If you can't wait for your ship to come in, the Western Australian Maritime Museum should be your next port of call.

The Western Australian Maritime Museum.

The museum explores Western Australia’s rich maritime history, by hanging an abundance of famous water craft from the ceiling.  You look up at boats, across at boats, and even down at boats.  If you look out the window you'll see working boats in the harbour.  In fact, the museum itself, is designed to look like an over turned boat. Now that's a lot of boats.


The Western Australian Maritime Museum.

It is not uncommon to observe people outside the museum, bending over with their heads between their legs.  Most are confirming that the museum resembles a boat when viewed upside down. We reckon it does, but we’re not going to bend over backwards to prove it. Study this flipped image, and make up your own mind.

This Way Up!

The Parry Endeavour.
Two of the more famous boats on display did their best work far from our shores. Check out the racing yacht “Australia II”. It won the America's Cup from the USA, in 1983. The New York Yacht Club had successfully defended the Cup for 132 years. The yacht’s controversial winged keel is exposed for all those game enough to look. The controversial winged keel of Australia II.
If you’re not game enough to look, you can marvel at the adventure of the “Parry Endeavour”. It was sailed non-stop by skipper Jon Sanders, an amazing three times around the world.  It’s hard to imagine he achieved so much on such a small craft.  You really have to suspend your belief, much like what the museum did with his boat.

If you’re getting sea sick from the boats, or just sick of seeing boats, steady your sea legs at the window.  Behold the HMAS Ovens.  This enormous submarine can be observed on the adjacent slipway, and that’s only because there wasn’t enough rope to hang it from the ceiling.


It's a big one alright, and under the direction of the official tour guide you can climb all over it.  You go up and down ladders, squeeze through tight places, and step over bulkheads.  You’ll hear many old sea yarns about life below the waves.  It takes over an hour to move from one end of the HMAS Ovens to the other.  The old sea yarns add both mystique, and about 30 minutes to the tour.

The HMAS Ovens during an "in" day.
The Torpedo Room. The Generator Room. The Old Sea Yarn Room (Control Room During Operational Service).


The Maritime Museum is not all about boats on ropes.  It examines other important aspects of our maritime heritage.  Find out about the thousands of British and European migrants who entered Australia through the Port of Fremantle.  Perth now enjoys a rich cultural diversity, and the museum pays tribute to our migrants by listing their names on the "Welcome Walls".  Many of these migrants helped to develop our fishing industry, and the museum tells their story through many exciting exhibits. Their influence has enriched our local cuisine.  We now enjoy chips with our fish.

The Welcome Walls.

Cruise ships visiting Fremantle Harbour. 
Take me to the official Fremantle Ports website!

You'll also discover facts about the many different types of cargo that arrive daily in the port. The world's biggest car carriers regularly visit the harbour, to unload their consignments of motor vehicles.
We built a scale model of a Wallenius Wilhelmsen Mark V Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO) car carrier out of lego.  Vessels of this type include the MV Tonsberg, and Tysla which are regular visitors to the Port of Fremantle.  They are 265 metres long, and can carry over 6000 cars. That's about 12 000 Smart Fortwo cars.
Lego RORO Car Carrier - MV Tonsberg.  
Lego MV Tonsberg and Smart Car. RORO Car Carrier enroute to Fremantle. Unloading cars at Fremantle Port.
The Queen Mary 2 entering Fremantle Harbour.

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