Fort Scratchley

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Fort Scratchley Historic Site is a fascinating aspect of our city's past, overlooking Newcastle's magnificent coastline and iconic Nobbys headland.

Opening hours

The Fort is open 6 days a week, closed Tuesdays, from 10am to 4pm.

General admission to Fort Scratchley is free, visitors can take a self-guided tour around the Barracks and above ground defence structures. A self-guided tour brochure is available from the Artillery Store (shop) to assist visitors with navigating the site and learning interesting historical facts.

Visitors are also welcome to use the grounds for a picnic lunch or other recreational activities such as kite flying. The grounds are often frequented by local artists and photographers who make the most of the panoramic views. The Fort is also a prime position for whale watching as they migrate up and down the coast during the winter months, binoculars available for hire on site.

The Fort Scratchley Historical Society volunteers operate the guided tours and a small shop which sells gifts, souvenirs and light refreshments.

The Fort is closed on the following days:

  • New Year's Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day.

Full site and tunnel guided tours

To get the full picture of the operations at Fort Scratchley, take a paid site and tunnel (full site) tour or tunnel tour and learn the history of the Fort including its involvement in WWII; the only coastal fortification to fire on an enemy Naval vessel in time of war.

Full site and tunnel guided tours are available at regular intervals each day the Fort is open. Daily tour times are displayed on site near the Artillery Store (shop) with the last tour departing at 2.30pm. To register your interest in group tour bookings (10+people) contact FortScratchleyTours@ncc.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 4974 2077.

Annual event calendar

There are a number of major events at Fort Scratchley each year, including:

  • Labour Day
  • Australia Day
  • ANZAC Day
  • Queen's Birthday

Activities include:

  • Firing of the 6" Mk VII Guns
  • Military re-enactments
  • Military vehicle displays
  • Raising and lowering of flag ceremonies

Modern facilities and room hire information

Fort Scratchley Historic Site is one of a suite of Newcastle Venues available to hire for wedding ceremonies, corporate events and functions, photography and filming.

It has a Function Centre which boasts spectacular views over the ocean ideal for weddings, functions, cocktail parties, corporate events and more. Additionally, the Fort can cater for smaller functions in the old Barracks, which were constructed in 1886 as accommodation for permanent soldiers. The Barracks are made up of two adjoining rooms, North and South opening onto a small balcony offering brilliant foreshore and harbour aspects.

To register your interest in conducting an event or hiring rooms on site contact Newcastle Venues on newcastlevenues@ncc.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 4974 2166.