April 28 WA Maritime Museum (Day 214)

We joined my nephew and family on an outing to Fremantle on the Indian Ocean coast to visit the Western Australia (WA) Maritime Museum. Perth, we’ve discovered, is inland, on the Swan River that empties into the Indian Ocean at Fremantle, and about a 45 minute drive from where we’re staying south and east of Perth proper. We enjoyed walking around the touristic section of Fremantle on our way from the parking garage to the Museum, admiring the colonial buildings.

The venue where Joey (my nephew) and his wife Candice had their wedding reception, after marrying in the Fremantle Prison, way back during Covid!

Fremantle has the distinction of being founded in 1829 as a “free settlement” populated by people who migrated by choice. Colonial life was very hard and the land proved very poor for the agriculture these settlers were accustomed to. By 1849 it was obvious that the colony needed help and it was officially announced that the colony had been ‘constituted a penal settlement’ to accelerate economic growth. In 1868 the convict transport ship Hougoumont docked at the port of Fremantle with 269 convicts, the last of over 9000 convicts transported to Fremantle, and the last convict transport to Australia, ending 80 continuous years of shipping convicts from the UK to Australia! Fremantle Prison operated as a prison until 1991! A timeline can be seen HERE.

We continued to the port and The Maritime Museum to see a temporary exhibit about James Cameron, the filmmaker who brought us “Titanic”, and his work as a deep sea explorer. “James Cameron – Challenging the Deep” was very interesting, with 2 perspectives. One perspective was through the making of the movie and the use in the movie of real video footage of the real Titanic wreckage.

The costumes of ‘Rose’ and ‘Jack’ from the movie are on display, more photogenic than the small suitcase sized rovers that traveled around the interior of the real Titanic wreckage.

The second perspective was more about the design, engineering and manufacture of the deep sea rovers and manned submersibles that James Cameron is involved with in pursuit of his passion for deep sea exploration.

A model of the manned submersible Cameron has used in deep sea exploration.

There are many other exhibits to peruse, all with a maritime theme of course!

top left; The Leeuwin Tall Ship docked outside the museum.
top right; A small fishing boat confiscated from Indonesian fishermen in 1980 for fishing in restricted waters off Australia’s north coast.
bottom right; The Parry Endeavour, a sloop piloted by Jon Sanders on his triple lone circumnavigation of the world in under 2 years, 1986 to ’88, to and from Fremantle!
bottom left; A recreation of cargo that passes through the port of Fremantle. Live sheep, scared and traumatized by live shipment. There is ongoing controversy of the practice!

We finished off our visit to Fremantle with lunch and a trip to the park for slides and swings! Then home for a beautiful sunset view!

The view over Perth from our Airbnb porch. The city lights twinkle after dark!


Leave a Reply