17 December 2022 - 18 September 2023



Sunken Ships in LEGO® Bricks

This exhibition is a unique combination of Ryan ‘The Brickman’ McNaught’s stunning LEGO® models, plus real shipwreck objects, hands-on interactives and audio visual experiences that bring to life astonishing shipwreck stories.

Come and try different archaeology techniques, sink the Vasa, rebuild the portico from the Batavia wreck, pilot a remotely-operated-vehicle (ROV) beneath the ice to find the Erebus, see if you’d survive the Titanic sinking, clean oil pollution from a penguin and, of course, build your own LEGO® models.





Wrecks featured in the exhibition

The wrecks featured in the exhibition invite you to look closely and wonder at the many stories locked under the sea, they include:  


  • The oldest known shipwreck which sank off Uluburun, Turkey, around 1300 BCE;  
  • A Chinese ship that sank in 1323 near the Shinan islands, South Korea;  
  • Vasa, a Swedish warship that sank in 1628 in the Stockholm harbour;  
  • Batavia, a Dutch trading vessel that sank in 1629 off the Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia;  
  • HMS Pandora which wrecked in 1791 in the Great Barrier Reef whilst on its way to hunt down the Bounty mutineers; 
  • HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, both wrecked in 1848 off King William Island, Canada, whilst searching for the North West Passage; 
  • RMS Titanic, the luxury steamship that sank in the North Atlantic in 1912; and  
  • MV Rena, the Liberian-flagged container ship that sank at Astrolabe Reef, New Zealand, in 2011. 


About Ryan "The Brickman" McNaught


The Brickman, Ryan McNaught credit: Image Courtesy of Channel 9


Ryan “The Brickman” McNaught, a LEGO® Certified Professional - one of only 14 in the world and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere, say that collaborating on this project reignited his childhood interest in shipwrecks. 


“I remember visiting the remains of the Vasa wreck in Stockholm with my parents and was filled with awe. This opportunity to work with specialists from the Western Australian Museum and Australian National Maritime Museum reignited my passion,” Mr McNaught said. 


“The models in Brickwrecks are built in so many different scales that it kept the team and me on our toes. Visitors even get to turn one of our models upside-down, which is something we’ve never done before! 


“We really enjoyed finding out the actual stories behind these wrecks as well – we’ve found the more research we do, the better our LEGO® builds will be.   


“All up, the team spent over 1600 hours, used over 153,000 LEGO® bricks, and had a tonne of fun bringing these models to life with lots of minifig details, hidden Easter eggs, as well as historical facts. We hope visitors have just as much fun exploring them as we did building them!




Programs and Events

Explore our exciting programs celebrating Brickwrecks across the year!


More programs coming soon...

  • Ocean Talks with Ryan McNaught aka The Brickman

  • Model Makers Festival

  • The Brickwrecks exhibition allows visitors to build their very own LEGO® creations. Photo by Rebecca Mansell. Courtesy of Western Australian Museum.A scene on board the Dutch East India Company trading vessel Batavia was wrecked off the coast of Western Australia in 1629. Photo by Brickman.Brickwrecks features stunning LEGO® models as well as background information about how each vessel met their fate. Photo by Rebecca Mansell. Courtesy of Western Australian Museum.LEGO® model of MV Rena which ran aground in New Zealand in 2011. Photo by Rebecca Mansell. Courtesy of Western Australian Museum.LEGO® scenes are brought to life through augmented reality. Photo by Rebecca Mansell. Courtesy of Western Australian Museum.A LEGO® model of Swedish warship Vasa which sunk in Stockholm harbour on its maiden voyage in 1628. Photo by Brickman


    Extend your learning experience with a school visit to the exhibition and resource curriculum linked resource and programs.

    School visit the exhibition supervised by your teacher and this accompanying resources include prompts to strengthen the engagement for students of all ages. There are also additional activities and resources to continue the learning back in the classroom across various curriculum areas.

    High School Workshops

    Maritime Archaeology
    Students in years 7-10 become maritime archaeologists as they observe, record and analyse replica objects from a variety of ancient and modern maritime archaeology sites. They will learn about migration, trade, war, and use objects to offer their own perspectives on the lives of people from the past.

    Senior Maritime Archaeology
    Year 11 and 12 students examine artefacts from shipwrecks, investigate archaeological techniques and interpret archaeological material.

    See below for more details.


Take your students beneath the surface of Australia’s past with an online game where players take the role of a modern maritime archaeologist hunting for some of Australia’s most prized shipwrecks.


We have tickets to suit your plans and help make the most of your day at the Australian National Maritime Museum. When on our ticketing page click on the detail of each ticket to read our full terms and conditions. 


Please note: For visits on our vessels, for safety reasons children need to be 90cm to climb aboard.


·      See It All Ticket + Brickwrecks – This ticket is the best option, as it allows you to enjoy Brickwrecks by booking into a timed session entry during the day of your visit. It also allows you to enjoy visiting all our fleet, special exhibition Wildlife Photographer of the Year, our free galleries, Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse and Kids on Deck activities.


·      Special Exhibitions Ticket incl Brickwrecks – This ticket is an excellent option for visitors who simply wish to see Brickwrecks, enjoy Wildlife Photographer of the Year and all of our permanent galleries, along with entry into Kids on Deck and the Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse.We also recommend this ticket on Friday evenings when our galleries are open late, this summer for Beats and Bricks.


·      Shipwreck Odyssey ticket – Proudly part of the Sydney Festival here at the museum between the 28 Dec until 26 January, this playscape and performance is a wonderful addition to your day at the museum with all of our attractions on offer. You can plan ahead and pre-book your day and time to this, or purchase tickets while at the museum. This experience is ideal for families and is a one-hour experience and plays daily (except Mondays) at session times 10.30am, 12pm, 1.30pm and 3pm.  

Yes, you can purchase tickets on the day of your visit at the museum. We recommend you arrive early to get the most out of your day.

When you purchase your ticket at the museum you will be allocated a timed session, so come in early and get the session you would like.

Brickwrecks is allocated entry reserved only for visitors who purchase their ticket.

We recommend during school holidays and peak times that you pre-book online into your preferred available time and day.

Brickwrecks: Sunken Ships in LEGO® Bricks, is an exciting combination of LEGO® scenes of famous shipwrecks, along with objects recovered from those sunken ships by marine archaeologists. We anticipate visitors will be delighted to discover all of the little details and stories within Brickwrecks, so to make it the most fun possible, we didn’t want to over-crowd the experience.  

If you need to change your ticket day, please call us and our team will assist you to re-reserve another time. Phone: +61 2 9298 3777 Email:

Yes, inside the Brickwrecks exhibition we have play areas for LEGO® building fun, along with other Augmented Reality interactives.  

All our online ticket purchases have a reservation number.

Please show this to our front of house team on arrival to the Museum.

You can book in to visit the museum and see Brickwrecks, then when you are here, visit the front desk at any time of the day and upgrade to a Membership or Annual Family Pass. 

Memberships may also be pre-purchased online and then once it’s processed book in to see Brickwrecks. We advise that over our popular Christmas/New Year dates, our membership team may not be able to turn this around as quickly as our front desk team can assist you.  

Simply follow the prompts to book a ticket, then choose the Member option and add your membership number.  

Brickwrecks is all about the stories and the details of famous shipwrecks so our grown-ups are going to have a brilliant experience at any time. 

You may wish to check out our Beats and Bricks sessions on Friday nights from 6pm to 7.30pm when we play sets from some of Sydney’s best up and coming DJ’s. 

We have extended our opening times on Fridays from 30 Dec 2022 to 27 Jan 2023 until 7.3pm with the last entry into Brickwrecks commencing at 6pm on these nights. 

To learn more click here: Bricks and Beats 

The Family Pass covers the exhibition, but unfortunately with timed ticketing for Brickwrecks you won't be able to book online - the best advice is to come early on the day you wish to visit and book a time for Brickwrecks at Reception. 

Entry is free to visitors who have a valid Companion Card and are assisting a ticket holder as a carer.


We would recommend that the visitor who has the Companion Card purchase and pre-book their ticket online to secure their space.


On arrival to the Museum, our front of house team will process the free entry ticket for the carer on presentation of the Companion Card.

Yes, as the exhibition has limited capacity, a timed entry ticket is required for each person visiting, including Children under 4 Years (they are free).

A closing date for the exhibition has not been announced as yet - it will be later in 2023.  

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