WA Shipwrecks Museum Education


As part of a nationally consistent approach, all cultural and art institutions in Western Australia are closed in the interests of public safety in response to COVID-19. This includes the WA Maritime Museum, WA Shipwrecks Museum, Museum of the Goldfields, Museum of the Great Southern, Museum of Geraldton and Gwoonwardu Mia.

More Information.


Prepare your students for an unforgettable excursion in Fremantle!

Closely linked with the Western Australian school curriculum, the Museum's education programs are filled with hands-on discovery and fascinating historical tales.

At the WA Shipwrecks Museum, students will uncover local history filled with exploration, disaster, mutiny, and survival, trace the extraordinary voyages of spice traders, and learn about the race to discover the Great Southland.

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, call 1300 134 081.

Join our education mailing list to receive information about our latest programs and special educational events.

Sign Me Up!

Facilitated Education Programs

These programs are led by the WA Museum's Education staff.

Sessions are available Monday to Friday. Costs apply and bookings are essential. 

For any assistance call 1300 134 081.

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.

de Vlamingh's Journey: Exploring the Evidence (Year 4)

Willem de Vlamingh's ships, with black swans, at the entrance to the Swan River.

Willem de Vlamingh's ships, with black swans, at the entrance to the Swan River, Western Australia, coloured engraving (1796), derived from an earlier drawing (now lost)

Year Group: Year 4
Availability: Monday to Friday during term
Sessions: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm. Bookings Essential
Cost: $180 per session
Duration: 120 minutes (approx)
Maximum students: 32 per session
Supervision ratio: minimum 1 adult to 10 students (1 to 6 preferred)
Curriculum links: First Contacts: ACHASSK084

Travel back through the centuries to the height of the Dutch spice trade era.

Join the fleet of Willem de Vlamingh as he explores the coast of the ‘Southland’, searching for lost ships, making maps, collecting natural specimens, and leaving behind what became one of the most famous objects in the Shipwrecks Museum’s collection. This interactive experience will give students the chance to handle plenty of authentic props before they explore the Museum to examine the real historical evidence of this journey.

de Vlamingh’s Journey: Exploring the Evidence is a new two-part, 120 minute, curriculum-linked package that immerses your students throughout our galleries and in a separate activity room that has been specifically developed for school groups. 

Students participating in this program will:

  • Learn about the important missions that Willem de Vlamingh was tasked with for his journey to the Southland (Western Australia).
  • Participate in engaging role-play activities which highlight the challenges and achievements of exploration in the 17th Century.
  • Recreate some of the exchanges of goods and ideas that took place in the Age of Exploration.
  • Discover whether contact was made with the local Aboriginal people and discuss the implications of ‘first contacts’.

Find out more about de Vlamingh's Journey Exploring the Evidence

Strangers on the Shore (Year 5)

Year Group: Year 5
Availability: Monday to Friday during term
Sessions: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm. Bookings Essential
Cost: $180 per session
Duration: 120 minutes (approx)
Maximum students: 32 per session
Supervision ratio: minimum 1 adult to 10 students (1 to 6  preferred)
Curriculum links: The Australian Colonies: ACHASSK106, ACHASSK107, ACHASSK110

Relive the experience of the Swan River Colony's first European settlers.

Learn about the challenges that new colonial arrivals faced trying to establish secure shelter and food. Consider survival, priorities, and planning as students build a makeshift shelter where the first colonial camp might have been. Reflect on the impact their arrival had on the local environment and the Aboriginal peoples who have lived here for tens of thousands of years.

Students participating in this program will:

  • Walk down to the beach close to where some of the early colonial settlers arrived.
  • View some native coastal plants used by Noongar people.
  • Build a mock tent as part of a simulated ‘fresh arrival’ experience.
  • Examine some clothing, objects and food available to early colonial settlers.
  • Reflect on the impact of European arrival on the traditional way of life of Wadjuk Noongar people.

Find out more about Strangers on the Shore

Temporary Exhibition Programs

Every year the WA Shipwrecks 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.

Deep Light: Illuminating the Wrecks of Sydney and Kormoran

Deep Light: Illuminating the Wrecks of Sydney and Kormoran

Deep Light: Illuminating the Wrecks of Sydney and Kormoran
Image copyright WA Museum 

Dates: 9 May - 2 June and 11 June - 29 November 2020
Location: WA Shipwrecks Museum, Fremantle
Duration: 45 minute self-guided viewing sessions
Cost: Free
Bookings: Advanced Booking & Payment Essential
Curriculum Links: History, Science

The exhibition will be closed from Tuesday 2 June to Wednesday 10 June inclusive.

The World War Two encounter between HMAS Sydney (II) and the disguised German raider HSK Kormoran off the Western Australian coast stands as Australia’s worst naval disaster. 81 men from Kormoran were killed and 318 survived. All 645 men on Sydney were lost.

For more than 66 years, the location of the two ships remained a mystery. Then, in 2008, the Finding Sydney Foundation and shipwreck expert David Mearns found the wrecks off Shark Bay.

In 2015, the WA Museum and Curtin University, with vital assistance from DOF Subsea, the Commonwealth Government and other supporters, returned to the wreck sites. Using remotely controlled equipment, the team captured stunning underwater images that revealed the fate of the ships on the seabed, over two kilometres beneath the waves.

In this poignant exhibition, remarkable images and footage allow us to witness this tragic moment in World War Two history, preserved in a remote world of solemn loss, wondrous creatures and surprising colour.

Deep Light Learning Resources

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 walking trail A Trek Through Time.

Information about our permanent galleries can be found here.


A Trek Through Time

A Trek Through Time (Years 4 - 6)

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 about 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:

Exploration and Discovery - PDF [1.94MB]

Exploration and Discovery with Answers - PDF [1.95MB]

A is for Artefact - PDF [978KB]

Object Analysis - PDF [1.04MB]

Teachable Moments - PDF [980KB]

    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.

    Drop-off and pick-up bays are available at the end of Marine Terrace, next to Esplanade Park. Please contact the City of Fremantle regarding long term bus parking.