See Historic Ships for Free at Australian National Maritime Museum

in Australia, Traveling with Kids

Australia’s historic ships and naval heritage are celebrated at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

The museum’s galleries feature important documents and other relics from Australia’s maritime history. You can explore these displays at your own pace or join a free guided tour. The interactive touch screens in the museum’s foyer give times and information about this service along with other museum events and activities.

But for most visitors, the most exciting parts of the museum are outside its halls. Several ships are docked in the harbor just outside, including the navy destroyer HMAS Vampire, the 1847 tall ship James Craig, the Blackmores First Lady sailed around the world by Australian solo voyager Kay Cottee, and a replica of the Endeavour, the ship that Captain James Cook traveled to Australia in.

All those boats and talk of history can be a bit dry for the kids, so if you’re taking the family visit on Sundays or during school holiday periods. Extra activities including craft projects, story time, and games should keep children aged between five and 12 entertained. These sessions do attract an extra fee of $7 though, so they can get pricey if you have a large brood.

The Australian National Maritime Museum's replica of the Endeavour

The Australian National Maritime Museum's replica of the Endeavour

The Australian National Maritime Museum is conveniently located on the western side of the bubbling Darling Harbour precinct. This tourist hub is easily accessible by Sydney’s bus, light rail, and monorail networks.

The Australian National Maritime Museum is one of Sydney’s free museums, although special exhibitions and activities may attract a small fee. It’s open every day except Christmas from 9:30 am in the morning. The museum closes at 5 pm, except in January when it closes at 6 pm.

[Image Source: Andy Mitchell/Flickr]

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