CSIRO research vessel (RV) Investigator arrives in Darwin today for its first visit to the city. The public are being given a rare opportunity to tour the ship during an open day on board tomorrow.

Investigator is an advanced ocean research vessel capable of operating from ice edge to equator, taking teams of up to 60 scientists and crew on voyages lasting up to 60 days and 10,000 nautical miles (18,520km).

Designed as a high-tech floating laboratory, the 94-metre ship carries an impressive array of scientific equipment to allow the study of Australia’s vast marine environment from the deep ocean to the atmosphere high above.

The ship arrives in Darwin following a 10-day voyage from Brisbane which saw a range of marine research carried out, including seafloor mapping and water sampling along the Great Barrier Reef and a camera survey of seafloor habitats in a marine park off the NT coast.

Systems on board Investigator can map the seafloor at any depth, measure biomass of marine life in the ocean, and collect weather data from up to 20km into the atmosphere in a 150km radius around the ship.

The ship can also deploy equipment to collect rocks and marine life from abyssal depths and has a range of specialised laboratories onboard plus space to accommodate up to 13 containerised laboratories.

This really is the Swiss army knife of research vessels!

While Investigator hasn’t visited Darwin previously, the ship made headlines when it discovered the 74-year-old wreck of SS Macumba in NT waters during a voyage around the Top End in 2017.

The ship will operate out of Darwin for the next three months, conducting marine and atmospheric research along the northern Australian coastline for the Bureau of Meteorology and other research institutions.

The public open day gives visitors the opportunity to discover not just the scientific capabilities of Investigator but also find out what life at sea is like for the scientists and crew on board.

With 10 internal decks, and everything from a gym and laundry room to conference facilities and a hospital, there’s a lot to discover! Tours will be self-guided but scientists, technicians and crew will be along the tour route to answer questions and talk about their work.

Investigator will be docked at Fort Hill Wharf and will be open to the public from 2-6 pm on Tuesday 15 October. The event is free and bookings are not required.

Please note that all visitors to the ship must wear sensible, enclosed footwear and children must be at least eight years old. Visitors should review other requirements for visiting the ship before attending this event.

Please read the Visitor information and requirements

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