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The Queenscliffe Maritime Museum


Learn More About Us

The Queenscliffe Maritime Museum has developed since the last Queenscliff lifeboat was offered to the Borough of Queenscliffe for care and display. A committee was formed at a public meeting on March 13 1980 to investigate how the lifeboat could be preserved.

This led to the formation of the Queenscliffe Lifeboat Preservation Society Incorporated which oversaw the early stages of restoration of the vessel and the establishment of the Maritime museum which opened in 1986 to display the lifeboat.

The Museum has since expanded to cover the maritime history of Queenscliff, Southern Port Phillip and the Bass Strait interface. In 1998 the name was changed to the Queenscliffe Maritime Museum to better reflect the ever expanding collection.

Over the ensuing years a boatshed has been built to house exhibits and provide workshop space. Artefacts continue to be added to the Collection, donated by individuals, families, collectors and companies.

NOTE:  The two spellings of Queenscliffe are historically based:

'Queenscliff' refers to the town

'Queenscliffe' refers to the Borough which includes Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale.


Make A Donation?

The Queenscliffe Maritime Museum is a 'not-for-profit' organisation and we do rely on public donations and external assistance to help us with the operation of the Museum. 
Donations are ALWAYS welcome!


(The Museum is wheelchair friendly with level entry and internal ramps.)

*Click headings below for more information;


Archival Repository

A purpose built archival repository was added to the Museum in July 2006. This stand-alone building is temperature and humidity controlled to house works on paper such as charts, maps, photographs, paintings plus some other artefacts which require controlled atmosphere storage. The collection is of charts and other documents relating to Port Phillip and adjacent waters and date from the commencement of European settlement.
The thousands of items in the Repository will take time to catalogue, but will eventually be accessible to maritime researchers, through the Museum Research Service.
The repository is included on the register of 'Community Places of Deposit' by the Victorian Public Records Office

Committee Of Management

The museum is an incorporated body governed by a committee of management. The committee is elected by museum members.


President: John Barrett
Vice President: Colin White
Secretary: Neville Barwick
Assistant to the Secretary: Jennifer Edwick
Treasurer: John Burgess
Committee Members: Val Lawrence, Robert Styles, Martin Warneke, Les Irving-Dusting, John Barry
Borough of Queenscliffe representative: to be advised
Librarian: Tony Cavanagh
Co-ordinators: Colin White (Infrastucture & Maintenance), To Be advised (Conservation & Display), Neville Barwick (Lighthouse & Education), Les Irving-Dusting (Senior Historian), To be advised (Library & Archival)


Museum operations are funded from visitor entrance fees and memberships, donations and shop sales. Fundraising activities raise additional funds. Submissions for funding for specific projects are made to State and Commonwealth government agencies and philanthropic bodies.
Maintenance of the museum building is supported in part by the Borough of Queenscliffe. Restoration and maintenance of the collection is undertaken by volunteers with donated materials.


The continuation and growth of the museum is reliant on donations of funds and artefacts.
The museum is registered by the Australian Taxation Office as a tax-deductible recipient. Donations of over $2 are tax deductible. Receipts are issued for each donation.
The Museum welcomes donations of artefacts relevant to the collection, which focuses on the maritime history of Queenscliffe, southern Port Phillip and the Bass Strait interface.

Museum Amenities

  • Disability access and toilets
  • Parking for coaches, cars and caravans
  • Walking distance from ferry terminal
  • 5 minutes from the Bellarine Peninsula Tourist Railway
  • Only a short walk to Fort Queenscliff, the shopping centre and cafes


Queenscliffe Maritime Museum is MAP Accredited and is a member of:

  • Australian National Maritime Museum
  • Museums Australia
  • Maritime Museums of Victoria
  • Lighthouses of Australia
  • Shiplovers Society