Whale-World-in-AlbanyTravellers who enjoy combining the exploration of Australia’s beautiful coastline with the educational teachings of established museums are sure to enjoy a visit to one of the many seaside museums around the country. From a quirky Gold Coast facility that showcases only the weird and wonderful, to a Western Australian heritage precinct that educates visitors about whaling history and the creatures of the sea, there is something to keep both adults and children entertained and intrigued. Read on for five seaside museums located around the country that you can have fun exploring on your next holiday.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium

Located in seaside Surfers Paradise, on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium features hundreds of exhibits that need to be seen to be believed. The Odditorium is open every day and night of the year and is the perfect place for families to visit together. Tourists in every age group can take a self-guided tour through the venue to explore the range of individually-themed galleries. The tour takes a minimum of one hour to complete and entertains travellers with intriguing exhibits, stories, illusions, magic, interactive displays and a movie. The fun includes seeing a piece of Mars Rock from the red planet, checking out the world’s smallest car, walking through the double spinning tunnels (the only ones available in Australia) and discovering cool, rare artefacts in the replica Egyptian tomb. If you choose a hotel on the Gold Coast that’s in the Surfers Paradise region, then Ripley’s is a great attraction to add to your itinerary.

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is situated on the coast in Warrnambool, south-west of Melbourne in Victoria. During the day, tourists to the area can explore this old maritime village and museum that showcases the maritime history of the Great Ocean Road and what’s known as the “Shipwreck Coast”. Over 180 different ships have had tragic ends along the coast, and much of this unfortunate history is retold at Flagstaff Hill. The museum has been built around the heritage-listed Warrnambool Lighthouse that dates back to 1858, and the attraction also houses the largest maritime and shipwreck collection in the state. Travellers to the site get to see the $4 million Loch Ard Peacock, a priceless relic that was salvaged from the Loch Ard wreck from 1878, and can learn about the inner workings of an early immigrant ship at the on-site Gravesend Theatre. At night the Shipwrecked Sound and Laser Show is a must-see. The outdoor multi-media special effects show brings the Loch Ard tragedy to life through a multi-million dollar sound and laser extravaganza that has won an array of Victorian State Tourism Awards, among others.

Whale World in Albany

Situated in the port city of Albany in Western Australia, Whale World was the last operating whaling-station in Australia that has now been turned into an interactive museum. Visitors to this seaside museum will find themselves transported back in time as they explore the site’s audio visual displays, artefacts and whaling history. Professional guides are also on hand to help travellers get the most from the more than 25 exhibits in the venue, one of Western Australia’s most significant tourist attractions. Visitors can take time to study the skeleton displays of many “Giants of the Sea”, as well as watch the world’s first 3D animated film about whales.

Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum in Albany

 While in Albany, travellers should also make time to visit the Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum. Tourists can delve into naval history at this fort that was built back in 1893 as a defence against potential attacks from overseas troops. Visitors can wander through the restored buildings, check out the gun emplacements and admire the views from the fort.

Portland Maritime Discovery Centre

Located in Portland in Victoria, this Maritime Discovery Centre was the first colonial settlement in the state and provides a fun day out for children and adults alike. Kids in particular will love riding the vintage tram that travels along the waterfront, as well as stepping inside the ribcage of a massive sperm whale.

About the Author: Maryann Glass is a history buff, a blogger and a travel writer who loves to spend time exploring the world’s maritime history.