Due to the sheer size of our collection, only a fraction of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s objects can be on display at any one time. 

Don't let our lack of physical space get in the way of making new discoveries. You can explore a rich and diverse collection of artefacts online ranging from rocket boats to gold buttons, and discover a wealth of remarkable stories.

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Colonial Wallpapers - Pacific Encounters


Based on the conventions and elements of early European sea charts, the painting 'Colonial Wallpapers - Pacific Encounters' incorporates a central compass rose, rumb lines and wind gods in a reconstruction of the Pacific.

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From the collection

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Illustrated log of the whaling barque TERROR

Illustrated log of the Terror


HMT Queen Mary assisted by a tug


Hobart Town 1856


Arch in the Sky


Emeret Nar: ghost net canoe


The Charlotte Medal


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'Design debauchery' at its finest.

25 Jul 2014

Whilst looking though the artefacts from the Dunbar shipwreck, it is difficult to imagine that anything amongst the dull metal was ever intended to decorate people’s homes. Ship fixtures blend with metal domestic and commercial goods and all have acquired the dull lacklustre look acquired by years under the sea.

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Mouths of Gold

05 Jun 2014

The wreck of the Dunbar in 1857 is a well-known story in Sydney and the effect it had on the colony at the time. One of the outcomes of the wreck was the recovery of the artefacts it left behind.

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A tale of love and adventure between two teakwood panels

02 Jun 2014

The museum recently acquired the journal of the Liverpool barque Loch Bredan, by Chief Officer Robert Robertson Smythe. This wonderful logbook/journal was written and beautifully illustrated by Smythe during his 123-day voyage from Sydney to Liverpool via Cape Horn from the 25 July 1902 to 24 November 1902.

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East meets West: The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam

27 May 2014

There was once a man who could ‘take needles out of his mouth for half an hour at a time’, who could make ‘beautiful vases appear’ from thin air. He was a magician, and the people of a Northern Chinese village would watch spellbound as he ‘performed a hundred magic feats’.

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Memories are made of these

15 May 2014

There is no separating food and travel. Whether it is for enjoyment or basic necessity, where the next meal is coming from and what it will be can become all-consuming. Nowhere on the travel scene is this more evident than on cruise ships.

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#HoodsHarbour: May’s ‘People’s Choice’ winner

07 May 2014

I’m pleased to announce the May winner of the museum’s #HoodsHarbour People’s Choice competition. Robert Osborne chose this photograph from the museum’s Samuel J Hood collection via our Flickr Commons photostream. Robert noted the picture ‘reminded me of the Manly Ferries as I used to spend the journey looking into the engine room from the passenger area and soak up the sights and smells‘. He composed a poem, which now forms the basis for the photograph’s exhibition label:

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The ‘March of the Gallant Five Thousand'

24 Apr 2014

At about 2pm on 24 April 1915, 5,000 Australian troops marched through streets of Sydney. Symbolising the ‘State’s official farewell to the troops’, it wasn’t until a few months later that they finally embarked for war.

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#HoodsHarbour: April’s ‘People’s Choice’ winner

03 Apr 2014

I’m pleased to announce the first winner of the museum’s #HoodsHarbour People’s Choice competition for the month of April. Myleah Bailey from Victoria has chosen this photograph from the museum’s Samuel J Hood collection via our Flickr Commons photostream.

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A mutiny of a different sort

26 Mar 2014

In the history of maritime mutinies, it is the mutiny on the Bounty that is most often recalled, and it is generally assumed that mutinies involved tyrannical captains whose crews have rebelled.

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Search, Rescue and Survival

25 Mar 2014

The search for Malaysian Air Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean is like looking for a needle in a haystack. By international agreement Australia is responsible for co-ordinating search and rescue efforts over an area of about 53 million square kilometres – more than one tenth of the earth’s surface!

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