Historic Diving Places of Interest

Historic Diving Places of Interest

Australian Capital Territory

Australian War Memorial

Address:  Treloar Cr, Canberra, ACT

Website: https://www.awm.gov.au/

Telephone: +61 2 6243 4211

Opening Hours: Daily 10 – 5.  Closed Christmas Day

Description:  Diving helmet from German ship Emden.  Japanese midget sub that attacked Sydney Harbour.  Info on George Cross winners from RMS and much much more.  Allow a whole day if you can.

New South Wales

Australian National Maritime Museum

Address: 2 Murray St, Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW

Website: http://www.anmm.gov.au/

Telephone: +61 2 9298 3777

Opening Hours: Daily 9:30 – 5, extended to 6 in January. Closed Christmas Day

Description: Have standard dress jake & items incl Heinke & SG helmets.  Ron Taylor collection including items from making of movie Jaws.  A destroyer, a submarine, a pearling lugger and the Krait from Operation Jaywick.  Displays are changed frequently.  Check for what is on display.

Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum

Address: Regatta Ave, Ballina NSW

Website: http://ballinamaritimemuseum.org.au/

Telephone: +61 2 6681 1002

Opening Hours: 7 Days 9am – 4pm

Description: Displays include: navigation, communication, fishing, local history, women in the navy, fate of the HMAS Sydney I, submarines and significant events in maritime history.

Bottom of the Harbour Antiques

Address: At Hermitage Road Antiques, 712 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320

Website: http://www.bottomoftheharbour.com/

Telephone: +61 2  6574 7333

Opening Hours: Call to confirm

Description: A wide variety of maritime antiques for sale including diving helmets.  Due to size limits not all items are in the shop.  Best to ring first.

Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre

Address: 11 Terrigal Drive, Terrigal, NSW

Website: http://www.ccmdc.org.au/

Telephone: ‘+61 2 4385 5027

Opening Hours: Weekends and school holidays, 10 -4

Description: Dis­plays of local marine life, envi­ron­ments and history, “Touch pool” where you can meet the rock pool residents, “Sea Star The­atre” audio-visual.  Siebe Gorman helmet and pump.

Chinderah Antiques and Museum of the Sea

Address: Cnr Chinderah Bay Rd & Waugh St, Chinderah, NSW, 2444


Telephone: (02) 6674 0099

Opening Hours:

Description: Several diving helmets and some other gear among an extensive collection of maritime and other antiques. The helmets are part of the museum collection and are not for sale.

Chowder Bay / Naval Fuel Installation

Address: Chowder Bay Rd, Chowder Bay, NSW

Opening Hours: The area around the buildings is accessible at any time.

Description: The area consists of a number of historic navy buildings.  Now repurposed for commercial use.  WWII RAN standard dress diver training location.

Clarence River Historical Society

Address: Schaeffer House, 190 Fitzroy Street, Grafton, NSW, 2460

Website: http://www.clarencehistory.org.au

Telephone: +61 2 6642 5212

Opening Hours: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday

Description: Local history museum with the diving equipment used on the water supply which was piped under the river.  Includes Siebe Gorman 12 bolt helmet, dress, shoes, weights, communications box and 3 cylinder single diver pump.

HMAS Penguin

Address: Middle Head Rd, Balmoral, NSW

Website: http://www.navy.gov.au/establishments/hmas-penguin


Opening Hours: HMAS Penguin is an operational navy base and the public is not admitted.

Description: Among other things the base is the training centre for RAN Clearance Divers.  It houses a museum of RAN diving equipment.

HMAS Waterhen

Address: Waverton

Website: http://www.navy.gov.au/establishments/hmas-waterhen


Opening Hours: HMAS Waterhen is an operational navy base and the public is not admitted.

Description: HMAS Waterhen is the home for the RANs minesweepers and Clearance Diving Team 1 among other things.

Jervis Bay Maritime Museum and Gallery

Address: 11 Dent Street, Huskisson, NSW, 2540

Website: http://www.jervisbaymaritimemuseum.asn.au/

Telephone: +61 2 4441 5675

Opening Hours: Daily 10 -4

Description: Maritime Museum with other cultural content. Local History, Aboriginal culture, a very fine Surveyor’s Gallery with instruments dating from the 15th century. Along with the Jervis Bay Museum of Science and the Sea.

Mid North Coast Maritime Museum

Address: Pilot Cottages, 6 William Street, Port Macquarie, NSW, 2444

Website: https://portmacquariemaritime.org.au/

Telephone: (02) 6583 1866

Opening Hours: Daily, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Sunday

Description: Siebe Gorman 12 Bolt 3 Light helmet from Torres Strait Islands similar to one used in the area for oyster farming.  2 cylinder 2 diver pump possibly Heinke.  To be identified.

RAN Heritage Centre

Address: Garden Island, Sydney, NSW (take the ferry from Circular Quay)

Website: https://www.navy.gov.au/ran-heritage-centre


Opening Hours: Daily, 9:30am to 3:30pm, except for Australia Day, Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day

Description: Admiralty pattern jake, pump & comms box.  CDBA. Part of one of the Japanese midget subs that attacked Sydney.

Torpedo Firing Range / Clearance Divers School

Address: Taylors Point, Pittwater



Opening Hours: The Clearance Diving school is an operational navy base and the public is not admitted.

Description: The torpedo firing range is on the public waterway of Pittwater.

Northern Territory


Address:  19 Conacher Street, The Gardens, Darwin NT

Website: http://www.magnt.net.au/

Telephone: +61 8 8999 8264

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm; Weekends and Public Holidays: 10:00am – 5:00pm.  Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday

Description:  General museum with collections covering natural history, art and material including diving equipment.  The museum possesses a fantastic collection of old and unusual diving equipment, only a little of which is on display.


Marineland Melanesia

Address:  Green Island, Cairns, Qld

Website: http://www.marinelandgreenisland.com.au/aboutus/

Telephone: +61 7 4051 4032

Opening Hours: Daily (boat trip required)

Description:  Live crocodiles, including the largest in captivity, Melanesian artefacts, aquarium and collection of diving equipment from pearling in the Torres Strait including Siebe Gorman and Heinke helmets, pumps, shoes and more.  Owned by the family of one of our members.

Maritime Museum of Townsville

Address:  42 – 68 Palmer St, South Townsville, Queensland 4810

Website: http://www.townsvillemaritimemuseum.org.au/

Telephone: +61 7 4721 5251

Opening Hours: Daily 10 – 3

Description:  Displays include a history of the port through a large photographic collection, the Bay Rock Light House, wooden boats, naval boat models and a couple of diving helmets, pumps and associated diving equipment.

Museum of Tropical Queeensland

Address:  70 -102 Flinders Street, Townsville

Website: http://www.mtq.qm.qld.gov.au/

Telephone: +61 7 4726 0600

Opening Hours: 9:30am to 5:00pm daily.  Open from 1pm on Anzac Day, 25 April.  Christmas Day, Good Friday.

Description:  A general museum including a significant display of artefacts from the HMS Pandora.  This museum also houses the Langley Collection.  A large collection of diving equipment, primarily helmets, including some unique helmets.  Some of this can be seen online at their website.

Queensland Maritime Museum

Address:  412 Stanley St, South Brisbane, QLD

Website: http://maritimemuseum.com.au/

Telephone: +61 7 3844 5361

Opening Hours:

Description:  The Museum holds collections under the broad headings of Navigation, Lighthouses, Ship Models, Marine Engines, Vessels, and the Dry Dock.  This includes a pearling lugger and standard dress diving display.

Seawalker (Helmet Walk)

Address:  Green Island, Cairns, Qld

Website: http://www.seawalker.com.au

Telephone: +61 407 581 096

Opening Hours: Daily (boat trip required)

Description:  Walk the bottom of the sea in a Seawalker helmet.  No experience necessary.

South Australia

South Australian Maritime Museum

Address:  126 Lipson Street, Port Adelaide, South Australia 5015

Website:  http://maritime.history.sa.gov.au/

Telephone: +61 8 8207 6255

Opening Hours: Daily 10 – 5.  Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.



Low Head Maritime Museum

Address:  399 Low Head Road, Low Head, Tasmania, 7253

Website: http://museum.lowhead.com/index.html

Telephone: +61 3 6382 1143

Opening Hours: 10:00 to 16:00 daily except Christmas Day

Description:  Museum has a diving suit, helmet, pump and associated items.

Maritime Museum of Tasmania

Address:  16 Argyle Street, Hobart, Tasmania 7000

Website:  http://www.maritimetas.org/

Telephone: + 61 3 6234 1427

Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 17:00 except Christmas Day.

Description: Has a Siebe Gorman jake, pump and associated equipment and information.


Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre

Address:  44 Mostyn Street Castlemaine, Victoria, 3450

Website: http://www.maldoncastlemaine.com.au/castlemaine

Telephone: +61 3 5471 1795

Opening Hours: 7 days 9AM-5PM except Christmas day.

Description:  The diving chamber employed by the 1941 salvage team, which recovered most of the eight tons of gold from the sunken liner RMS NIAGARA off Auckland New Zealand, is on display at the Visitor Information Centre. The three tonne chamber was manufactured by Thompson’s Engineering and Pipe Co. at Castlemaine specifically for the NIAGARA salvage work. The manganese bronze dome was fitted with quartz-glass portholes and capable of withstanding water pressure to 125 fathoms. With a diver sealed inside, breathing through an air purifying respirator, the chamber was lowered from the salvage ship CLAYMORE where the observer directed a grab and special hooks which tore the wrecked ship apart and recovery the gold bars.

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum

Address:  89 Merri Street, Warrnambool, Victoria

Website: http://www.flagstaffhill.com/

Telephone: +61 3 5559 4600

Opening Hours: Daily 9 -5, closed Christmas Day and 25th April till 1 pm

Description:  Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is a maritime museum and outdoor village with Australia’s richest shipwreck collection, all contained in an 1870’s village located on a state heritage listed overlooking Lady Bay. The village provide a glimpse into the maritime lifestyles and trades of the 1870’s era, the peak of Australia’s maritime heritage.  The display includes multiple sets of standard dress.

Gippsland Regional Maritime Museum

Address:  Port Albert, Victoria

Website: http://yarrampa.customer.netspace.net.au/pamm.html

Telephone: +61 3 5183 2520

Opening Hours: 1 September – 31 May, open daily 10 – 4; 1 June – 31 August, weekends, public holidays and school holidays, 10 -4

Description:  A general maritime museum with exhibits including lighthouses, navigation & communication and shipwrecks.

HMAS Castlemaine Museum

Address:  Gem Pier, Williamstown, Victoria

Website: http://hmascastlemaine.org.au/

Telephone: +61 3 9397 2363

Opening Hours: Weekends & public holidays 10 – 4

Description:  The Bathurst class corvette, HMAS Castlemaine, houses the museum.  It includes one full set of Siebe Gorman diving gear.


Address:  26 Smithton Grove, Ocean Grove, Victoria

Website: http://www.kyo.net.au/

Telephone: +61  3 5255 2444

Opening Hours: Fri-Sun 10-5

Description:  This is a large Asian and Moroccan antiques store, which also serves the wholesale market. They generally have several TOA diving helmets and other Japanese diving equipment for sale.

Museum of HMAS Cerberus

Address:  HMAS Cerberus Naval Base, Nelson Rd Crib Point, Victoria, 3920 (Approx. 70 kms south of Melbourne)

Website: http://www.navy.gov.au/history/museums/museum-hmas-cerberus

Telephone: +61 3 5931 5678

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday by appointment ONLY.  Closed between mid-December to mid-January.

Description:  The Museum of HMAS Cerberus opened in 1980. The collection has grown from its humble beginning to now be one of the largest of Royal Australian Naval memorabilia. In 2005 the collection came under the umbrella of the Naval Heritage Centre and in a short time has seen many changes, taking on a more modern approach, but still managing to keep the old style charm that has made the “CRADLE OF THE NAVY” collection unique. The primary theme for the displays is centered around HMAS Cerberus the premier training establishment of the Royal Australian Navy, with the secondary theme to the Victorian and Colonial Navies. RAN divers were initially trained at this establishment during WW1, before the RAN diving school moved to Sydney. The museum’s archives and library are extensive and continue to grow through the generosity of ex-naval personnel and their families.

Polly Woodside Museum

Address:  South Wharf, Melbourne, Victoria (next to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre)

Website: http://www.pollywoodside.com.au/

Telephone: +61  3 9656 9804

Opening Hours: Sat – Sun 10 – 4

Description:  This museum is the tallship Polly Woodside.

Port Campbell Information Centre

Address:  26 Morris St, Port Campbell, Victoria

Website: http://visit12apostles.com.au/

Telephone: 1300 137 255

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9 – 5

Description:  Artefacts from local wrecks including the Loch Ard, Schomberg, Fiji, Falls of Halladale and Newfield.

Portland Maritime Discovery Centre

Address:  Lee Breakwater Rd, Portland, Victoria

Website: https://www.glenelg.vic.gov.au/Portland_Maritime_Discovery_Centre

Telephone: 1800 035 567

Opening Hours: 1 September – 31 May, open daily 10 – 4; 1 June – 31 August, weekends, public holidays and school holidays, 10 -4

Description:  The museum documents Portland’s rich maritime history from the arrival of the first European settlers, the Henty brothers, in 1834.  Centrepiece of the museum is the 1858 Portland lifeboat, one of the oldest surviving shore-based lifeboats in Australia. It served at Portland from 1858 to 1915, and in 1859 it was used to rescue the 19 remaining survivors from the famous and tragic grounding of the steamer “Admella” near Cape Banks in South Australia.  The display includes standard dress diving equipment.

Queenscliffe Lifeboat Museum

Address:  Wharf Street, Queenscliffe, Victoria

Website: http://www.maritimequeenscliffe.org.au/

Telephone: +61 3 5258 3440

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10:30-4:30 Sat-Sun 1:30-4:30

Description:  Early Siebe Gorman pump and helmet (full Jake), vintage scuba, wreck artifacts, ship models, lifeboats and nautical items, and a gift shop. Displays are inside, with a village outside in the rear.

Seaworks Maritime Discovery Centre

Address:  82 Nelson Place, Williamstown, Victoria

Website: http://seaworks.com.au/

Telephone: +61 429 017 737

Opening Hours: Friday – Sunday, 11 am to 3 pm

Description:  Museum displays include a rare Gill Bros pump, Siebe Gorman helmet, dress and diving shoes, Porpoise 1st & 2nd stage, Kirby Morgan band mask, ship models, bells, diving equipment, navigation instruments, photos, prints and paintings.

Victoria Dock

Address:  Off Footscray Rd & Docklands Highway, Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria

Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Dock_(Melbourne)


Opening Hours: 9:00am -5:00pm

Description:  Built between 1887 & 1892 it is the oldest and largest surviving single dock in the world. (Ref Wikipedia) Has murals of standard dress divers.

Western Australia


Address:  Broome, WA

Website: http://www.visitbroome.com.au/


Opening Hours:

Description:  For a diver with interest in the History of Hard Hat diving this town is a wonderland.  From the Historical Society Museum through to the display of luggers and dive displays in Dampier Terrace and a tour of the Willy Creek pearl farm this old town is a treasure trove of diving history.  Pearling lugger, Heinke jake, pumps, Miller Dunn Style 2, boots.

Broome Museum

Address:  67 Robinson St, Broome, WA

Website: http://www.broomemuseum.org.au

Telephone: +61 8 9192 2075

Opening Hours: June – September, Mon – Fri, 10 – 4, Sat – Sun, 10 -1; October – May, Daily, 10 – 1

Description:  The museum covers the Pearling Industry, Domestic life in Broome, Cyclones, Meat Works Industry, Aboriginal artefacts, Norwest Echo printing press, telecommunications, Broome’s One day War.

Coolgardie Museum (Visitor Centre)

Address:  Bayley Street, Coolgardie  WA  6429

Website: http://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/wa-goldfields/dangerous-life/miraculous-rescue

Telephone: +61 8 9026 6090

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri, 8:30 – 12:30 & 1 – 4; Sat – Sun 10 – 3

Description:  PLEASE NOTE THE WEB ADDRESS PROVIDES INFORMATION ON THE RESCUE ONLY.  DO NOT USE FOR CONTACT DETAILS.  The Coolgardie Museum has a display including the diving dress used to rescue Modesto Varischetti, a miner, trapped underground and underwater in 1907.

Pearl Luggers

Address:  31 Dampier Terrace, Broome, WA

Website: http://www.pearlluggers.com.au/

Telephone: +61 8 9192 0022

Opening Hours: 

Description:  A private museum dedicated to the pearling industry. Has 2 restored pearl luggers and a wide variety of diving gear.

Western Australian Museum - Maritime

Address:  Victoria Quay, Freemantle, WA

Website: http://museum.wa.gov.au/museums/maritime/

Telephone: 1300 134 081

Opening Hours:  Daily 9:30 – 5, 25th April 13:00 – 5, Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Good Friday

Description:  Perched on the Indian Ocean’s shore, the Western Australian Maritime Museum is symbolic of Fremantle’s past, present and future as a coastal city and port.  The Museum houses several unique galleries that explore WA’s relationship with the sea. From leisure boats and handcrafted sailing boats to commercial pearl luggers, the Museum inspires visitors to discover WA’s affinity with the ocean.  The Museum is home to the winning America’s Cup yacht, Australia II, an Oberon class submarine — HMAS Ovens, Jon Sanders’ Parry Endeavour and many other iconic vessels from WA’s maritime history.

Western Australian Museum – Shipwreck Galleries

Address:  Cliff St, Fremantle, WA

Website: http://museum.wa.gov.au/museums/shipwrecks

Telephone: 1300 134 081

Opening Hours: Open 0930 – 1700hrs 7 days a week.  Closed some major public holidays

Description:  The Western Australian Museum — Shipwreck Galleries is recognised as the foremost maritime archaeology museum in the southern hemisphere.  The Museum is housed in 1850s-era Commissariat building and has since been restored to its historic glory. Steeped in history, the galleries house hundreds of relics from ships wrecked along WA’s treacherous coastline, including the original timbers from the Batavia (wrecked in 1629), the de Vlamingh plate, and also countless artefacts from the Dutch shipwrecks Zuytdorp, Zeewijk and Vergulde Draeck.