You are coming to the Australian National Maritime Museum. We’re looking forward to your visit!
This social story has information on what to expect from Sensory Friendly Sunday events. It will explain how to access the building and who to ask for assistance if needed.
We hope this story helps you to have an enjoyable experience at the museum.
This is the museum building. When you arrive you'll walk down past this big sculpture to reach the main entry.
The museum front doors open at 9.30am. Today we have an extra entry point open from 8.30-9.30am for those who arrive in the first hour of the program.
These are the front doors to the museum. Our friendly staff will be at the entrance to greet you. They wear blue t-shirts like this.
If you arrive between 8.30-9.30am we will direct you around the waterfront to enter through Waterside Studio, next to Yots café.
This is the waterfront pathway to enter through Waterside Studio (opens 8.30am).
You will pass the kiosk, the big anchors and the ship HMAS Vampire on your way there.
If you arrive from 9.30am onwards you can come through the main doors to our ticketing desk.
Show the staff your event registration and they will give you a stamp on your hand or a sticker- this is your ticket to see the museum today.
There are some important rules in a museum to keep our collections safe.
No food or drink (except water) is allowed. Please enjoy your food in the outdoor covered areas or the café.
Many of our galleries display things you can touch and play with, however, we also have some artworks (usually paintings, sculptures and photographs) on open display. Please don’t touch artworks. If you’re not sure what’s okay to touch, feel free to ask some of our staff. You will usually see this sign with a hand and a cross through it when it is a no-touch object.
If you need to go to the bathroom, they are located in the main foyer, next to Yots café and inside the lower level galleries.
There are no bathrooms in the upper level galleries.
Today you can visit the HMAS Onslow, our submarine. It is open early from 8.45–9.45 am especially for Sensory-Friendly Sunday guests. You should wear sturdy enclosed shoes and suitable clothing for climbing down a ladder.
To enter the submarine you will walk into Action Stations. You travel along the left-side of the wharf and up the stairs. You can watch the movie in the screening room here if you like, the sound will be turned down until 10 am.
On this level there is an interactive table with lots of things you can touch and play with, there is a sound of morse code and radar coming from the interactive games on this table.
To enter the submarine you line up and get a yellow tag to wear. You can walk along the gangway, holding the railings and turn around to climb down the ladder at the entry. Some spaces are very small and some have red lighting. You have to climb through the bulkhead doors to cross from one section to the next, so you will need to watch your step along the way.
There are lots of nobs and dials in here, you can press buttons as you like and touch most areas of the submarine freely.
Today you can visit the Kids on Deck activity space (open 8.30am - 4pm). It's located in Waterside Studio, enter outside, next to Yots café.
There are staff in blue t-shirts to help you with the activities. There are also coloured lights, soft furnishings, bubble machines, dress ups, science experiments and lots of fun art-making activities to do!
All our creative activities are themed around our new Sea Monsters exhibition.
You can spend as long as you like here, or come and go as you please. This space closes at 4pm.
You can visit the galleries too (from 8.30am onwards). We have turned down the sound in our upper level galleries until 12pm today to help you enjoy your experience more.
The Sea Monsters exhibition is located on the upper level. You can travel up to this level via the ramp or take the lift. Along the ramp, you will pass a big silver shark sculpture. This is an artwork called Swimming, by Zou Liang.
You will also pass the Ghost Net sculptures. They are called Au Karem Ira Lamar Lu, that means Ghost Nets of the Ocean. These were made by Erub Arts Collaborative, a group of artists from the Torres Strait Islands. They are made from discarded fishing nets.
To reach the Sea Monsters exhibition, travel down the South gallery, through Koori Art Expressions. You are also welcome to stop and explore here.
At the end of the corridor you will find the entry to the Sea Monsters exhibition. There are lots of interactive activities to play with and gigantic skeletons of prehistoric marine reptiles in this exhibition.
You can also visit our Cabinet of Curiosities touch trolley today, open from 10am-12pm and 2pm-3pm. It's filled with replica prehistoric reptile fossils, specimens and objects that you can touch and explore.
We also have activity trails, relaxed 3D movie screenings and other experiences you may enjoy today. You will receive a map with all the details when you arrive.
The museum can be a noisy place. We have turned down the sounds in our upper level galleries until 12pm today. If you need a quiet space to go for a time out, we recommend visiting the Play Gallery on our lower level (designed for early years visitors but all ages of visitors are welcome). The Terrace Room will also be set aside as a quiet space for today. See your activity map for details.
For those who need to get outside and run around, the Elysium Arctic exhibition at Wharf 7 forecourt is perfect. Here you can see beautiful photos of arctic animals, and you can be as energetic and noisy as you like. This area is near open wharves so we encourage you to keep close supervision of your children.
We hope you had a lovely visit and look forward to seeing you again soon!
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