The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has a proud heritage of serving Australia since 1911. At the Navy’s Museums and Heritage Learning Centres, visitors can learn about the rich history and hear the stories of Navy’s people. Some items can also be viewed through the RAN Heritage Collection on eHive.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum

Conducting air operations from a warship on an unforgiving ocean is far more hazardous than landing at an aerodrome. Since 1948, the Royal Australian Navy's Fleet Air Arm has provided naval air capability for the Australian fleet. The Fleet Air Arm Museum (FAAM) rests on the lands of the Wandi Wandanian people of the Yuin nation, and tells the story of Australian naval aviation.

One of the largest regional aviation museums in Australia, FAAM holds over 30 aircraft from the early twentieth century through to the modern era. Along with a collection of technology, models, clothing, personal memorabilia and audio-visual displays, the museum tells the fascinating stories of members who have served Australia in the Fleet Air Arm.

Designed to resemble an aircraft hangar, the museum overlooks the runaway at HMAS Albatross, the Navy’s largest operational naval establishment and only air station.

The museum has a main exhibition hall and two art galleries, as well as an archive for researchers.

Opening hours

Friday to Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm

Public holidays, 10 am – 4 pm

NSW school holidays, Tuesday to Sunday 10 am – 4 pm

Closed Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December) and New Year’s Day (1 January)

Group bookings

Group bookings are available Monday to Thursday for Defence, Defence-allied groups, schools and tertiary education providers. To book, email faam.admin@defence.gov.au.

Admission and accessibility

Admission is free. Families are welcome, and children must be accompanied by an adult.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum supports full access to those with disabilities and registered assistance animals, with lift access to the second floor and wheelchairs available.

Heritage and Learning Centres

An understanding of sea power and Australia’s naval history is paramount to the professional education of Navy’s sailors. The RAN Heritage and Learning Centres (HLCs) support major training establishments and fleet bases across the country.

The Heritage and Learning Centres are not open to the general public. Access for school and tertiary education providers can be arranged; please email navy.history@defence.gov.au, detailing location, group type, and contact phone number. Bookings are required at least 2 weeks in advance and capacity is limited. Security requirements for visitors will be provided.

HMAS Cerberus (Crib Point, VIC)

The centre features a large naval heritage collection of artefacts, photographs and memorabilia dating back to the pre-Federation Victorian Navy, and throughout the history of the Royal Australian Navy.

HMAS Creswell (Jervis Bay, NSW)

The centre describes the history of the Royal Australian Naval College and its graduates. The museum also contains an extensive archive of records relating to the naval presence at Jervis Bay over the last 100 years.

HMAS Kuttabul (Potts Point, NSW)

The centre is located in one of the oldest buildings on Garden Island, Sydney (Fleet Base East), explores the history of Navy in Sydney from the 1800s to the present day.

HMAS Stirling (Rockingham, WA)

The centre describes the history of naval events for HMAS Stirling (Fleet Base West) and the west coast of Australia.

Accessibility

Heritage and learning centres are all in ground floor locations. Please expect rough pathways and uneven ground and flooring. Care should be taken at all times while on the base.