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General News, Youth

Take a walk on the wild side these school holidays at the Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum 4 mins read

The Australian National Maritime Museum is unleashing its wild side these school holidays, with an array of creative activities, hands-on workshops, and thrilling performances inspired by the new Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

Get up close and personal with the Sharks of Sydney Harbour with Erth Theatre’s unmissable new performance experience, star in your own wildlife documentary in a TV Presenting Workshop, become the next Wildlife Photographer of the Year in our Cockatoo Island Photography Workshop, encounter fantastical creatures in our Fintastic Friday program, or participate in many of our other exciting exhibitions, trails, workshops, and encounters.

See the full school holiday program below.


GURUWIN: Sharks of Sydney Harbour by ERTH Theatre - Plunge into the mysterious underwater world of the sharks of Sydney harbour in GURUWIN, an unmissable new experience by world-renowned visual theatre makers and puppeteers ERTH Visual and Physical Inc. Encounter bull sharks, grey nurses and the majestic great white. Come face to face with an array of enchanting sea life that has existed from deep within our prehistoric past to the rich biodiversity that now calls Sydney Harbour home.Presented as a live poetic documentary, GURUWIN’s exquisite puppets will enchant and delight, challenging you to reconsider our own role in protecting these much-maligned magnificent creatures.

Dates: 22-23 June, 29-30 June, 17 – 21 July
Times: 10:30am-3:30pm (40-minute sessions)
Ages: Recommended ages 4+
Booking: Bookings essential
Price: $20 general admission OR $12 add-on with See It All Ticket

Additional information: See our Sensory Friendly Sharks for our relaxed performances of this work – designed for visitors on the Autism spectrum, visitors with a range of sensory sensitivities and differing abilities.


CREATIVE WORKSHOP: Reporting Live in the Wild - Create and star in your own imaginative TV segments inspired by our Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Learn to drive an underwater drone and capture unique underwater footage. Learn clever techniques in green-screen, scripting, directing, acting and filmmaking as you produce your own creative digital stories.

Dates: 17-18 July
Times: 10:00am – 4:00pm (2-day course)
Ages: Suitable for ages 8 – 14    
Booking: Bookings essential

Price: $165pp

CREATIVE WORKSHOPS: Cockatoo Island Photography Adventure - Ferry out to the spectacular shipyards of Cockatoo Island for an adventurous photography workshop. Build skills in using digital SLR cameras and learn photo editing techniques. Have your photos printed and exhibited in a special exhibition at the museum. This course is held in partnership with Spitting Image Photography and the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.
Dates: 9 + 11 July
Times: 10:00am – 4:00pm (1 day course)
Ages: Suitable for ages 8 – 14
Booking: Bookings essential
Price: $100pp
Additional information: All equipment is provided.


Kids on Deck: Wild Wonders - Be inspired by wondrous wildlife as you enjoy art making and experiments with your family. Create your own cute-as wild critter pom poms, decorate a wondrous whale mobile, weave a ghost net jellyfish sculpture, or recycle bottlecaps into new usable creations like bubble wands and carabiners with our plastic recycling machine. Join in some bubbly experiments, explore the microscopic marvels of the plankton world, or dress up as your favourite aquatic creature.
Dates: Daily during school holidays
Times: 10:30am – 4:00pm (drop-in sessions)
Ages: Suitable for ages 4 – 14 yrs and accompanying adults/ parents/carers
Booking: No booking required
Price: Entry included with paid admission.


Fintastic Fridays – Fridays in the July school holidays are an opportunity to come to the museum in costume to see the Underwater World of Valerie Taylor, meet and enjoy photo opportunities with our real-life mermaid and shark-suit character, enjoy beautiful colouring activities designed by Valerie Taylor, and get your face painted or your flippers tattooed with your favourite underwater designs.
Dates: Fridays during school holidays
Times: 11:00am – 2:00pm (drop-in sessions)
Ages: Suitable for all ages
Booking: No booking required
Price: Free entry


Cabinet of Curiosities: Saltwater Stories – Explore wonderful and curious indigenous art and scientific artefacts and tools in this hands-on discovery device in our galleries.

Dates: Daily during school holidays
Times: 2:00-3:00pm
Ages: Suitable for all ages
Booking: No booking required
Price: Free entry


Ocean Health Lab: Exhibition and drop-in program - The Seabin Ocean Health Lab is the first of its kind in the world, Seabin scientists analyse marine debris – from macroplastics to tiny nurdles, sucked from the sea by the 30 Seabins stationed around Sydney Harbour. Dive deep into the stories behind the data and learn about what we can do to turn the tide on marine pollution.
FREE for all visitors
Dates: Weekdays between 15–26 April
Times: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Ages: Suitable for visitors 5 and above
Booking: No bookings required, check tour times and activities on the day of your visit.


Underwater Drones: Open Age Workshop - Explore below the surface of the harbour like an ocean superhero with our newest underwater drones. Have fun testing your gaming skills by challenging family and friends to see who’s the best U-Drone Pilot. Underwater drone sessions include a private workshop with our ocean-science educators and access to amazing underwater footage highlights to keep and share. 
Dates: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays during school holidays
Times: 12pm, 12:45pm, 1:30pm, 2:15pm, 3pm
Ages: Suitable for ages 8+
Booking: No booking required
Price: $30 general admission


Sneaky Sharks Activity Trail – Follow the trail to spot elusive elasmobranchs in the museum galleries. Uncover splendid shark-related objects and stories as you learn fin-tastic fun facts about everyone’s favourite big fish. Complete the trail to receive your prize.  

Dates: Daily during school holidays
Times: 10:00-4:00pm
Ages: Suitable for all ages
Booking: No booking required
Price: Free entry


Mini Mariners Program – Every Tuesday + selected Saturdays each month. Explore the galleries, sing, and dance in interactive tours with costumed guides. Enjoy creative free play, craft, games, and story time in our themed activity area. The theme for July’s Mini Mariners program is Alphabet Animals, where kids can take a journey through the zoo-phonic alphabet of all things furry, feathered and finned as we spot amazing animal specimens and objects in the museum. Enjoy touch tours with creature specimens, movement, songs, games, craft, and free play in our themed activity space.  Make your own animal puppet or block-printed hat to take home.   

Dates: Tuesdays 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and Saturdays 20, 27 April
Times: 10:30am – 11:15am and 11:30am – 12:15pm
Ages: Suitable for carers with children aged 2 – 5
Booking: Bookings essential
Prices: $12 child/adult. Booked playgroups welcome.


Sensory Friendly Sundays Access Program - Enjoy a comfortable environment for kids and adults with a variety of sensory differences. On Sensory-Friendly Sundays our new exhibitions and activity areas will be open extra early for a quieter experience and modified to suit people on the Autism spectrum and with a range of differing abilities. Our trained staff and volunteers will be on hand to facilitate creative activities.

Dates: 21 July 
Times: 8:30am – 11:30am
Ages: for all ages and abilities

Booking: Pre-booking encouraged

Prices: $12 child/adult. Children under 4 free.

Additional information: Minimum height 90cm for entry to Action Stations and vessels.



For images: 2024 Winter Program


For media enquiries please contact:

Alex Gonzalez                                e:                               m: 0401 545 778


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