The Australian National Maritime Museum has thousands of exhibits depicting Australia's history - from ancient times when Aboriginal people trapped fish and traded with Asian neighbours, right up to the present.
Visitors can see what life was like on the convict ships; how Australia "rode on the whale's back"; how its first submarine fought bravely (and lost) in World World I at Gallipoli; what people packed when they sailed to a new life on these shores; why surfboards have become shorter; and more. There are displays, hands-on exhibits, a cinema and the latest museum computer games. Guided tours at no cost.
Live Exhibit Maritime MuseumSydney
Visitors can go aboard the HMAS Vampire, the former Royal Australian Navy destroyer. A guided tour shows how the crew lived, worked and relaxed.
Also on display is Australia II, winner of the 1983 America's Cup; relics of Captain Cook's Endeavour; the famous World War II commando boat Krait; a sleek racing cutter of 1888; a Vietnamese refugee boat that made the hazardous sea voyage to Australia and a pearling lugger from Broome, a far north-western seabord town which is now a booming tourist destination.
Take a train to Town Hall station and walk a few blocks to Darling Harbour; or,
Alternatively, walk across Pyrmont Bridge from the city; or,
Alternatively, catch the monorail from Pitt and Market Streets, to Harbourside station; or, Alternatively, drive to Harbourside car park, Darling Harbour; or, Alternatively, the Sydney Explorer Bus (stop17) or the Rocks-Darling Harbour Tramway Bus both stop there.