HMAS Canberra says Ahoy way down under

Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), LSIS Helen Frank (photographer)

Location(s): Hobart, TAS

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02)

Hobart locals line up to take a tour of HMAS Canberra during her visit to the Tasmanian port in 2015. (photo: LSIS Helen Frank)
Hobart locals line up to take a tour of HMAS Canberra during her visit to the Tasmanian port in 2015.

One of Australia’s largest warships, HMAS Canberra, docked at Macquarie Wharf on Wednesday for a five-day port visit.

It’s the first time the 230 metre long Landing Helicopter Dock ship has returned to Hobart since 2016, and coincides with Australian Defence Force commemorations for the Battle of Britain.

Commanding Officer Captain Terry Morrison said the ship’s busy schedule so far this year meant some respite in Hobart was most welcome. 

“Hobart is a beautiful city, with a community who are always very supportive of the Australian Defence Force.

“The Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen of HMAS Canberra are looking forward to visiting Hobart, meeting the locals and exploring the region.

“We look forward to welcoming the people of Hobart on board HMAS Canberra during our Open Day on Saturday 14 September, to show them around the ship and some of our amphibious capability,” Captain Morrison said.

Canberra has spent most of this year deployed, sailing almost 22,000 nautical miles to Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia as part of the international engagement exercise INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2019.

She also played a key role in Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER and the Joint Warfare Series, encompassing Exercises SEA EXPLORER, SEA RAIDER and TALISMAN SABRE 2019, proving the ability to operate with her sister ship HMAS Adelaide and other international partners. 

The ship is one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world, able to transport more than 100 ground vehicles, four landing craft, up to 18 helicopters and over 1000 troops in addition to her crew of over 400.

Operations Officer and Hobart native Lieutenant Commander Alex Finnis said it was exciting to bring Canberra to his hometown.

“We’ve had a big year and I feel proud to be able to sail into my home city on this ship after being our long deployment,” Lieutenant Commander Finnis said. 

“I’m looking forward to the Open Day so people can see some of the amazing things Canberra and her ship’s company have done overseas with other nations’ military forces,” he said.

HMAS Canberra commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy in November 2014 and is homeported at Garden Island in Sydney.

For HMAS Canberra Open Day information and free ticketing please visit the Royal Australian Navy website: