PROPERTY SIX

Much loved lady in well-earned repose

HMAS Castlemaine was constructed during World War II, one of 36 corvettes initially manned and commissioned solely by the Royal Australian Navy. It is now berthed in Gem Pier and is a popular tourist attraction.

Today’s Castlemaine ‘crew’ is generously offering Open Williamstown patrons the opportunity to step on board to explore this gem on Gem free of charge. You will be able to watch the original engines turning, view the restored equipment and the frequently updated exhibits. You will be welcome to traverse the guns, ring the bells and use the voice pipes to relay messages between compartments.

It can take up to an hour to visit all compartments in the ship. Please present your booklet for entry onto the ship and be prepared to duck your head as you experience the extraordinary world of a Naval sailor during World War 11.

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Launched in 1941 and commissioned in 1942, Castlemaine operated during World War II in the waters of Australia, New Guinea, and Timor. She remained in service until 1945, when she was decommissioned into reserve and converted into an immobilised training ship. In 1973, the Castlemaine was presented to the Maritime Trust of Australia for conversion to a museum ship.

Since 1974, HMAS Castlemaine has been slowly restored to her 1945 configuration. The main mess deck has been turned into a museum area. The bridge, captain’s cabin, chart room and officer’s accommodation have been restored. The boiler and engine rooms have been overhauled. The engines are now in a working condition. The quarterdeck is fitted with minesweeping gear once again.

For a detailed history and more information on Castlemaine, please visit www.hmascastlemaine.org.au