Digital Stories

Welcome to Digital Stories

Discover the fascinating stories behind the Australian National Maritime Museum’s rich and diverse collections. Explore stories relating to Australia’s maritime heritage as well as our diverse relationship with the sea and waterways.

The explosion of the MV Neptuna and clouds of smoke from oil storage tanks. In the foreground is HMAS Deloraine, which escaped damage.
Bombing of Darwin

Posted on February 19, 2017

Remembering 75 years since the Bombing of Darwin - the first attack by Japanese forces on the Australian mainland after Australia had officially declared war on Japan in 1941.

Four Aboriginal watercraft from the museum’s collection. IMAGE: ANDREW FROLOWS.
Australia's First Watercraft

Posted on December 15, 2016

From canoes to rafts and rediscovering traditional techniques, explore the history and types of watercraft used by Australia's Indigenous people.

Initial attack on Pearl Harbor. A captured Japanese photograph. Image: USA National Archives.
Pearl Harbor Remembered

Posted on December 08, 2016

It is 75 years since the catastrophic attack which marked the USA's entry into World War II and Australia officially declaring war with Japan. Australian filmmaker Russell Dority recounts his father's first-hand experience of Pearl Harbor.

Sydney’s inverted bow section is illuminated by an ROV during the 2015 survey. Image: WA Museum and Curtin University. Copyright WA Museum.
Into the Abyss

Posted on November 18, 2016

Remembering the naval engagement between HMAS Sydney (II)) and HSK Kormoran seventy-five years on.

Dirk Hartog landing site 1616 at Cape Inscription, Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia. Image: Nicola Bryden / © Copyright Department of the Environment.
A Chance Encounter: Dirk Hartog’s Landing in 1616

Posted on September 19, 2016

Four hundred years ago, Dutch mariner Dirk Hartog (1580–1621) sailed into history when, on 25 October 1616, he made the first documented European landing on the west coast of Australia.

Johnnie and Mehmet. Image: Andrew Frolows / ANMM..
Remembering AE2: Johnnie and Mehmet

Posted on August 19, 2016

'Johnnie and Mehmet', is a striking sculpture which commemorates the engagement between WW1 Royal Australian Navy submarine HMAS AE2 and Turkish torpedo boat Sultanhisar.

Captain William Fowler. ANMM Collection: ANMS1397[007].
An Australian Sailor in the Spanish Civil War

Posted on August 02, 2016

William Fowler was an Australian merchant sailor who found himself caught up in the Spanish Civil War, running blockades and rescuing refugees from the Basque region.

The Payne family chronometer.
Longitude: A Story Comes Full Circle

Posted on May 05, 2016

Explore the history of how the measurement of time and distance developed - from tracking the sun to Einstein conceiving his the theory of relativity.

Windjammer Sailors

Posted on April 27, 2016

The story behind the museum's life-sized bronze sculpture remembering the adventurous Windjammer sailors of the 1930s.