Ahoy there lovers of all things nautical. If you’re looking for a fun and educational day out, we loved the Australian National Maritime Museum.
What’s on right now?
Right now at ANMM there is an exhibit on Sharks & Humanity with lots of interesting contemporary artworks by some of China’s leading artists. There are also some Aboriginal totems incorporated into the art exhibition which also explore shark life.
There is also James Cameron: Challenging the Deep, an immersive exhibition that explores film maker James Cameron’s achievements in deep ocean science and how his love of exploring the deep ocean influenced his film making. This exhibit has been so popular that it has been extended to May.
What will the kids love at Australian National Maritime Museum?
There is a play area for kids 5 and under which is a great pit stop for tired little legs or if you need to stop and change bub’s nappy or breastfeed, it doubles as a fun little parenting space.
During the school holidays there is a Kid’s Imaginarium that is just outside the main building, which is a wonderful sensory and craft space and an excellent place to escape the heat during summer. We spent a fairly long time in here chilling out, making our own boats, listening to ocean sounds and drawing what we could hear, making pom poms out of single use plastics to keep them out of the ocean, and exploring the sensory area with padded cushions, gel water bed and stepping tiles with colour that moved beneath our feet. There is even a pop up cafe in here for Mum and Dad.
What else can we see and do?
There are three vessels moored at the dock that are part of the family ticket to explore ANMM. We had a guided tour of a war ship that came to Sydney Harbour from its home in Darwin. Then we went down below to see what a real submarine looks like from front to back on the HMAS Onslow. This was our favourite ship. We got to see where the missiles get fired from, and how many bunk beds are in the sleeping quarters. We loved looking through the periscopes where we spied familiar Sydney icons.
Finally we walked around the largest ship, the HMAS Vampire and realised how spacious the Destroyer is. It is one of Australia’s largest big gun ships and far less claustrophobic than the other ships we visited.
There is also a replica ship of the HMAS Endeavour in the Harbour to look at, and a light house that originally functioned in Cape Bowling Green, Tasmania.