Being one big island means our history is inextricably linked to the ocean that surrounds us. The delightfully quirky seaside museums dotted around our coastline are a fabulous way to add a bit of variety to your holiday routine of swimming, sunbathing and swimming again (and a great wet-weather option).

Examples include Portland, Victoria’s first colonial settlement, where the kids will love riding the vintage tram along the waterfront before stepping inside the ribcage of a sperm whale at the Maritime Discovery Centre. At Albany, WA, you can delve into navy history at the Princess Royal Fortress and check out Whale World, Australia’s last operating whaling station-turned-interactive museum.

At the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village at Warrnambool, Victoria, a night-time laser show brings to life the tragic story of the Loch Ard disaster; or, while not maritime-related, check out Ripley’s Believe It Or Not at Surfer’s Paradise, a museum of oddities with something to intrigue everyone.

The details

Whale World, Frenchman Bay Road, Albany, WA. 08 9844 4021;

Maritime Discovery Centre, Lee Breakwater Road, Portland, Vic. 03 5523 2671;

Princess Royal Fortress, Forts Rd, Albany, WA; 08 9841 9369;

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, 89 Merri Street, Warrnambool, Vic; 03 5559 4600;

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