HMAS Choules to open its heart to Sydney on 22 September

Published on Department of Defence (author), CPL Kyle Genner (photographer)

Location(s): Garden Island, Sydney

Topic(s): Charities, Fundraising & Community, HMAS Choules (L100), Open Day

HMAS Choules off the coast of New Caledonia during Exercise Criox du Sud 2018. (photo: CPL Kyle Genner)
HMAS Choules off the coast of New Caledonia during Exercise Criox du Sud 2018.

Navy enthusiasts and curious minds of all ages are in for a rare treat on Saturday 22 September as one of Australia’s largest and tallest Navy ships, HMAS Choules, invites civilians on board in support of the NSW Kids in Need charity.

The Royal Australian Navy Tour includes exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to naval base Garden Island and 176-metre long amphibious Landing Ship Dock HMAS Choules

More often deployed for the ‘heavy lifting’ required in national and international disaster relief, HMAS Choules and its crew will dedicate a day in port at Garden Island to sharing a glimpse of life at sea with a strictly limited number of visitors in timed hourly tours.

Commanding Officer HMAS Choules, Commander Scott Houlihan said it is the first time the ship has been open to visitors in this way.

“The Open Day is a great way for all of us on board to show our support for NSW Kids in Need, while giving the public a fantastic opportunity to catch a glimpse behind-the-scenes on board one of Australia’s largest warships.”

“The motto of HMAS Choules is ‘Face Difficulty With Zeal' and this couldn’t be more apt for the children we support through NSW Kids in Need,” Commander Houlihan said 

In addition to meeting serving Navy and Army personnel, visitors will enjoy special displays and the chance to get up close to an MRH90 helicopter and Army vehicles, including the Bushmaster and Unimog.

The tour is part of the 2018 NSW Kids in Need Open Day event series to raise much-needed funds in support of six child-focussed charities including Bear Cottage Children’s Hospice; The Burns Unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead; Central Coast Kids in Need; Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Australia; Muscular Dystrophy NSW; and SHINE for Kids.

The Royal Australian Navy Tour of HMAS Choules

Saturday, 22 September 2018

10:00am – 3:00pm 

One-hour tours, last entry 2:00pm

Booking is essential, tickets at

NSW Kids in Need requests a donation of $10.00 per person over the age of six years old. Due to the popularity of this tour, bookings are capped at six people per group. 

Unfortunately, the ship does not have access for wheelchairs or prams, and children must be able to walk independently.

The Navy recommends that visitors use public transport, as there is no car parking available on site.