Regional museum which focuses on the preservation, collection, and interpretation of the maritime heritage of southern Port Phillip and Queenscliff. Museum activities include guided tours of the Museum Collection, and pre-arranged tours into Point Lonsdale Lightstation (offered by arrangement with Port of Melbourne Corporation). Regular public program of events includes Queenscliff Maritime Weekend, Maritime and Collectables Market, and International Lighthouse Weekend at Point Lonsdale.
Queenscliffe Maritime Museum Collection (1980)
This collection is housed in the Queenscliffe Maritime Museum, located on the waterfront at Queenscliff. The collection aims to preserve and document the history and heritage of the Southern Port Phillip area; the dangers, wrecks, rescues and people who made its history. The centre-piece of the collection is the lifeboat Queenscliffe. Of British Watson Class design, she was built in Adelaide and commenced service at Queenscliff in 1926. She was taken out of service by the Marine Board of Victoria in 1976. Another significant item is the hulk of Torpedo Boat HMVS Lonsdale, which is buried in the Museum grounds. Other highlights include a fisherman's cottage (1879), the Fishermen's Waiting Shed painted with ships entering Port Phillip Bay (1895-1947), and lighthouse equipment. The collection incorporates materials highlighting the dangers of "The Rip" (the dangerous entry to Port Phillip). Extensive archival materials including charts, maps, and other documents relating to Port Phillip and adjacent waters (dating from the commencement of European settlement), photographs and paintings. These archives are housed in a purpose built repository, which was added to the Museum in 2005. The collection is supported by a library of research and reference materials on maritime heritage. In 2020, the retired pilot vessel Mavis III was donated to the museum by the Port Phillip Sea Pilots. It now stands proud in the grounds of the Queenscliffe Maritime Museum.
Themes: Connecting Victorians by transport and communications, Building community life