Cook’s 1770 voyage – 250 years on

Australian National Maritime Museum

Cook’s Voyages is a new online game developed by the Australian National Maritime Museum to engage students with the 250thanniversary. Importantly, the game takes the approach of highlighting a First Nations perspective on player choices as they take command an 18thCentury voyage into the Pacific Ocean, at this stage still unmapped by Europeans.

Players choose from a series of missions, select their crew and stock their vessel (the HMB Enterprise) with all the equipment needed to achieve their goals and return safely to England. Players will need to choose wisely, as the challenges and adventures that await them will stretch the crew and vessel to its limits. If they survive, players will be judged by the British Admiralty and the public on the choices they made along the way, with reputation all important in 18thCentury London society.

For the first time, players can engage with perspectives from both on the shore, as well as from the ship, making this a landmark game that responds to our dynamic understanding of these early interactions between the British and Australia’s First People. If players choose to act responsibly, they can learn language from five different Indigenous nations as they travel up Australia’s East Coast while also taking the opportunity to record the local plants and animals on Country at each location.

The game is designed to challenge students across a series of content areas, as well as engaging them to use and develop key developmental skills.

The Museum has worked closely with specialists Roar Educate in the development of Cook’s Voyages. This new game builds on the lessons from and success of the previous collaboration on ‘The Voyage’, a game that focused on the era of convict transportation. The game links closely to the Australian Curriculum and is designed for classroom use, with the gaming experience designed to last approximately 30 minutes and the opportunity for students to replay the game multiple times to achieve different goals and learning outcomes.

The game is located at

Encounters 2020 Education resources

A new suite of resources hasbeen designed to support teachers and guide students toward a deeper understanding of the dual perspectivesof Cook’s 1770 voyage. The resources are intended for all Australian teachers and students with the goal of reaching lasting benefit and increased knowledge of our shared Australian history.

When engaging with Endeavour’s east coast voyage, students and teachers will be able to learn the truth of our nation’s history from dual perspectives – with an emphasis on the ‘view from the shore’ completing and balancing the ‘view from the ship’. It also provides a platform to discuss the many other encounters that have occurred around the continent over time.

There are resources for ages F-10 and all content is linked to the Australian Curriculum and Australian Professional Teaching Standards.

The resources can be found at

the strange big canoe

A digital artwork, for projection onto the Museum’s iconic roof, has been developed to mark the anniversary.

While the projection will still take place, in recognition of the restrictions on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering the opportunity to view it on the museum website.

The work, the strange big canoe,created with the team from Ample Projects, is based on journal records and Indigenous histories that weave keynotes from HMB Endeavour’svoyage along the east coast into the perspectives of Indigenous communities along the shore and officers and crew on the ship.

From first sightings of land and ship on 19 April 1770 at Tolylwarar in the south east, a place Cook renamed Point Hicks, coastal communities watched as the ship made its way along the coastline – sending smoke signals ahead of it – as its commander Captain Cook watched, recorded and renamed lands from Kamay, Botany Bay to Bedhan Lag in the north on 22 August. There Cook planted the flag, renamed the island Possession Island, and sailed Endeavour north towards the spice islands, its hull full of plants and animals that had been collected.

View the projection at

/Public Release.