Due to health and safety concerns the museum's fleet of vessels will be closed from Sunday 15 March until further notice.
HMAS Vampire, Australia's largest museum vessel, is the last of the country's big gun ships.Take a 360 degree tour
After this, Australia's fighting ships were equipped with missile weaponry. The Daring class were the largest destroyers built in Australia. Their strong, light construction combined high speed with maximum armament.
Vampire served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1959 to 1986. Its arsenal included:
- 3 twin turrets housing 6 x 4.5-inch guns (still in place)
- 2 single-gun and 2 twin-gun Bofors anti-aircraft guns (still in place)
- 5 anti-ship torpedo launchers (removed in 1970)
- surface to subsurface anti-submarine mortar (removed in 1980)
"There are retired naval personnel to show you around and answer questions, so it is a great place to learn about Australia's history on the water."
Despite its firepower,Vampire had a peaceful career, even while escorting troops to Vietnam in the 1960s. In 1977, Vampire had a brush with royalty as the RAN escort for HMY Britannia during the Queen's Silver Jubilee tour of Australia. In 1980, it was refitted as a RAN training ship.
Explore the danger and drama of life on board Vampire in Action Stations, our all-new immersive experience.