The Australian National Maritime Museum is proud to present our program of exhibitions, events and experiences for 2020.

Download the program

We begin the year by focusing on prehistoric oceans and the incredible sea monsters that ruled them, and we end it by visiting the canals of Venice – the spectacular ocean city. 

In‑between these two major exhibitions, our 2020 program will take you around the world. Are you ready to explore?

We are delighted to announce that the classic Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which we have hosted for the last three years, will be enhanced by the introduction of large‑scale back‑lit panels – just as these world‑class photographs are displayed at the Natural History Museum in London, and seen here for the first time in Australia. 

2020 marks the 250th anniversary of James Cook charting the east coast of Australia and our Encounters 2020 program looks at this historic event. 

We journey around the Pacific, meeting the cultures that Cook encountered 250 years ago in exhibitions like HERE: Kupe to Cook, and the National Library of Australia’s Cook and the Pacific

In May we host Defying Empire from the National Gallery of Australia which explores the ongoing resilience of Australia’s Indigenous people since first contact, through to the historical fight for recognition and ongoing activism in the present day. 

We will also reflect on all the seafarers who have explored Australia’s waters through our new Under Southern Stars gallery.

We will have a spectacular series of education programs, digital experiences and outreach activities. To reflect on the 2020 anniversary, our replica of HMB Endeavour will circumnavigate Australia, while visitors back in Sydney can experience the highs, lows and even possible seasickness through our new Endeavour Virtual Reality experience

Too much reality? For those who want to stay on or near dry land, the biennial Classic and Wooden Boat Festival in May is an unmissable event for both boat lovers and curious enthusiasts. 

Visitors can test their wits and expand their horizons through our Murder Mystery and Ocean Talks programs held throughout the year. 

Meanwhile, our education and digital teams have been hard at work developing new online games and films, and expanding our Ocean Science and Remotely Operated Vehicle programs.

Finally for our 2020–21 summer spectacular, we will experience the majestic city of Venice in all its glory, joining the port city’s inhabitants as they live, love and carnevale on the edge of the Adriatic Sea. 

With something for everyone to enjoy, be sure to dive in and explore the museum in 2020. We can’t wait to welcome you.

Stay in touch throughout the year by becoming a member. 
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Image: Kaygasiw  Usulby Alick Tipoti. Australian National Museum Collection. Purchased with funds from the Sid Faithfull and Christine Sadler program supporting Contemporary Indigenous Maritime Heritage in Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands through the Australian National Maritime Foundation.