Study the extensive collection of maritime artifacts and records to learn about two centuries of harbor activity in this scenic portside museum.
The Maritime Centre is a charming museum that sheds light on the history of Newcastle, its port and the Hunter River. The exhibits are housed in a quaint wharf building overlooking the harbor. Get involved with the interactive exhibits that bring the story of the harbor to life.
Chat with the museum’s friendly docents for personal tales and extra facts. Consider how the port has shaped the city’s past and present. Admire the impressive restored Victoria lifeboat that pays tribute to those who performed rescue operations off the coast of Newcastle.
The museum has a film called Wrecks and Rescues that shows the perilous nature of maritime navigation in the 19th and 20th centuries. See the disturbing footage and photo montage of the tempestuous wrecks of the MV Sygna and the Pasha Bulker.
Admire the various marine artifacts from the last two centuries. Pick out your favorites from the models of vessels that line the walls. These include small replicas of the Sophia Jane from 1826, the MV Princess of Tasmania of 1958 and the 1929 Orient Liner “Orontes,” which is the largest model in the museum.
Bring your kids to Captain Crumb’s Pirate School, which runs fun activities to keep children entertained. The Maritime Centre also has an exhibit dedicated to the immigrants who arrived by ship and helped to shape the city’s commerce and culture. Gaze up at the Welcome Wall, which records immigrant arrivals.
Note that the museum first opened in 1972. It has become a popular spot for art exhibitions, weddings and social gatherings. There is a fee to enter. Use available discounts for children and families. The site is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from morning until afternoon.
The Maritime Centre is on the southern bank of the Hunter River in the heart of Newcastle. It is a little east of the harbor at Throsby Creek. Visit other sights here, such as Newcastle Museum, the Civic Theatre and Newcastle City Hall.