The submarine

caption:Take a tour of <em>Onslow</em> to experience a submarine that's almost ready to dive!

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HMAS Onslow, Oberon class submarine, 1968

On permanent display | Museum wharves | Ticket prices


Take a look at the photos of Onslow on the way to Garden Island 

Venture into the secret world of submarine warfare on HMAS Onslow. Our submarine was decommissioned in 1999, just weeks before coming to the museum. It's still close to operational condition. So, if you venture onboard, listen out for the diving alarm!

Onslow was commissioned during the Cold War, a tense time that called for a submarine to watch, listen and collect information without detection. The most secretive work was tracking Soviet submarines moving into the Arabian Gulf from Vladivostok via the Coral Sea and the Great Australian Bight.

With five other Oberons, Onslow gave the Royal Australian Navy a formidable submarine force. The motto of the navy's submarine arm is "Strength, silence, surprise". This explains many of Onslow's characteristics, including:

  • a diving chamber for Special Forces to leave the boat for covert operations
  • a gash ejector containing weighted rubbish (gash) bags. When ejected, the bags sink to the ocean floor so no debris floats to give away the submarine's position
  • soundproofing on all equipment to make Oberons one of the quietest submarines ever built.

Onslow has travelled the equivalent of more than 16 times around the world, serving Australia with quiet distinction for 30 years.

Onslow guided tour

What is 'hot bunking'? You'll have to take the excellent guided tour of this unique vessel to find out! View the cramped conditions (including a tiny galley capable of serving four meals a day for 64 men) and visit the control room with its two periscopes, the 'eyes' of the vessel. A tour of Onslow and the destroyer, HMAS Vampire is included in the museum big ticket.

Onslow virtual tour

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