Visiting 18 - 23 August

Tara Pacific Expedition

At the forefront of ocean climate research, Tara visits us during her epic two year Pacific expedition

  • An Epic Two Year Expedition

    An Epic Two Year Expedition

    Built for extreme conditions, for high-level scientific missions

    For more than 13 years, Tara has been constantly on the move, travelling more than 300,000 kilometres across all the world’s oceans. Tara's main goal is to study and understand the impacts of climate change and the ecological crisis on the ocean, and produce concrete results.

    In 2016 Tara launched a two year expedition - to take samples from across the entire Pacific, in the same way, and with the same controls. The result will be a definitive investigation of the state of the Pacific.

    Tara will be docking at the Museum from 18 August until 23 August. 

    Free Public Visits On Board Saturday 19 Aug & Sunday 20 Aug

    Onboard tours
    are scheduled for the weekend of Sat 19 - Sun 20. Book your place now.

    Exclusive Members Tour Tuesday 22 August: Members book here

    Hear About the Science of Coral Reefs

    There's an all ages event in our theatre featuring talks from a number of Tara scientists on Sunday 20, 3-5pm. 
    Find out about the role of coral reefs, plankton, the 'Black Reef' phenomenon and life on board the Tara, and more.

    Click here to register your place.


    To find out more about other scheduled lectures and talks, click on the 'Visit Tara in Sydney' tab.

    All images  © Tara Pacific Expedition

    Corail_graine_mer_credit_Francois_Aurat-Tara Arriving in AucklandTara The School of CoralTara - Preparing to DiveTara Dolphins riding the bow waveTara AntarcticTara anchored off French PolynesiaTara off JapanTara in KiribatiTara Pelican VisitTara off the Coast of ColmobiaTara at Rapa NuiTara Night off FijiTara in FijiTara in PanamaTara Sampling PlanktonTara 2016 expedition launchTara Science on BoardTara Stylophora_pistillata_coralTara at AnchorTara at SeaTara DivingTara from UnderneathTara in the ArcticTara TopmastTara docked in Japan
  • On A Mission to Study The Entire Pacific

    On A Mission to Study The Entire Pacific

    The main objective will be to understand the evolution of coral reefs in the context of climate and demographic changes. 

    Although covering only 0.02% of the ocean's surface, coral reefs harbour 25% of ocean biodiversity and provide direct livelihood to nearly a billion people, mainly in the 'Coral Triangle' (Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Papua) of South Asia. 

    20% of coral reefs have already disappeared forever

    Ecological services from coral reefs (fisheries, tourism, coastal protection) are estimated at about 30 billion USD per year. This ecosystem should be a priority for study at the global level - because coral reefs are dying. Recent estimates indicate that about 20% of reefs have disappeared forever, 25% are in grave danger and an additional 25% will be threatened by 2050. 

    Coral reefs are particularly affected by global change; the accumulated effect of human population increase and climate change. Reefs are undergoing specific anthropogenic pressures specific to coastal ecosystems. Improving their sustainable management is urgent, and this will happen only by increasing and integrating scientific knowledge in their governance. 

    Coral reefs have often been at the forefront of research on climate change, due to bleaching (mostly related to the increase in temperature), ocean acidification, and concerns about reef growth process. But the increase in world population and UN projections in this context show more imminent threats. 

    The Coral Triangle area has over 30% of the world's reefs. Nearly 80% of the reefs in this area are threatened with extinction in the short term.

    By crossing the Pacific region from east to west, following an increasing gradient of biodiversity to the Coral Triangle, the Tara Pacific Expedition will have the opportunity to:

    • Answer major questions about the health of remote reefs far from direct human disturbance
    • Explore the potential for resistance, adaptation and resilience of these habitats to climate change, 
    • Study the biodiversity of these reefs at different levels of complexity, from the gene to the eco-system and 
    • Develop applications of this research for human health.

    Find out more about the science of the Tara Pacific Expedition

  • Visit Tara in Sydney

    Visit Tara in Sydney

    General Public Tours: Come Aboard the Tara

    Tara will be open to visitors from 10:00am on Saturday 19 August until 4:30pm on Sunday 20 August.

    Entry is FREE or by gold coin donation.

    You can register your visit right now to ensure you get on board. Due to safety concerns only 30 visitors are allowed at one time. 

    Click here to register your place: Sat 19 - Sun 20

    Scientific Conference: The Science of Coral and Marine Habitats

    Sunday 20 August 3-5pm
    Open to the General Public: All Ages

    Meet in the Foyer of the museum. Register here

    Talks include:

    • The role and the importance of coral reefs
    • Plankton in tropical oceans
    • The 'Black Reef' phenomenon
    • Life on board Tara
    • Coral Reefs Images
    • Q&A


    August 21st, 2017 – 10am to 1pm & 2pm to 5pm
    August 22nd, 2017 – 10am to 1pm
    Tara’s crew will give guided tours of the boat for schoolchildren.

    Tara at Anchor

    Members Tour: 22 August 4pm

    Museum Members are invited to an exclusive VIP tour of the Tara. The research schooner will be wharfside at the Museum.

    Find out about the fascinating science and journey of the Tara, direct from the crew.

    Eventbrite - Members exclusive VIP Tour of Tara


    Workshops on plankton for children,
    Open to the General Public

    20 August  – 1:30pm to 2:30 pm & 3:30pm to 4:30pm
    21 August  – 10am to 1pm & 2pm to 5pm
    22 August  – 10am to 1pm

    Museum Theatre


  • Ship Specs

    Ship Specs

    Built for Adventure

    Dockyard: SFCN at Villeneuve La Garenne
    Luc Bouvet and Olivier Petit
    Former owners:
    Jean-Louis Etienne and Sir Peter Blake
    French (French international registry)
    Bureau Veritas – 1 3/3 (E)
    36 metres
    10 metres
    1.50 metres – 3.50 metres
    120 tons
    Hull Material:
    2 – 27 metres each
    Sail aera:
    400 square metres
    2 x 350 HP
    2 x 17 kW and 1 x 50 kW (Environmental Protection Agency II Standard)
    300 litres/hour
    Fuel tanks:
    40,000 litres
    Water tank:
    6,000 litres
    Soiled tank:
    7,000 litres
    Number of berths:
    5,000 nautical miles - 3 kW windgenerator power system
    Means of communication: Eutelsat, Fleet Broad Band, Radio HF, Standard C
    Station Bathos II Météo France, thermo salinometer
    3,000 m oceanographic winch capstan
    Dedicated microscopy and IT, wet laboratory
    Diving compressor and equipment for 4 persons, two semirigid 30 and 40 HP
    Heating: 150 mm polyurethane isolation, central heating
    Garbage treatment:
    1 crusher and 1 compactor of garbage
    Home port:

    Positions on board the Tara:
    The team on board consists of 5 sailors, 2 scientists, 1 journalist and 1 artist