I must admit that The Western Australian Maritime Museum wasn’t on our original Fremantle itinerary, but when we spotted we quickly detoured and went inside. We were quickly rewarded for our spontaneity.
The Fremantles Maritime Museum houses a number of exhibits which explore Western Australia’s long relationship with the sea. We were lucky to visit on the second Tuesday of the month when entry is a simple gold coin donation.
If you have started traveling with kids you will know as well as me that pouring over carefully curated exhibits is no longer possible. My own kidlets don’t have the patience yet so on this visit I did miss reading some of the historical log books and looking at the old maps for more than a moment. We did spend a lot of time in the shipwreck gallery which fascinated us all on different levels. That’s the great thing about travelling with kids these days, we get to pay a lot of attention to exhibits that I probably would have passed quickly before I was a parent.
The Shipwreck Galleries are recognized as the foremost maritime archaeology exhibit in the southern hemisphere. It houses numerous relics from ships wrecked along Western Australia’s treacherous coast including the original timbers from the Batavia (wrecked in 1629), the de Vlamingh plate, and also countless artefacts from the Dutch shipwrecks Zuytdorp, Zeewijk and Vergulde Draeck. There’s even a skeleton which Master R investigated for well over 20 minutes. Morbid? No. We haven’t taught him to be scared of those that have passed and his curiosity led him to investigate and learn.
The Western Australian Maritime Museum is open every day from 9.30 am until 5.00 pm closing for public holidays. On the second Tuesday of every month there is entry to the Western Australian Maritime Museum by gold coin donation. Otherwise you are looking at $22.00-35.00 per family depending on which exhibits you wish to see. Bare in mind that for safety reasons, children under the age of five are not permitted to participate on the submarine tour. (which ruled us out!).
Psst….looking for a souvenir? On your way out, ask the staff at the gift store if they have any replica coins. We were able to grab the last one in on our visit, but they did say more were on the way.