The Australian National Maritime Museum is well worth a visit on an overcast day! Situated at 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour, Sydney NSW 2000 its across the water from SeaLife etc and just beyond the Harbourside Shopping Centre.
We parked at the Harbourside Car Park operated by Wilson (100 Murray Street, Pyrmont) and then walked through Harbourside shopping Centre. If the weather is good bypass the shopping Centre and walk along the wharf. Museum visitors can park all day for $14 BUT you must must remember to get your parking ticket stamped at the museum reception.
You’re going to want to wear flat, non-slip shoes.
It seems the ANMM is only closed on Christmas Day and open 9:30 am – 5pm every day (in January its open until 6pm). Everything is wheelchair and pram friendly, except for the vessels themselves, you can’t take a pram on the vessels (or big backpacks – there are lockers for all your big backpack requirements).
Tickets for all exhibits and the vessels cost are called BIG tickets and cost $30 for adults, $18 for children (ages 4 – 18) and concessions. You can get a family ticket for $75 which is for 2 adults and up to 3 children. You can often get specials on Groupon so I would definitely look there before buying tickets.
The only limiting factor is that children have to be over 90 centimeters to go on the vessels so if either or any of your children is shorter than this someone will have to stay off the boat. I had to sit with our daughter while my husband went on the vessels with our son, I did get to go on the destroyer though which was awesome.
There is SO much to see and take it that it is all a bit overwhelming. We only got through 3 of the vessels, at top speed and the exhibits. In hindsight I think 3 is too young to enjoy the full experience but there were portions of the museum (Pirate Exhibition!! Need I say more but if I do need to check out my blog on the Horrible Histories Pirate Exhibition) and the vessels that he just loved.
There are guided tours on each of the vessels or you can walk through them yourself or with a tour guide. So, the vessels we got to go on were:
- The patrol boat – the HMAS Advance which is an Attack Class Patrol Boat (I have no clue what that means). Volunteers give you personal tours of the boat.
- The submarine – the HMAS Onslow
- The destroyer – the HMAS Vampire. Last boarding is at 4:10pm and the tours start at 10am and thereafter are every hour and also 10:30 am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm.
There is also a lighthouse which is open between 11am to 1:50pm and 3pm to 3:50pm.
I also spotted a tall ship which looks awesome but my son was having none of it by the time he realised it was nap time. The replica of the Endeavour is usually on the wharves but is out visiting other states until April 2016.
I’m definitely going to take my dad to check this out when he next visits Sydney although I reckon it’ll take him all day and he’ll still not see it all.