Port of Melbourne Tour

Back in February we took one of the free boat tours around the port, run by Port of Melbourne, …. these were running once a month out of both Victoria Harbour at the Docklands, and Gem Pier at Williamstown.

We chose the tour from Gem Pier because driving to Williamstown is a pleasant drive and parking options aren’t too onerous (as compared to the nightmare of navigating the docklands and paying exorbitant parking fees)
I didn’t think to take a pic of the boat that did the tour, but it was VERY nice.  Not a tug or old rust bucket like I was expecting… but a large, comfortable, very well staffed private vessel that the Port of Melbourne pay to do these tours.
It was a really, really warm morning – we were on the 11am tour.. and sitting at front in open (best spots for photographs) some fellow passengers started wilting and moved inside.. which allowed us to move a bit closer to the front.. we were wilting too.. but stoic!  wanted those pics.. and knew once she started moving the breeze would make it about 10 degrees cooler up front.. which was the case…
Webb Dock Port of Melbourne

Webb Dock Port of Melbourne

The Williamstown tour takes you to Webb Dock…seeing those big container ships and the cranes operating moving the containers around was amazing…Those ships and containers are HUGE.. and to watch the cranes move them around like dominoes was a highlight.
Webb Dock Port of Melbourne

Webb Dock Port of Melbourne

Webb Dock Port of Melbourne

Webb Dock Port of Melbourne

After the cruise ended we took a walk around the HMAS Castlemaine..She’s a mine sweeper permanently berthed at Gem Pier.  Admission was $6 per adult or $15 for a family..It was an interesting learning experience to wander around the ship, the volunteers who staff her advised to go down the stairs backwards… and I can tell you few hail marys were said when we looked at them and descended.. and we’re not catholics!  Steps were about as wide as 3″ plank and went down at about a 70 degree angle!
 HMS Castlemaine

HMS Castlemaine

The engine room required about three lots of take your life in your hands stairs.. but was worth the trip down… loved the old dials and machinery..they had it runing  and it was all rising and dropping up and down…
Engine Room HMS Castlemaine

Engine Room HMS Castlemaine

 We had the 10 yr old greatneice with us.. always great value for a laugh..ahhh to be born before video cassettes (not that she knows what they are).. “whats this room she asks” .. “the radio room” say we… “where’s the radio”.. “that big thing on the desk!” Captains cabin… “why does he get such a good room”… “cause he’s the Captain!”  … “Whats that thing on the desk?”  .. “a telephone”… “but where are the buttons”… ” no buttons.. you stick your finger in and dial it to the right side and let go”… “but how do you walk around with it?”… “youdont… at least no further than the cord into the wall reaches!” .. Ididnt take a pic but you should have seen us explaining a typewriter LOL.. “how do you make the font bigger”.. ” youdont!” “how do you know what you are writing”.. “you put apeice of paper in”.. LOL..

Captains Cabin, HMS Castlemaine

Captains Cabin, HMS Castlemaine

Highly recommend both the Port of Melbourne tour and the HMAS Castlemaine.. and take a kid with you… love watching them spin out and get their head around things that happened before they were born.. Like round shouldered fridges.. but that’s a whole other story)
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