WA Shipwrecks Museum

During our visit to Fremantle, we embarked on a quest to find pirate treasure at the WA Shipwrecks Museum, conveniently located within walking distance of Fremantle Harbour. While admission to the museum is free, a donation of a gold coin is appreciated.

The WA Shipwrecks Museum is recognised as the foremost maritime archaeology museum in the southern hemisphere. The Museum is housed in a 1850’s-era Commissariat building which has been beautifully restored to its historic glory.

WA Museum Shipwreck Galleries


The WA Shipwrecks Museum houses hundreds of relics from ships wrecked along WA’s coastline. The centrepiece is the Batavia Gallery which houses the reconstructed remains of the ship Batavia, one of WA’s most famous shipwrecks.

WA Museum Shipwreck Galleries

The room is impressive, with an elevated viewing deck that allows you to gaze down upon the stern of the Batavia and truly grasp the magnitude and scale of the wreck.

WA Museum Shipwreck Galleries

There is a small area for younger children upstairs in the viewing gallery where they can read books and play with puzzles.

The WA Shipwrecks Museum, unlike the WA Museum and the WA Maritime Museum, does not offer interactive exhibits specifically designed for preschool-aged children. Nevertheless, children can still enjoy themselves by immersing themselves in the experience of a pirate adventure.

We searched out pirate treasure – the Dutch Wrecks Gallery was an excellent area for all things treasure related as there is a huge display of coins, lace, pottery and maps recovered from the Dutch shipwrecks.

WA Shipwrecks Museum WA Shipwrecks Museum
We got up close and personal with lots of cannons.

WA Shipwrecks Museum
And the girls were very interested in the skeleton on display in the Batavia Gallery, which once belonged to one of the people murdered on the Abrolhos Islands.

The museum also features several miniature replicas of pirate ships that are sure to delight children.

There is a small shop at the entrance of the museum that sells various sea-related items.

We spent around an hour at the WA Shipwrecks Museum and really enjoyed our visit. During the school holidays, the Museum puts on special low-cost activities which are great fun and worth going along to.

Opening times

Open daily: 9.30am – 5.00pm
Open ANZAC Day 1.00pm – 5.00pm

Closed: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday


WA Shipwrecks Museum,
Cliff Street,
Fremantle, Western Australia, 6160

Phone number

(08) 9431 8469

Find out more museum.wa.gov.au/museums/shipwrecks

Find more things to do in Fremantle

Find more museums in WA

About Jennie McNichol

After spending 11 years in London working in the television industry for the BBC, Jennie McNichol made the move to Perth in 2010. As the Co-Founder and Editor of Buggybuddys, she has been able to use her experience and passion for helping families to create a trusted online resource for parents across Perth.
Jennie is the proud mother of two daughters, aged 14 & 12 and is a big advocate of the family-friendly lifestyle that Perth has to offer.

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  1. […] Submarine tours are available for adults and children aged 5 and over. Just down the road, the Shipwreck Galleries are also well worth checking out.      Another gem is the Aviation Heritage Museum […]

  2. […] you’re looking to make it a whole day out, why not also consider a visit to the WA Shipwrecks Museum, also in Fremantle. If you’re minding grandchildren, this also has school holiday activities […]

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