WA Maritime Museum Education

Prepare your students for an unforgettable excursion at the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle!

Your students will explore our rich maritime heritage, ocean-centric culture and how our coastline has shaped what it means to be Western Australian.

Closely linked with the Western Australian school curriculum, the Museum's education programs are filled with hands-on discovery and fascinating historical tales that only the State’s museums can offer.

At WA Maritime Museum, students can investigate the impact of immigration, imagine sailing around the world alone, or go on a guided tour to explore high sea adventures or our cold war era submarine, HMAS Ovens. Our team can also arrange an excursion to one of the exciting temporary exhibitions throughout the year—there's always something new!

There are three ways of visiting the WA Maritime Museum with education groups:

  1. Facilitated Education Programs

  2. Temporary Exhibition Programs

  3. Self-guided visits

For any help, don't hesitate to call our team on 1300 134 081.

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Student looking at an object in Maritime Museum

Facilitated Education Programs

These programs are led by the WA Maritime Museum's Education staff or Volunteer Submarine Guides.

Costs apply and bookings are essential. Sessions are subject to availability. 

Please refer to the resource pages for mre details and for any assistance call 1300 134 081.

Bookings need to be made 14 days before the date of your visit.

Please note that if you cancel your booking for our facilitated activities within 14 days of your visit, you will be required to pay the full cost of the excursion. Changes to dates and times are subject to availability.

Immigration Stories (Year 6) 

Stephen and Family leaving England

In 1968, Stephen and his family stood on the deck of the Fairstar waving and throwing streamers as they bade farewell to England.
Image courtesy Stephen Anstey

Availability: Monday to Thursday during term
Sessions: 2 per day at 10am (other time options are available)
Cost: $180 per session
Duration: 120 minutes (approx)
Arrival: from 9.30am to allow for morning break
Maximum students: 32 per session
Supervision ratio: minimum 1 adult to 10 students (1 to 6 preferred)
Curriculum links: Historical knowledge and understanding; Historical skills.

The WA Maritime Museum is the perfect location to bring Year 6 students as a stimulus to explore the stories of people who migrated to Australia. The Museum is located on Victoria Quay in historic Fremantle where many people disembarked ships to start the Australian part of their migration story.

Immigration Stories is a new two-part 120 minute curriculum-linked package that immerses your students throughout our galleries. It assists teachers of Year 6 students with the following HASS focus questions:

  • Why did they migrate to Australia and what were their stories and challenges? (ACHASSK136)
  • How did they contribute to Australian society? (ACHASSK137)

Find out More and Book Immigration Stories

Submarine Tours (Years 4 - 12*)

Image of Fremantle Harbour with Maritime Museum in background

Time: Multiple sessions a day. Bookings essential
Duration: 1 hour (approx.)
Curriculum links: Historical Knowledge and Understanding; Historical Skills

Find out what life is like aboard a submarine and immerse yourself in Fremantle's secret wartime history.

The Oberon class Submarine HMAS Ovens is an authentic Cold War-era vessel. This exhibit serves as a living memorial to submariners and those who gave their lives during Australia’s Naval history.

*Special conditions apply for entry.

Find out More and How to Book Submarine Tours

Under the Dome Films

Caption: Under the Dome

Time: Multiple sessions a day. Bookings essential
Duration: 25 minutes (approx.)
Curriculum links: HASS, Science

WA Museum has partnered with Fremantle documentary company, Prospero Productions, to bring you an immersive cinema experience… Under the Dome at WA Maritime Museum.

Enjoy documentary films throughout the year in this unique, boutique, 22-seat, 180° curved dome cinema with 5.1 surround sound.

Recline and relax in the plush seats and let WA Maritime Museum transport you to other worlds through films specially created for this dome experience, by a local team dedicated to showcasing the wonder of our state and sharing our stories.

Find out More and How to Book Under the Dome

Temporary Exhibition Programs

Every year the WA Maritime Museum hosts and exciting range of temporary exhibitions.

Most visits to the temporary exhibitions are self-guided. Costs may apply and bookings are essential.

Please book by calling 1300 134 081.

Ancient Rome: Epic Innovators and Engineers

Ancient Rome: Epic Innovators and Engineers

Ancient Rome: Epic Innovators and Engineers
Image copyright WA Museum 

Dates: Term 4: 7-19 Dec 2019, Term 1: 3 Feb - 9 Apr 2020
Location: WA Maritime Museum, Victoria Quay, Fremantle
Duration: 60 minute self-guided viewing sessions
Cost: $7.50 per student and supervising adult
Bookings: Advanced Booking & Payment Essential
Curriculum Links: History, Physics

Travel back in time and discover the determination, machines and genius that carved the great Roman Empire.

Ancient Rome: Epic Innovators and Engineers is an exhibition featuring carefully reconstructed replica machines that reflect one of the most technologically significant times in the human history.

Ancient Rome explores this fascinating era, with topics including:

  • Military genius and mighty machines (Caesar’s army, discipline, tactics, war machines, armour, weapons)
  • All roads lead to Rome (measurements, transportation by road and sea, communication)
  • Building Rome (engineering - roads, bridges, buildings, monuments, aqueducts, tools, machines, techniques)
  • Entertainment (gladiators, colosseum, games, art, clothes, timekeeping, Roman life and people)

The Roman Imperial period (52BC – 476AD) was an era of massive construction and large scale technical innovation that brought about unprecedented wellbeing. Your students will be surprised to see how much we inherited from 2,000 years ago—many of the objects, concepts and machines are still part of our contemporary life.

This exhibition includes models, catapults, frescoes, armour, weapons, busts, and much more.

Ancient Rome Learning Resources and Bookings

Container - the box that changed the world

Container - the box that changed the world

Dates: until 14 Apr 2020
Location: WA Maritime Museum, Victoria Quay, Fremantle
Duration: 60 minute self-guided viewing sessions
Cost: Free for booked school groups
Bookings: Advanced Booking Essential
Curriculum Links: HASS, Economics

This free outdoor exhibition will lift the lid on the history and impact of containerisation—visitors can literally ‘step inside the box’ to learn about shipping, ports, cargo, the impact of containerisation on the ocean, the origins of everyday objects and even container architecture.

Container is housed in six colourful 20-foot shipping containers peppered along the port, from outside WA Maritime Museum trailing down to E Shed Markets.

The six containers are:

‘Ship’ - the history of the cargo industry before the invention of the container and the impact of its introduction.

‘Cargo’ - trade, customs, biosecurity and how perishable goods are transported around the world in the cold chain.

‘Port’ - the radical transformation of ports and port cities in Australia and around the world. It also gives visitors a peek behind the scenes at Port Botany, one of Australia’s busiest ports.

‘Ocean’ - the challenges mass shipping poses to our oceans, including lost shipping containers, cargo spills and acoustic pollution, and the current focus on sustainable shipping.

‘Build’ - the quirky and innovative ways containers are used beyond shipping, including ‘small homes’, food trucks, art installations and even swimming pools.

‘Things’ - a glass fronted container with a shop-front style window display demonstrating the origins of everyday objects in our homes.

Book a Self-guided Visit to Container

Container Sponsors

Evolution: Torres Strait Masks

Evolution: Torres Strait Masks

Dates: 16 May - 2 Aug 2020
Location: WA Maritime Museum, Victoria Quay, Fremantle
Duration: 60 minute self-guided viewing sessions
Cost: Free for booked school groups
Bookings: Advanced Booking Essential
Curriculum Links: Aboriginal Culture, Art

Evolution: Torres Strait Masks showcases the rich history of mask making in the Torres Strait Islands (Zenadh Kes), located between Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula and Papua New Guinea.

WA Museum is proud to present this free and fascinating exhibition which takes students on a journey from time immemorial when masks were used in ceremonial rituals throughout the 274 islands that spread across some 48,000 square kilometres.

Evolution is a travelling exhibition from the National Museum of Australia developed in partnership with the Gab Titui Cultural Centre on Waiben (Thursday Island) and assisted by the Australian Government's Visions of Australia program.

Ancient masks—Kuyuku Zamiyak (head piece)—are unique to the world. They possess powers which allow one to channel and connect with another realm and were worn only by recognised spiritual leaders of the highest rank who had the ability to communicate with the ancestors of the spirit world.

Gain special insight into this deeply spiritual practice of mask making revived by eight proud contemporary artists and master craftsmen who want to share this ancient culture and connect us to their spiritual forefathers.

This fascinating exhibition features 12 striking masks, objects and other related cultural materials. Your students will learn about the:

  • Evolution of the mask in Torres Strait Islander culture
  • Reaction of the early maritime explorers to this practice
  • Many cultural protocols inherent in creating a mask
  • Performances and rituals that brought the masks to life
  • Tools, techniques and materials used in mask-making
  • Ways masks influence contemporary art forms today

Book a Self-guided Visit to Evolution

Evolution Sponsors

For Country, For Nation

Tony Albert Coloured Diggers

Image: Tony Albert Coloured Diggers acrylic on canvas. Painted in Sydney, 2013. ART96531.001-004,
Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial

Dates: 15 Aug - 15 Nov 2020
Location: WA Maritime Museum, Victoria Quay, Fremantle
Duration: 60 minute self-guided viewing sessions
Cost: Free for booked school groups
Bookings: Advanced Booking Essential
Curriculum Links: Aboriginal Culture, History

An Australian War Memorial Touring Exhibition

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a long-standing tradition of fighting for Country, and continue to serve with honour among our military forces. They have also worked in ancillary, industry, and other home-front activities, and their communities have been thrust into the front line of theatres of war.

The touring exhibition For Country, for Nation highlights these stories and explores themes of remembrance and tradition through family histories, objects, art, and photographs from across Australia, drawing inspiration from cultural traditions and symbols of warrior’s discipline, knowledge, leadership, and skill.

For Country, for Nation is thematic in structure. Within each theme are stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience during wartime and peace.

The tour of the Exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia and International Art Services Australia.

Book a Self-guided Visit to For Country, For Nation

For Country For Nation Logo Block

Self-guided Education Programs

These activities are free and let you explore the Museum at your own pace.

Places are available Monday to Friday.

Activity resources are available below including the popular precint trail A Trek Through Time.

Information about our permanent galleries can be found here.

Book a Self-guided Excursion to the WA Maritime Museum

A Trek Through Time (Years 4 - 6)

A Trek Through Time

Availability: Monday - Friday during term
Time: 10am, 11am, 1pm & 2pm. Bookings essential.
Duration: 40 min
Maximum group size: Small group activity
Curriculum links: Historical knowledge and understanding; Geography skills.

This fun walking trail between the WA Shipwrecks Museum and the WA Maritime Museum is filled with discovery, while providing historical and geographical knowledge and understanding.

Students participating in this program will:
  • Walk in small groups between the WA Shipwrecks Museum and WA Maritime Museum
  • Imagine what the locations would have been like 200 years ago
  • Visit landmarks along the way such as Bathers Beach, The Roundhose, Whalers Tunnel, CY O’Connor statue
  • Debrief as a group at the WA Maritime Museum or WA Shipwrecks Museum

Find out More and Book A Trek Through Time

Self Guided Student Worksheets

Our self-guided activities encourage students to engage with the whole museum, appreciate its collection in sometimes new or different ways, and consider what different sources of information can reveal.

Before your visit to the museum:

  1. Print off the desired number of worksheets and bring these with you on the day.
  2. Please provide your own clipboards and pencils if you choose to use them.

Upon arrival at the museum:

  1. Divide your class into small groups, each with a parent helper. Ensure parent helpers are briefed on the activity.
  2. Encourage groups to start at different points in the museum to avoid congestion.
  3. Students may need to read information panels as well as look at the objects to complete the tasks.

Back at school:

  1. You may wish to have students share their responses to the worksheets, or conduct further research on their findings.

Available student activity worksheets:

Bits of Boats - PDF [310KB]

Courage - PDF [347KB]

Making Connections - PDF [769KB]

Object Analysis - PDF [1,619KB]

Treasure Hunt - PDF [841KB]

Using the Ocean's Bounty - PDF [929KB]

    Excursion Management Resources

    Excursion Management Plan and Certificate of Currency 2019/20 - PDF [326KB]

    Adult Supervision

    The following supervision ratios are required for all education groups visiting any WA Museum sites.

    • Years K-2, minimum 1 adult to 6 students
    • Years 3-10, minimum 1 adult to 10 students
    • Years 11-12 (Museum only visit) minimum 1 supervisor with the group

    There is a mandatory minimum of 2 supervisors per education supervisory team.

    The responsibility of children remains with the education staff from the visiting school or educational organisation.

    Please ensure that your adult supervisor is aware of their role in regards to the behaviour and safety of your students.


    Transport arrangements are the responsibility of the school.