Australian National Maritime Museum

#14 in Best Things To Do in Sydney
Australian National Maritime Museum picture
UCFFool/Flickr

Key Info

2 Murray St.

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.7scorecard
  • 3.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

No harbor city would be complete without a maritime museum, and Sydney's is one of the best. Here, you can view exhibits about everything from fish X-rays to pirates, but that's just scratching the surface. The standout at this maritime museum is the ships docked in Darling Harbour. All are open to museumgoers to board and explore. Notable vessels include the HMAS Vampire, a destroyer ship; the HMAS Onslow, a submarine; and the Akarana, an 1800s racing yacht.

Families that have visited the Australian National Maritime Museum praised its diversity of activities for kids. The museum's guides offer a wealth of knowledge about each of the docked ships, and inside, children can participate in an array of kid-friendly events and activities, themed arts and crafts projects and interactive activity trails. And because of the abundance of exhibits offered, many previous museumgoers felt the AU$32 (or about $23) admission fee was more than justified.

Though the property's permanent galleries are free to enter, access to the Australian National Maritime Museum's ships and rotating exhibits requires a Big Ticket. For children and students, a Big Ticket will cost AU$20 (around $14) each; however, children younger than 4 enter for free. To cut costs, groups should consider buying a family ticket, which includes admission for two adults and up to three children. (Admission is included with an iVenture Card.)

Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (6 p.m. in summer), the museum houses restroom facilities and its own open-air cafe, but Darling Harbour's restaurants are also within walking distance. A parking complex (additional fee applies) sits nearby, and for those taking public transit, the No. 389 bus stop and the Pyrmont Bay light rail station are just steps away. For more information, visit the Australian National Maritime Museum website.

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Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour
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#1 Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge stands next to the Opera House as one of the city's most iconic landmarks. Lovingly called the "Coathanger" by locals, this towering structure is one of the world's largest steel arch bridges. And while you can capture stunning pictures of the bridge from one of Sydney Harbour's ferry boats, for an unforgettable experience, sign up for a bridge climb through BridgeClimb Sydney. Ranging from nearly two to nearly four hours in length, the bridge climb provides visitors with panoramic views of the Harbour, the Sydney skyline and the Opera House.

Although some former visitors complained of the high price tags, many said the bridge climbs are the best way to experience this iconic attraction, calling it a must-do experience. While climbs are offered throughout the day every day, travelers recommend scheduling a climb at twilight, which will give you three different views – daylight, sunset and nighttime – in one. If you're afraid of heights, reviewers still suggest you consider the experience as the staff is well-trained to help you overcome your anxieties.

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