I have lived in Perth since birth but even now, I still find places that amaze me- the tour of the submarine is definitely one of these attractions. As part of my father/daughter day on Sunday, I visited the Leighton Battery Guns as well as the Maritime Museum in Fremantle.
My dad has been wanting to go on the Submarine tour for a long time now but every time he goes to the museum, the tours are always booked out. However, Sunday was our lucky day- we were fortunate enough to squeeze our way in to the 3pm tour. A tour of the museum and the submarine will set you back $16. There’s a Caffissimo (cafe) and gift shop in the front foyer of the museum to keep you occupied as well. Great food and service at the cafe and a wonderful collection of handmade goods at the gift shop all at a reasonable price as well.
The museum itself is inviting, the displays are modern, well preserved and items are described simply so you can actually understand what they are without needing to phone a friend or google it (or in my case, harass my dad!). You can even hop aboard one of the boats on the middle level of the museum and pretend to be a captain if you wish. There are lots of photo opportunities. I found how much fun it is to act like a tourist- even if it’s visiting a place that’s in your hometown.
After our leisurely stroll through the museum, it was time for the submarine tour. The tour groups are small- only 10 people per tour. Before walking out to the submarine, the tour guide gathers everyone up to see if everyone can handle being huddled together without turning a shade of white or fainting. There are confined spaces on the submarine so if you’re claustrophobic, it may not be your cup of tea, or coffee or any beverage.
Our volunteer tour guide was Colin, a submariner for 28 years and he was fantastic! He made everyone laugh, let us take photos and gave us an insight to life on a submarine. It wasn’t graphic but it makes you appreciate how challenging life on board a working submarine could be at times. The tour goes for approximately 1 hour- we ran over time due to photo opportunities and questions- a fact that Colin was very excited about.
On board the ‘Oberon’ HMAS Ovens (named after a character in Shakespeares’ play) submarine, you get to see how it was- it hasn’t been cleaned up to look brand new, it has been maintained and shows character.