Australian National Maritime Museum - Sydney

We have seen the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour area on our previous visit(s) to Sydney. But we thought that we would save it until we visit Sydney with our Kiddos. So when we planned our Sydney Family Trip, Australian National Maritime Museum was on the top of our list.

Finally we made it! We took our Kiddos to enjoy the vessels (including the amazing submarine), as well as the exhibitions.

We took bus and train from our rented apartment at Coogee beach. Thereafter we board on the ferry from Circular Quay to Pyrmont Bay wharf. Approaching Darling Harbour, we saw all those beautiful vessels that we would love to visit.

A funny poster welcomed us, and of course we couldn't wait for the submarine!

Lets take the Sub!

We went inside to the ticket counters located in the museum building. Any visitors who wish to get into the vessels, should purchase the tickets at this place. To visit all the exhibitions and also the vessels, the Big Ticket is recommended. It cost AUD27 and AUD16 for an adult and child ticket respectively. Or you can buy a family pass cost AUD70 for 2 adults and max 3 children. 

While if you only plan to visit the exhibitions, the ticket is AUD15 for adult and AUD10 for children. This ticket will give you access to enjoy permanent and temporart exhibitions.

I will share with you how we had explored the museum, by visiting 3 vessels and of course the exhibitions inside the museum:)

Getting our family pass

1. James Craig 

"You are advised to visit the three vessels first as they close earlier" explained the lady at the ticket counter. We decided to get out of the building and headed to the James Craig, a fully restored tall ship (not a replica).

The James Craig is located near Pyrmont Bay Wharf
When we got into the ship, there were some guides on board. Actually we could have joined the other group and listen to the guide's explanation. However, we were advised to take the written guidance, so that we could explore the vessel by following the number provided on the guidance (based on the map and the numbers provided on the guidance). Of course it was more attractive for our Kiddos rather than listening to the guide. 

We checked the rooms, the bathrooms, the living room, which are located under the deck. The kitchen is located on the deck, and there are separate area for the crew under the deck. This vessel is beautiful! These are some pictures of James Craig we had taken.  

On the Deck of James Craig

The living and dining room

The beds were so small!
The bathroom

James Craig opens daily from 9.30 am to 5 pm (last boarding at 4.10pm). If you wish only visiting James Craig, you could buy ticket cost AUD5 for adult or AUD12 for a family pass. James Craig sails on most weekends in Sydney, if you'd like to feel how to sail on this vessel, you could join the sailing tour with James Craig.

2. HMB Endeavour, A Magnificent Replica

After visiting James Craig, we headed back to the Pyrmont Bay wharf and went to visit HMB Eandeavour. 

The replica of HMB Endeavour

This vessel is a replica of James Cook's build in 1988 and finished 5 years later. Inside, we were not only amazed by how beautiful this replica is, but also enjoyed the guides explanation regarding the history of how James Cook had sailed with the HMB Endeavour.

On the deck of HMB Endeavour
The people used to sleep on those hammocks

It felt so real inside
We sat inside this cramped room and listen to the story from the guide
Watch out for your head when entering under the deck area

James Cook and the story of Endeavour people (there were 94 people on board)

"This boat had landed at Batavia or now called as Jakarta" one guide said. When he finished his explanation and we were about to move to the next room, I introduced ourselves to the guide, "Hi, we are from Jakarta". Then he asked, "Have you heard about James Cook that had been to Jakarta?". I answered no, and promised him to check on the history book. 

We really enjoyed our experience, and glad Kiddos had learned the history of James Cook by visiting this vessel.

3. Submarine HMAS Onslow

The submarine as seen on our way from Circular Quay to Pyrmont Bay by the ferry

"I suggest you to join the queue to go inside the submarine first, it will take about 20 minutes", the staff of museum advised us as we board the HMAS Onslow. When we got there, oh no...the queue is quiet long. But good thing there was a bench that I could sit with our Kiddos, while Rene was at the queue.
We waited for about 25 minutes, before the staff gave us the opportunity to go inside a submarine, a REAL one, for the first time in our life! So excited :))

Yeay going inside the submarine!

First thing that we saw is a torpedo inside the submarine, then we walked further through the machine. We were AMAZED!

Seeing a real torpedo for the first time
Look at these machines!

We didn't know until we had seen it by ourselves that the navy also play games inside a submarine! Hahaha...

Games for the crew
The bedroom inside a submarine

Finally we reached the control room and the highlight of our submarine visit: of course it was the periscope! We could see the Sydney Tower so close (and huge!) through the periscope. The visit to submarine is a very special experience for our Kiddos.

The controlling room
Seeing through a periscope

Before leaving the submarine, we took our family selfie picture, of course:D

Here we are on the HMAS Onslow:)

4. Exhibition: War at Sea (the Navy in World War I), Navy, Passengers

We visited also War at Sea, which was the exhibition of how Australian navy's life about 100 years ago. The War at Sea exhibition started in September 2014 and will last until May 2015.

Besides the War at Sea, we also visited the permanent exhibition at Australian national Maritime Museum called the Navy Exhibition. We could see a fleet air arm helicopters hang in the ceiling. This museum is so impressive!

Even a real helicopter was inside the museum. Wohooo!

We also went to "Passengers" exhibition which is also a permanent exhibition held in Australian National Maritime Museum. We fell in love with the beautiful yachts.

One of the yacht is "The First Lady"

6. Going Places

This is the area which probably will consume most of your time when visiting Australian national Maritime Museum with Kids. You will find interactive science exhibition related with traveling.

Let's explore Going Places

Going Places offers a kids friendly exhibition where our Kiddos could try to move a remote airship, hopped on into a hovercraft and many other things. This exhibition started in August 2014 and will be held until 22 February 2015. If you are visiting Sydney between those dates, you have to visit Going Places, no doubt!

Experience how to control your own aeroplane
Ride on a hovercraft
Kiddos learned how to move heavy weight with ease
Could he move the remote control airship into the circle?

7. Voyage To The Deep

Finally we succeeded taking our Kiddos from Going Places to Voyage to The Deep. It was so hard to ask them to leave Going Places:p  Voyage to The Deep is one of the temporary exhibition which will be held until April 2015. We had to pass a door or "Airlock" as of we were entering a submarine.

Welcome to Voyage to The Deep :)

A fantasy submarine greeted us, Kiddos could take the stairs to the top of the submarine and also see through the periscope. As Kiddos had visited "the real submarine" of course they prefer "the real one". But at Deep to the voyage, they could dress up and took pictures. Kiddos choose to be Octonauts:D

Hello there our Octonauts:)

They could play at the playground near the submarine, having fun with the games, as well as exploring the Nautilus. Theatre performance of Captain Nemo's Nautilus is conducted from 5 Jan to 25 Jan 2015 at 11.30 am and 2 pm. Too bad, we are home already on the performance dates. 

Are you ready for the Nautilus experience?
Playing the floor puzzle
Busy with the periscope

There's also a souvenir shop at Voyage to The Deep, heaven for all Octonauts fans:)

Octonauts was everywhere!

"We are about to close in 5 minutes" we heard the announcement when we were still enjoying Voyage to The Deep! We had to leave Australian National Maritime Museum as it was 5 pm already. Time flew so fast, wish we could have stayed longer.

It was a fabulous experience not only for our Kiddos, but also for me and Rene. I think I will visit Australian National Maritime Museum everytime we visit Sydney.

Plan Your Visit:

Opening hours: Daily 9.30 am to 5 pm (6 pm in January), closed on 25 Dec.

Getting There:
- Catch bus 443 from Circular Quay to the museum
- Take the ferry to Pyrmont Bay or Darling Harbour Wharf
For more information of how to go to Australian National Maritime Museum, you may find it here.


The family pass is complimentary from Australian National Maritime Museum, however the review is ours and based on our personal experience. Thank you ANMM for the great experience!

written on January 7, 2015 by @tesyasblog

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  1. I should deffinitely visit this museum when I'm in australia later~ Wonderful museum indeed :D

    1. Yup Fahmi, you should and I am sure you'll enjoy the museum:)

  2. astagaaaa aku suka bangettt museum yg kayak ginii, apalagi bener-bener explore kapal sungguhannya *peluk guling*

    1. Iya Mei, aku juga suka banget! Ayo Mei segera wujudkan liburan ke Sydney nya ya :)

  3. Waduh cakepnya foto-foto itu. Serasa segera datang kesana.

    1. ini super cool dan wajib didatangi :)