Ocean Lab


A creative space for budding scientists

Drop into our discovery space, the ocean container laboratory, to explore what lies beneath the surface of the harbour! 

Join in plankton discovery and experiments*, see films captured by our underwater drones and learn more about the biodiversity of the Sydney Harbour environment.

Where did this ocean laboratory come from?

The Microbial Cell Sorting and Imaging laboratory (Micro-CSI) is essentially a lab-in-a-box. It's a converted shipping container which served as a self-contained mobile laboratory for Australian marine researchers when aboard the ocean-going research vessel, Investigator

The Micro-CSI was the first of its kind in Australia and brought together with precision scientific equipment in a compact way. Led by Dr Martina Doblin from the Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster at the University of Technology, Sydney – a team of researchers from several Australian universities studied the temperature tolerance, diversity and activity of ocean microbes.

* The Ocean Lab is open daily during school holidays from 10.30 am to 4 pm. Interactive activities such as experiments and live plankton collections will only be available on weekends during Term 4.

Cost: Free
Ages: 4-14 and adults 
Session times and activities will vary each day. Ask our friendly front of house staff.

Please note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only three people at a time will be allowed inside the lab 

The Ocean Lab is developed in partnership with the Climate Change Cluster at the University of Technology, Sydney. It is delivered using the MICRO-CSI ocean-going container used by Professor Martina Doblin for oceanographic research onboard CSIRO MNF RV Investigator



Kids on Deck Activity Space


Map It!


Mini Mariners - Under 5s program