HMAS Hobart visit to Hobart March 2024 by Anne H and Lyn R

Written by AHQ

12 March 2024

It pays to read Tasmania Police road closure notices.  Last week I read that an area around the Hobart waterfront was going to be closed on Saturday 9 March 2024 for the HMAS Hobart Freedom of Entry March.  That gave me a clue that the RAN was coming to town. HMAS Hobart (III) DDG 39, is a guided missile destroyer, commissioned in 2017. She, and her predecessors are named after the city of Hobart, hence the crew have the honour of being granted the freedom of entry to the city.   HMAS Hobart is also known as the ‘green ghost’, a nickname earned by HMAS Hobart (II) during her service off Vietnam during the Vietnam war.

I checked the Port Authority shipping schedule, and yes, an ‘Australian warship’ was listed as arriving on Friday 8th and departing Monday 11th.  Next, I checked events but no public tours were listed.  HMAS Hobart is a bit special for Tasmanians, so I sent off an email to Jan-Maree inquiring about a ‘private’ tour, and also a message to Lyn R, a fellow AHQ quilter who lives on the other side of Tasmania, flagging that there might be the chance of a tour, if she was able to head south.  Lyn made an amazing 10 quilts and 6 LBs for HMAS Hobart crew last year and I made one of each.

Jan-Maree worked her magic and on Thursday I received an email from XO, LCDR James, inviting us not only to join a tour on Sunday, but also to the Official Hobart Welcome function on board on Friday evening.  Lyn wasn’t able to attend the former, so at 6.30pm on Friday I presented myself to the Port Authority security gate.  Hobart was berthed all the way down the wharf area at Mac6, as some cruise ships were also due in over weekend.  Having been checked off the list, I was escorted to the gangway by an enthusiastic young crew member who said that he had recently graduated from ADFA, and this was his first ship and first voyage,  He was so pleased that he hadn’t been sea sick during the past two weeks exercises in Bass Strait, and he was looking forward to the deployment to South East Asia very soon.

At the top of the gangway I was met by the Boarding Party line up. No whistles or piping for me, but the crew member explained that a number of VIPs were expected.  The function was held on the rear deck, which was partially covered by a canopy with lime green lights – for the ‘green ghost’.

As the VIPS arrived, they were piped aboard (i.e. the whistles blew), with lots of salutes.  The VIPS included the Commander Australian Fleet (whom I had met at the AHQ dinner in 2022); a RAAF senior officer and his wife, who told me they had attended the AHQ dinner in 2023, the Police Commissioner and finally the Governor of Tasmania and her husband.  Another VIP, Nicola Hodgman, wife of a former Premier, is the lady of the ship – she launched the ship back in 2015 and she will always hold that position. She told me she felt very honoured and that she had been very nervous at the time, but she cut the ribbon and the magnum of champagne smashed perfectly.


Had a very pleasant time, chatting to other guests, officers and crew, and an officer’s wife who had flown down for the weekend. She was even wearing the right colour green!  The officers knew about Aussie Heroes, thanked me, and told me about their items.  One showed me a photo of his quilt which he received while deployed to the MER on HMAS Arunta in 2016.  I am sure the maker will remember, it has the cartoon dinosaur Yoshi (apparently a Nintendo/Super Mario character) astride a war ship.  The XO said he received his laundry bag back in 2011.  He had it on board, of course, and he said whenever he and his RAAF wife travelled their LBs went with them. At one point Green Ghost frozen slurpees were handed around, I had to try one!  Interesting, and somewhat lethal.  The food was made by the ship’s cooks, it was delicious and beautifully presented. 

After some speeches, there was a sunset flag lowering ceremony, with the Navy Band playing.  Very impressive, with crew marching,  presenting arms and firing a volley in the air.




A lovely evening, I was privileged to be able to attend.

Saturday 9th March was a very hot day – I felt for the sailors in their smart, pristine whites as they marched around the waterfront to Parliament House gardens for the Freedom of Entry ceremony. You can read more about the Freedom of Entry here  if you wish. 





Thanks Anne.  Now on to Lyn’s report.

On March 10, my husband Max and I drove the 2 hour drive from our highlands shack to Hobart and met Anne Horner at the Mac6 security gate for a much anticipated tour of HMAS Hobart which was in port for a couple of days layover.  Warrant Officer Nigel, a sailor of some 31years, met us and a group of cadets and escorted us onto the ship where we were also met by XO, Lieutenant Commander James, who had organised with Jan-Maree/Anne for us to join in the tour.

Although the helicopter was safely locked away, we stood on the helipad and enjoyed the views beyond the ship, in this case, a rather grey Tasman Bridge as it was cloudy and threatening rain and from another viewpoint, two huge cruise ships, both of which made HMAS Hobart look rather small.


Inside and successfully navigating our first set of rather steep steps down into the Control Room, the Hub of where everything pertaining to the successful running of the ship is monitored around the clock.   There is nothing that gets past the computers in this room and Nigel was in his element explaining how every piece of equipment worked.   

 Anne and I couldn’t resist checking out the laundry and managed to find a couple of colourful laundry bags among the many drab off-white/grey laundry bags piled on the floor.  How wonderful would it be to walk into a Ship’s laundry and see the opposite, lots of colourful laundry bags among a few standard issue bags – Aussie Hero Quilts will definitely have to keep working hard to achieve this.  James brought his 11 year old laundry bag out to show us and although it was well loved from weekly washing, it still worked a treat.




We had a quick walk through the Junior Seamen’s Mess and Kitchen areas of the Ship.  Whatever was cooking for lunch smelled wonderful.Nigel offered to show us his sleeping quarters, after he declared that it had taken him 31 years to get his own ensuite, and imagine our dismay to see a rather bland doona cover on his bunk.  As we walked through the sleeping corridors, I did manage to peek into one or two rooms and see a colourful quilt on the bunk.  I probably wouldn’t last a night in these sleeping quarters, too claustrophobic and no window!

The ship is very long and the corridors seem to go on forever, and on the lower deck, every available space is used for equipment, fire hoses, storage, etc.  It was hard not to knock against some button or set off some alarm to send the Ship into chaos. 

Our last stop was on the bridge and although I wasn’t able to sit in THE CHAIR and make out I was important enough to steer the ship into waters unknown, this was my favourite part of the Ship and the view from here would be incredible on a lovely sunny day out at sea.  A little hand stitching and occasional cups of coffee/tea and I would be loving life to the full.  Not that I imagine the crew working in this area would have too much down time to enjoy the views.

A huge thank you to Jan-Maree and Anne for contacting me with an invite to tour the ship while it was in Hobart.  My husband enjoyed the tour immensely as did I and I hope I get a chance to do another in the future.




Thanks Lyn and Anne for a great report and huge thanks to the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Command Warrant Officer and crew of HMAS Hobart for welcoming our people on board. Till next time… keep spreading the word and happy stitching! 


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