Maritime Heritage Services

Maritime Heritage

Maritime archaeological sites are not just shipwrecks they also include land-based activities associated with maritime industry and trade, such as port structures, lighthouses, whaling infrastructure and jetties.

Maritime archaeology covers a diverse range of specialist fields and includes underwater and land-based sites.  Whilst land-based sites can be treated the same as historical heritage sites, underwater archaeology requires a different level of technical expertise. 

Maritime heritage legislation

All maritime heritage on land or in State waters is protected under the Heritage Act 2017. All shipwrecks in Commonwealth waters are protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976. Maritime archaeological sites older than 75 years and land-based archaeological sites older than 50 years are protected regardless of whether they have been previously recorded and registered or not. Although maritime heritage sites are generally associated with the sea, the same techniques and assessments apply to shipwrecks and infrastructure in lakes and rivers.



Contact our maritime specialist staff for advice on maritime heritage sites around the country on 1300 839 325 or


      • Maritime Historic Research
      • Underwater and Land-based Survey and Site Recording
      • Underwater Excavation
      • Significance Assessment


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