Whale Season
highlightMembers events
for April

Connect with us

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