“Perched on the Indian Ocean’s shore, the WA Maritime Museum is symbolic of Fremantle’s past, present and future as a coastal city and port.

The Museum houses several unique galleries that explore WA’s relationship with the sea. From leisure boats and handcrafted sailing boats to commercial pearl luggers, the Museum inspires visitors to discover WA’s affinity with the ocean.

The Museum is home to the winning America’s Cup yacht, Australia II, an Oberon class submarine — HMAS Ovens, Jon Sanders’ Parry Endeavour and many other iconic vessels from WA’s maritime history”.

WA Maritime Museum

I visited the Museum with Miss 4 and Miss 2 during the summer school holidays. Although they were a bit too young to enjoy the majority of the exhibits as there are not many things that are interactive for young children, we still got great fun out of our visit.

WA Maritime MuseumWA Maritime Museum
There are 5 themed areas to the WA Maritime Museum.

–          ‘Hooked on Fishing’ which looks how the fishing industry in WA has changed over the years.

–          ‘Swan River’ which details how the landscape of the Swan River has changed throughout the years.

–          ‘Naval Defence’ – explaining the importance of Fremantle and the Royal Australian Navy.

–          ‘Indian Ocean’ exhibit which examines the trade routes that have linked the people of the Indian Ocean.

–          ‘Cargoes’ which looks at what has come through WA’s ports over the years – including people, and what impact this has had on WA.

In the main hall, they have a preserved Megamouth Shark which is one of the world’s rarest sharks. Only 9 specimens have been found in the world and the one on display in the WA Maritime Museum was discovered in Mandurah in 1988.

WA Maritime Museum

Being a Maritime Museum there are lots of boats on display however you can only get onboard one of them which is one of the old ferries that was used on the Swan River. Miss 4 and Miss 2 had a great time pretending to sail the boat.

WA Maritime Museum WA Maritime Museum

The WA Maritime Museum also has a submarine, HMAS Ovens, which you are able to take a guided tour of. The tours leave every half hour (10am – 3.30pm) and bookings are advised.  The guided tours take approximately one hour and reveal intimate details about living and serving aboard the 89-meter long vessel. Quite amazingly, 63 people served aboard the vessel living amongst pumps, controls, sensors, tactical equipment and torpedoes in extremely cramped conditions. The tour is available to children aged 5 plus.  If you wish to take a tour it is recommended that you phone the Maritime Museum from 9.30am on the day of your visit to find out whether they are operating.

WA Maritime Museum

On the top floor of the WA Maritime Museum is a kids corner catering for the younger children. Here you’ll find books, games, toys and a few chairs for you to sit and take a rest whilst watching the children play.

WA Maritime Museum
WA Maritime Museum

In the Foyer area of the WA Maritime Museum is a Caffissimo café which has tables inside and on the deck outside overlooking the ocean. It serves a range of light meals.

Museum cafe opening hours
Monday to Friday: 9.30 – 4.00pm
Saturday: 11.00 – 4.00pm
Sunday: 9.30 – 4.30pm

WA Maritime Museum

We enjoyed our visit to the WA Maritime Museum. It’s a beautifully designed building, lovely and cool on a hot summer’s day and is a nice way to spend an hour or two when visiting Fremantle.

Western Australian Maritime Museum
Victoria Quay, Fremantle,
Phone number (08) 9431 8334     
museum.wa.gov.au/museums/maritime 

Opening times
Open daily: 9.30am – 5.00pm
Open ANZAC Day 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday

Please note: due to heat and wind, submarine tours are not always available during the summer period. Please call ahead to confirm submarine tours are running on the day of your visit.

Admission Prices
Adult tickets are $15 for Museum entry and $15 to tour the Submarine. A combined ticket is $25. Children’s tickets are $7.50 or $13 for combined entry. A family pass allows up to 2 adults and 3 children museum entry for $30.

On the second Tuesday of every month, you can enter the museum by just paying a donation.

Find more places to visit with kids in Perth

Find more things to do in Fremantle

About Jennie McNichol

Jennie McNichol is the co-founder of Buggybuddys. She moved to Perth in 2010 after 11 years of living in London, working in television for the BBC. She is the mother of two daughters aged 9 and 6 and loves the family friendly lifestyle that Perth has to offer.

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