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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum

The Australian National Maritime Museum is organized into seven main galleries, focusing on:

  • The discovery of Australia
  • Australian Aborigines and the water
  • History of Travel to Australia by Sea
  • The ocean as a resource
  • Maritime relaxation and entertainment
  • The naval defense of Australia
  • The naval relationship between the United States of America and Australia.

The museum also features three museum ships: the HM Bark Endeavour Replica, the destroyer HMAS Vampire, and the submarine HMAS Onslow. These historical ships are open to the public and can be boarded.  Additionally, there are many smaller historical vessels berthed outside the museum that can be viewed but not boarded.

Highlights of the Australian National Maritime Museum

Tour of the Australian National Maritime Museum

  • HMAS Vampire (D11)
    • HMAS Vampire (D11) was one of the first all-welded ships built in Australia, she was constructed at Cockatoo Island Dockyard between 1952 and 1959. HMAS Vampire was regularly deployed to Southeast Asia during her service.

      HMAS Vampire was attached to the Far East Strategic Reserve on five occasions, including during the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, and escorted the troop transport HMAS Sydney on six of the latter’s twenty-five transport voyages to Vietnam. Vampire remained in service until 1986, when she was decommissioned and presented to the Australian National Maritime Museum for preservation as a museum ship.

  • HMAS Onslow
    • HMAS Onslow was one of six Oberon-class submarines operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The submarine was named after the town of Onslow, Western Australia, and Sir Alexander Onslow, the third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. Onslow was decommissioned in 1999 and was presented to the Australian National Maritime Museum, where she is preserved as a museum ship.

      Submarines were first used with significant impact during World War I (1914–1918), and are now used by most navies. Military uses include attacking enemy ships, protection of vessels, blockade running, nuclear strike force, reconnaissance, land attack, and covert special operations. Civilian applications for submarines include science, salvage, exploration and facilities maintenance. Submarines are also increasingly being used in tourism and undersea archaeology.

  • Harding MCH Lifeboat
    • This Harding MCH Lifeboat is a totally enclosed lifeboat and is the Tanker Version, designed for ships or offshore infrastructure where there is a risk of burning oil and gases. This lifeboat and davit were commission in 1993 and is used to train maritime staff in using survival craft to international standard.

      This Lifeboat is designed to be launched fully loaded with occupants secured by seat belts by up to a 20-meter vertical free fall. The boat is designed to roll through 360 degrees without affecting the engine’s operation. The seat-belt wearing passengers provide the ballast and center of gravity required to right the boat in rough seas.

  • Cape Bowling Green Light
    • Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse, that use to be on Cape Bowling Green, a lengthy headland about 30 kilometers (19 mi) from Ayr, Queensland, Australia. This was the first lighthouse at that location and was established in 1874, but it needed to be moved twice due to coastal erosion. Today at the museum, this historic lighthouse is still operational, using the original lens and a 1913 clockwork mechanism, and it maintains its original light characteristic, four white flashes every twenty seconds.

      Many ships were wrecked at Cape Bowling Green before this first Cape Bowling Green Light was constructed in 1874, one of 22 lighthouses of a similar design constructed in Queensland around that time. The original lens was a dioptric lens, and the light source was a kerosene wick lamp, visible for 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi). The station was operated by four lighthouse keepers, a chief, and three assistants.

  • Tu Do – Vietnamese Refugee Boat
    • The Tu Do is a wooden fishing boat which was made in Vietnam in 1976, and it is historic because it was used as a Vietnamese Refugee Boat for a daring escape from Vietnam to Australia. Tu Do means “Freedom”, and in 1977, a group of 39 passengers made the dangerous journey from Vietnam to Darwin, navigated more than 6,000 kilometers using a map from a school atlas and a simple compass.

      The passengers who made this voyage were called Vietnamese boat people. The term refers to refugees who fled Vietnam by boat and ship after the Vietnam War, especially during the late 1970s. The combination of economic sanctions, the destruction of the Vietnam War, Vietnamese government policies, and further conflicts with neighboring countries caused an international humanitarian crisis.

Australian National Maritime Museum

  • Museums:       Australian National Maritime Museum
  • Established:   1991
  • Location:        Darling Harbour, Pyrmont, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Type:               Maritime Museum

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“A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.”
– Anon

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Photo Credit:1) JOM

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