SIMS Discovery Centre : Discover the marine world at our doorstep

The historic sandstone mine labs at the foreshore of Chowder Bay are the perfect backdrop for the SIMS Discovery Centre, which has been more than a year in the making! The two historic rooms have been fitted out with a series of interactive and engaging displays that showcase what SIMS is all about – research of the marine, coastal and estuarine environment. The impacts of human activities on our coasts and oceans are at the heart of much of SIMS’ research and the new centre.

The entry room is a celebration of Sydney Harbour, showcasing the astonishing diversity of marine life, habitats and ecosystems we have at our doorstep. Highlights of this exhibit are a 3-d model of the harbour, which shows the harbour’s complex shape and topography of the seafloor, and a virtual dive using 3-d virtual reality goggles. The virtual dive was specially designed for SIMS and aims to immerse visitors into the thriving world of a local kelp forest, which is one of the most prominent and ecologically important habitats in marine and estuarine environments.

“Leaving the harbour” – the second room leads visitors onto the open coast. The main themes explored here are the East Australian Current, the main boundary current along the east coast of Australia, and the impacts of climate change on this current system and coastal ecosystems. Exhibits in this room tell the story of individual scientists and their research projects. Gorgeously designed digital displays invite visitors to explore the stories behind the research and learn about topics such as coastal erosion, coral bleaching, toxic algal blooms and eddies to name just a few.  Scientists of the NSW Department of Primary Industries have also contributed to the display with a series of fascinating stories on the management of fisheries in a changing climate.

SIMS would be  delighted to welcome your students to its new centre, which offers something for everyone; physical models to touch, colourful images to enjoy, a virtual dive and modern touch screens to delve deeper into the research presented.

A visit to the centre can be a stand alone program or can be included as pat of a more comprehensive workshop. Please contact SIMS’ education Staff  at,au to discuss the options available.

A minimum of 15 students and maximum of  30 applies for this workshop.


Sydney Institute of Marine Science-4500

Sydney Institute of Marine Science-4504