Deep Light: Illuminating the Wrecks of Sydney and Kormoran

Sat 26 Oct 2019Sun 23 Aug 2020


Museum of the Goldfields

The World War Two encounter between HMAS Sydney (II) and the disguised German raider HSK Kormoran off the Western Australian coast stands as Australia’s worst naval disaster. 81 men from Kormoran were killed and 318 survived. All 645 men on Sydney were lost.

For more than 66 years, the location of the two ships remained a mystery. Then, in 2008, the Finding Sydney Foundation and shipwreck expert David Mearns found the wrecks off Shark Bay.

In 2015, the WA Museum and Curtin University, with vital assistance from DOF Subsea, the Commonwealth Government and other supporters, returned to the wreck sites. Using remotely controlled equipment, the team captured stunning underwater images that revealed the fate of the ships on the seabed, over two kilometres beneath the waves.

In this poignant exhibition, remarkable images and footage allow us to witness a tragic moment in World War Two history, preserved in a remote world of solemn loss, wondrous creatures and surprising colour.

Visitors will hear reflections from expedition team members and researchers and have the unique opportunity to view the 3D film From Great Depths, a permanent experience at Museum of Geraldton.

Deep Light is on at Museum of the Goldfields until Sunday 23 August .

A free exhibition.


Deep Light is available for education group bookings during school term.

Learning resources to support the exhibition are also available.

Education Groups & Deep Light Learning Resources


Images courtesy of Curtin University and the Western Australian Museum.
© Western Australian Museum