Setting sail for 2011: Planet Shark inhabits ANMM

Happy new year!

We’re currently experiencing one of our busiest visiting periods here at the Australian National Maritime Museum. It’s a great time to consider visiting us as the atmosphere at the museum and surrounding Darling Harbour is buzzing!

Planet Shark – Predator or Prey is the highlight of our summer program, with kids and adults alike enjoying learning about the 350 different species of shark living in our oceans today.

Planet Shark - Predator or Prey - The Exhibition

Planet Shark - Predator or Prey - The Exhibition

Is our fear of sharks rational? There is no question that the fear of sharks is real and can be a serious affliction for some, but where has it come from? Explore this exhibition’s recreated 3D images of prehistoric sharks, significant pieces of memorabilia from the movie JAWS! and realistic life-size shark models on display.

You’ll also be able to join a fun and fact-filled tour with our Planet Shark character – Finn the Diver – who will lead you into the underwater domain of sharks and help debunk the myths.

Mary-Louise Williams, director of the Australian National Maritime Museum and Tim Winton, novelist and conservationist introduced Planet Shark – Predator or Prey at the ANMM late last year and we’ve been busy with plenty of visitors since.
Click here to see video from the event.

* The Exhibition has been made available by Grande Exhibitions of Australia.

Great White Shark - Planet Shark

Great White Shark - Planet Shark

There’s plenty more happening around the museum this summer!

  • To keep the older kids out of mischief, check out our youth programs - photography, drama and TV presenting, presented in collaboration with NIDA that focus on our key exhibitions.
  • Australia Day will be upon us soon, and where better to celebrate than at the ANMM? This will be the very last chance to see the HMB Endeavour before she commences preparation for her year long circumnavigation of Australia. Bring your picnics and enjoy the day on the foreshore with us.
  • Our under-5’s Mini Mariners programs recommence in February and March, and the excitement is building for Playgroups NSW ‘The Worlds’ Biggest Playgroup Day’, to be held at the ANMM.
  • On their own – Britain’s child migrants is still showing, and will be with us until mid-May.
Youth photography workshops

Youth photography workshops

We’d love you to join us here at the Australian National Maritime Museum this summer. If you’re unable to make it, do join us online at or

Special announcement: Captain Cook’s replica HMB Endeavour to sail around Australia

A damp and dismal day began to seep through the clouds as the small team of HMB Endeavour crew arrived at the ship this morning but the weather couldn’t diminish their excitement! The long awaited announcement of the ship embarking on a thirteen month voyage around Australia is about to take place!

A deck scrub is completed and the last few items from the previous days maintenance are squared away in preparation for the launch, however the rain forces proceedings inside the museum to the Tasman Light Gallery.

A flurry of activity in the main foyer and the chatter of photographer’s flashes announces the arrival of our special guest, the Hon. Peter Garrett, Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts. After an introduction from Mary-Louise Williams, the Museum’s Director, the Minister spoke of the support provided to the Museum from the Federal Government for a new education centre and expressed his pleasure that the Museum welcomed some 500,000 visitors throughout last year, the highest number since opening in 1991.

Following the Minister’s words of encouragement and congratulations, a long time volunteer and previous voyage crew, Stephen Schmidt, was called upon to provide an insight into the experiences that can be had on board during a voyage. He has accompanied the ship as voyage crew on several different voyages in all sorts of weather conditions and helps the Endeavour crew with maintenance one day every week.

And now, with the shroud of secrecy finally lifted, all efforts are put into getting the word out about HMB Endeavour’s circumnavigation of Australia. It’s a huge undertaking, involving the help and wisdom of many people and will take the ship to 18 different ports around Australia and give the public a chance to sail onboard on one (or more) of 20 different voyage legs.

Hon. Peter Garrett, Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts.

Hon. Peter Garrett, Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts.

Set to depart in April 2011, the ship will head north around the top end and arrive in Fremantle for the ISAF (International Sailing Federation) Regatta at the beginning of December. She will continue around past the Great Australian Bight and around Tasmania to return to Sydney during May 2012.

For more information on the voyage plan and booking a berth please visit

We look forward to seeing you somewhere around Australia!

— Kat Lindsay, Endeavour Crew

China Maritime Museum opens

The Australian National Maritime Museum’s Director, Mary-Louise Williams was invited to attend the opening of the China Maritime Museum in Shanghai. Here, Mary-Louise shares her photos and some notes on what was an incredible event:

Mary-Louise WilliamsThe President of the International Congress of Maritime Museums and representatives from several museums around the world (including the Australian National Maritime Museum) joined hundreds of Chinese officials and guests to celebrate the opening of the new and impressive China Maritime Museum in Pudong, Shanghai, on a hot and wet Monday this week.

On the hour-long drive from the centre of Shanghai it poured with rain and I wondered  just how an outdoor ceremony was going to work! But as luck would have it, 5 minutes before the ceremony began, the clouds cleared for a spectacular event.

Entering China Maritime Museum

Entering China Maritime Museum

The museum is close to the heart of Shanghai’s maritime and commercial centre with its impressively designed building occupying  nearly 50,000 square metres.  

Exhibitions and public programs spaces take up at least  21,000 metres and accommodate large scale replicas of modern and other vessels. The most impressive of which, the Ming Dynasty trading ship, is right in the middle of the entrance foyer reaching up into a vast atrium.

Ming Dynasty trading ship right in the middle of the entrance foyer

The Ming Dynasty trading ship, in the middle of the entrance foyer

China Maritime Museum greeters

Greetings at the China Maritime Museum

China Maritime Museum

China Maritime Museum celebrates opening

Museum staff were very keen to become actively involved in a wider international maritime museum community and we talked at some length after the formal ceremony about the sorts of programs we could develop and share.