Australian National Maritime Museum

Home>>Australia>> Sydney>>Australian Maritime Museum

The Australian National Maritime Museum is a federally-operated maritime museum located in Darling Harbour, Sydney. After consideration of the idea to establish a maritime museum, the Federal government announced that a national maritime museum would be constructed at Darling Harbour, tied into the New South Wales State government's redevelopment of the area for the Australian bicentenary.

Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia
Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia

The museum building was designed by Philip Cox, and although an opening date of 1988 was initially set, construction delays, cost overruns, and disagreements between the State and Federal governments over funding responsibility pushed the opening back to 1991.

Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia
Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia

One of six museums directly operated by the Federal government, the ANMM is the only one located outside of the Australian Capital Territory. The museum is structured around seven main galleries, focusing on the discovery of Australia, the relationships between the Australian Aborigines and the water, travel to Australia by sea, the ocean as a resource, water-based relaxation and entertainment, the naval defence of the nation, and the relationship between the United States of America and Australia.

Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia
Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia

The last gallery was funded by the United States government, and is the only national museum gallery in the world funded by a foreign nation. Four additional gallery spaces are used for temporary exhibits. Three museum ships - the HM Bark Endeavour Replica, the destroyer HMAS Vampire, and the submarine HMAS Onslow - are open to the public, while smaller historical vessels berthed outside can be viewed but not boarded.

Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia
Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia

During the mid-1980s, it was proposed that a replica of explorer James Cook's ship, HM Bark Endeavour be constructed for the museum. Funding for construction was initially provided by the Bond Corporation, and construction began at the start of 1988. However, in 1990, the company ran into financial difficulties, and construction was unable to continue until a charitable trust was established in 1991 to complete and operate the replica Endeavour.

8