Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.

The second pilot steamer  Captain Cook (II) was designed by W D Cruikshank and built at Mort’s Dock & Engineering Company in 1892. Used as a naval training ship during World War II, it was scuttled off Sydney in October 1947. Photographed c 1920 by William James Hall. ANMM Collection ANMS1092[015] Gift from Mr and Mrs Glassford

Not all beer and skittles Sydney Harbour pilotage

07 Aug 2020

Since colonial times, pilots have guided vessels safely into and out of ports throughout New South Wales. Curator of Ocean Science and Technology Emily Jateff looks into the work of the Port Authority of New South Wales and its highly trained pilots.

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Fold-out engraving from Ferrante Imperato's Dell'Historia Naturale (Naples 1599), the earliest illustration of a natural history cabinet. Source: Wikimedia

Cabinet of curiosities

23 Jul 2020

Weird, wonderful, quirky – and odd. What objects are hiding in our collection? And how did they come to be part of the National Maritime Collection?

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One of the Las Balsas rafts at sea, with the other two rafts in the background, 1973. Photograph by John Carnemolla. Image reproduced courtesy Ballina Naval & Maritime Museum

Las Balsas: The world's longest raft journey

16 Jul 2020

Twelve men, seven nationalities, three rafts, six months and one epic 14,000-kilometre trans-Pacific voyage. Curator Kim Tao interviews Luis Guevara from the 1973 Las Balsas expedition, which completed a record-breaking crossing of the Pacific Ocean from Ecuador to Australia on three balsa-wood rafts.

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Kieran Hosty at Boot Reef in December 2018. Image Julia Sumerling/Silentworld Foundation

Ask an Archaeologist Day

15 Jul 2020

Today is Ask an Archaeologist Day so we had the museum's maritime archeologists, James Hunter and Kieran Hosty answer your burning questions. 

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Entry to the Kupe to Cook exhibition at the Australian National Maritime Museum

Who was Kupe?

08 Jul 2020

According to many Māori iwi (tribes), Kupe was the first Polynesian to arrive in Aotearoa (New Zealand) over 1,000 years ago. While stories differ from region to region, we explore the tradition and the anchor stone that is featured in our current exhibition, Here: Kupe to Cook

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