Standing tall, alongside some of Darwin's best sweeping views of the Arafura Sea is the Maritime Gallery. Completed in 1992 the building, named in honour of MAGNT's inaugural director, Colin Jack-Hinton, is home to a permanent display of 23 individual watercraft from across the Indo-Pacific.
One of the most outstanding Indonesian boats on display is a rare perahu padewakang, built using traditional methods by a boat building community in south-east Sulawesi in 1988 for the Australian bicentennial. This was the type of vessel that Indonesian fishers and traders known as the Macassans used to sail the Timor and Arafura seas to reach northern Australia during the 18th and 19th centuries in search of trepang, turtle shell and other marine products.
Alas, the caustic bite of salt spray over the years had taken its toll on the gallery leading to a major project to upgrade the building's windows and the ocean-facing wall. The watercraft on display have had a good pampering too!
Brighter than ever, the upgrade is now complete and ready to connect visitors to magnificent ocean views and to the stories of the people who have traversed it.
Be sure to make the Maritime Gallery a part of your next visit, and discover the incredible wealth of regional maritime history for which it is home.
Many thanks to the Northern Territory Government who funded the upgrade through the Capital Works Program.