The port of Newcastle has been one of Australia’s most important shipping ports since the beginning of European settlement. The city’s maritime history is reflected in the Newcastle Maritime Centre’s diverse collection, built over the past forty years through aquisitions from other museums, industry, local families and individuals. Each display is built around a theme comprising the collection items, documentation and audio-visual media. In addition to our static displays, there are “hands-on” exhibits which provide an interactive, enjoyable and practical learning experience for visitors.
From The Small…
Our collection includes small items such as personal property salvaged from the many shipwrecks buried off Newcastle’s treacherous coast. Each of these objects gives tribute to the ocean’s victims through their stories, each investigated and documented by our team of researchers.
…To The Big
The impressive dimensions of the historic lifeboat “Victoria” partition the “Wrecks And Rescues” Theatre. This large wooden “unsinkable” lifeboat was involved in numerous rescues a century ago. Opposite the lifeboat stands the Rocket wagon, a desperate “last resort” used when rough seas prevented the launch of “Victoria”. This mobile platform was used to launch line-carrying rockets across to floundering ships. If all went well a rope was then secured between ship and shore, allowing crew and passengers to be transferred one-by-one to safety over the tops of the waves.