Action Stations is an exciting new way for you to experience the compelling history of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Explore the danger and drama of military life at sea through a hi-tech and immersive journey that shows the inner workings of the Navy like never before.
"I... was lucky enough to be the only person doing the last guided tour of the Vampire, and man, was it a treat! My guide was ever-so-knowledgeable, taking the time to explain the history and features of the ship to me, and answering all my questions patiently."
Immersive Cinematic Experience
A thrilling short film on a giant screen with exhilarating sound will transport you inside Vampire and Onslow during operations. Experience the force and vastness of the ocean, the speed and power of the destroyer and the submerged stealth of the submarine. Leave the cinema space excited to explore the actual vessels you have just seen depicted in dramatic action at sea.
Discovery & Exploration Space
Welcome to over 100 years of Navy vessels and Navy history.
This space features a huge interactive table with large touchscreens, highlighting a range of global political contexts from WWI to the present day, and illustrating how the RAN responds to Australia’s needs in a constantly changing world. You can also learn more about the submarines AE2 and AE1, as well as maritime archaeology.
Destroyer: HMAS Vampire
The last of the big gun ships
The Daring class were the largest destroyers built in Australia. Their
strong, light construction combined high speed with maximum armament.
Submarine: HMAS Onslow
Serving with quiet distinction
Onslow was commissioned during the Cold War, a tense time that called for a submarine to watch, listen and collect information without detection.
Patrol Boat: HMAS Advance
A hard worker in remote waters
Commissioned in 1968, the hardworking patrol boat HMAS Advance served out of Darwin until 1977.
As part of the War and Peace in the Pacific 75 program the museum will launch a new documentary short film in the Action Stations cinema to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea fought by the US Navy and Royal Australian Navy against the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Funded by the USA Bicentennial Gift Fund.
Discover the story of Australia's most enduring maritime mystery — the loss of the navy’s first submarine AE1 in 1914.
360 degree virtual reality tour
Join ex-submarine commander John Dikkenberg on a fascinating 360 degree virtual reality tour of submarine HMAS Onslow, moored outside the waterfront pavilion. This video takes you through three operational sections of Onslow and features demonstrations, animation and archival sequences which bring the submarine to life.
Watch the trailer
At the 2016 NSW Architecture Awards Action Stations, designed by studioplusthree, won an award in the Small Projects Architecture category. The Waterfront Pavilion, designed by francis-jones morehen thorp, received a commendation in the Public Architecture category.
Winner – World Architecture Festival 2016 (Display - Completed Buildings category)
Winner – NSW Master Builders Awards 2016 (Public Buildings + Best Use of Steel)
Winner - National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) Excellence Awards (Commercial – Small Projects)
Winner – Sydney Design Awards 2016 - Architecture - Public or Institutional - Constructed
Winner – Museums and Galleries of NSW - Imagine Award 2016 for Exhibition Projects (museums with 11+ staff)
Winner - 2016 Australia Institute of Architects NSW Architecture Awards - small project architecture category – for the fitout of the Action Stations multi-use space
Winner - 2016 Museums Australia Multimedia and Publication Design Award (MAPDA) - Action Stations website
Winner Silver – 2016 International Design and Communications Awards (IDCA) Best Scenography for a Permanent Exhibition
Highly Commended – 2016 Museums and Galleries National Award (MAGNA) Permanent Exhibition or Gallery Fit Out
Visitor experience lead: Michael Harvey
Interpretation, curators, digital curators and curatorial assistants: Dr Nigel Erskine, Donna Carstens, Melinda Robertson, Michelle Linder, Dr Stephen Gapps, Dr James Hunter, Nicole Cama, Penny Edwell, Dr Mary-Elizabeth Andrews, David Payne, Kiern Hosty, Dr Lynda Kelly
Interpretation and design: Alex Gaffikin, Jeff Fletcher, Dr Lynda Kelly, Stephen Hain, Peter Buckley, Stephen Crane, Kevin Bray, Adam Laerkesen, Tom Wilke, Gemma Nardone, Adrienne Kabos, Heidi Riederer