Queenscliffe Maritime Museum


Escape for a short while into Queenscliff’s fascinating past

The ship wrecks, the rescues and lifeboat, and the Sea Pilots who continue to bring ships safely through the Rip and into Port

You will experience all of this and much more at the Queenscliffe Maritime Museum


The Museum is open 7 days per week.  Click here for details of Opening Times, Admission Prices and Tour Bookings

Our address is Wharf Street, Queenscliff, Victoria (Melways Reference 499-H9)   

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The lifeblood of the Museum is our loyal volunteers.  If you have some time to spare and would like to help preserve our nautical history we would love to hear from you.  To find out more about our volunteers and how you can become involved please contact us.

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Maritime Museum Membership gives free entry to the Museum, voting powers at all General Meetings, quarterly newsletter and discount on items from the gift shop.  If you are interested in membership, please complete and forward us the membership form.


What's on at the Museum

Maritime festivals and special events are highlighted in our Events Calendar and include these annual events:



  • Maritime Weekend (including the Couta Boat Regatta) -  27-29 March 2015

  • International Lighthouse Weekend - 2015 dates to be announced

  • Annual Maritime & Collectables Market - Collectables and Treasures of all kinds - 2015 dates to be announced

  • HMAS Goorangai Commemoration Service - (held each year on the Sunday nearest to November 20) check for 2015 dates


Museum Exhibits

Exhibits depict the maritime history of Queenscliff and Southern Port Phillip, wrecks, lifeboats, rescues, early diving equipment, artefacts from shipwrecks, lighthouse display, and historic charts and maps of Port Phillip and the coastline of Victoria.  In the Boatshed stories of the Queenscliff Couta Boat and local boat builders are told.

Lifeboat Queenscliffe - initially the Museum was formed to preserve the last Queenscliff lifeboat which was in service between 1926 and 1976.  The lifeboat forms the core of the Museum collection.


The Museum is responsible for the preservation of many historic shipping and fishing-related items. 

In the grounds are:

  • heritage listed Fishermen's Waiting Shed

  • an original Fisherman's Cottage

  • the buried remains of the torpedo boat HMVS Lonsdale from Victoria's Navy

  • the Deckhouse of the Shandon

  • anchors

  • beacons

  • buoys

  • propellers

and much much more.

New Exhibits

Lifeboat Queenscliffe display panel

The history of the lifeboat is illustrated in a new panel which fills the central wall of the Museum, alongside the restored Queenscliffe.  View the panel on the Lifeboat page.

HMVS Lonsdale interpretive panel

A new display is mounted over the hulk location in the Museum grounds - for details click here.

Port Phillip Steamer trade

The steamer display has been upgraded and includes some new items.  View the Steamer page

HMAS Goorangai & MV Duntroon

A new model of HMAS Goorangai has recently arrived at the Museum, to complement the model of MV Duntroon, on loan from Museum Victoria.  The models are at the scale of 1:48.  The Goorangai model was made by local model maker Malcolm Gibson and was funded by donations from community organisations and individuals.  More information here HMAS Goorangai .

Sea Kayak Display

We now have three sea kayaks on display - go to the Sea Kayak section for details.


Published 4 times a year the Newsletter tells of coming events, stories, new acquisitions and features from the collection.  Museum members receive a copy as part of the annual subscription and contributions to the Newsletter are welcome.  The latest issue is June 2014 available here.

Nautical Gift Shop

Books, posters and gifts with a nautical theme


The Museum offers a range of services to the community, schools, groups and researchers.

Group and School Tours - of the Museum and Point Lonsdale Lighthouse are conducted by prior arrangement at times to suit your group.  The Museum is a disability friendly venue.

Educational Resources for schools - download educational project sheets for school use. Children's Couta Boat books, Defiance goes to Sea and Defiance to the Rescue

Library - an integral part of the Museum is an extensive maritime research library and reading room.

Research - we can assist with research into aspects of the maritime history of Southern Port Phillip and of Queenscliff.  Request for Information Forms can be downloaded from our Library page.

Click here for Site MapMuseum Departments

Page last updated 26/11/2014