Frequently Asked Questions

How long can I hire the venues at Fort Scratchley?
Fort Scratchley Function Centre can be hired for any length of time however please note that events must cease by 10pm on Sunday to Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturdays.
The Fort Scratchley Grounds are open to the public 10am to 4pm every day except Tuesday and as such cannot be hired during these times. However the Fort Grounds can be hired exclusively from 4:00pm. For wedding ceremonies we suggest these begin at 4.15pm or 4.30pm.
 
What happens if it rains? Do I have any wet weather backup options?
To ensure you have a wet weather back up option we suggest you hire the Fort Barracks. If you choose not to hire the Barracks and it is available on the day of your wedding you will be offered to use this as a wet weather option, however if someone else has booked the space for a function it will not be available. To ensure you have a wet weather option we suggest you hire the Barracks or make alternative arrangements.
 
Is a tunnel tour included in my venue hire?
Fort Tours are run by the Historical Society and are not included with venue hire. All Tours are booked through Ticketek - please contact our Box Office on 02 4929 1977.
 
What parking is available at Fort Scratchley?
Fort Scratchley has parking for approximately 30 vehicles in our event carpark on site.
 
Are there any special events planned that may affect accessibility for my event?
Potential special events to consider when choosing your wedding date include Firing of the Guns Ceremony for commemorative events including cruise ship arrivals. Guns are fired to welcome and farewell the ships. For Cruise Ship movements click here
http://www.portofnewcastle.com.au/Our-expertise/Cruise/Cruise-Schedule.aspx

How will the Newcastle 500 Supercars impact venue hire at Fort Scratchley?
 During the Supercars bump in/out period there may be disruptions to traffic flow in the area due to the set up and pack down of barricades, fencing etc. Access to Fort Scratchley, however will remain open with the exception of the week of Supercars, the Supercars weekend and the Monday immediately following Supercars.
The proposed dates for the Supercars for the next 4 years are as follows:
  • 16 - 18 or 23 - 25 November 2018
  • 15 - 17 or 22 - 24 November 2019
  • 13 - 15 or 20 - 22 November 2020
  • 12 - 14 or 19 - 21 November 2021 
How long will you hold my booking for without a deposit?
 A tentative booking may be held for up to seven business days. In the event that someone else challenges for the date within this period you will have until the end of the seven days to confirm the booking and after this time the hold will be released.
 
What do I have to do to confirm my booking?
Bookings are considered as confirmed once you pay the full venue hire amount and sign and return the venue hire agreement to our Newcastle Venues Team.
 
When are final numbers and payment required?
 Final guest numbers and full payment of food and beverage is required 7 days prior to your wedding.
 
Am I allowed to bring my own alcohol? 
 BYO alcohol is not permitted.
 
Can I organise to have a menu tasting prior to my wedding? 
 Please contact our onsite caterers Blue Star Catering, who focus on quality food and beverage offerings coupled with seamless service to ensure your guests have the best possible experience. Blue Star Catering can be contacted on 02 4926 2999 or info@harbourviews.com.au
 
When can I arrange to do a site inspection? 
 Site visits can be scheduled during the hours of 9am and 4.30pm. If you would like to schedule a visit outside of these hours please contact our Newcastle Venues Team with your request.
 
Does Fort Scratchley have an exclusive decorator?
 No, we don’t have an exclusive decorator, however Cupid's Corner are our preferred decorator and are able to access the venue at any time to set up décor for weddings. Cupid's Corner can be contacted on 0403 284 232 or events@cupidscorner.com.au
 
Can I use my own decorator?
Yes, you are welcome to use an external decorator. They will need to provide a copy of their public liability insurance our Newcastle Venues Team and you will need to ensure that they are able to complete the set up and pack down of all décor within the venue access times booked for your wedding.
 
Can I do my own decorating?
Yes, you are welcome to provide your own décor. Please see the restrictions on décor below. Any decorating done above head height needs to be completed by an insured decorator.
 
What time can I access the venue to set up my decorations?
Decorations need to be set up within the access time as written in your hiring agreement. This also applies to third party suppliers such as decorators, AV suppliers and/or entertainment.
 
Are there any restrictions around what types of decorations I can have in the venue?
  • Decorations hung above head height need to be installed by a professional decorator
  • Candles and tea lights must be contained in holders (glass votive)
  • Adhesives such as sticky tape should not be used on painted venue surfaces
  • You must receive written permission to include the following items: confetti, rice, rose petals, bubbles, floor standing candelabras, unweighted helium balloons (as they interfere with fire alarms), special effects, open flame
  • All electrical items such as fairy lights must be tagged and tested
  • The use of smoke/haze machines is not permitted
  • All decorations must be set up and removed within the access period of your venue hire as we do not have space to store decorations on the premises
  • Newcastle Venues staff cannot be responsible for the set up or pack down of decorations
What sort of entertainment am I allowed?
Most bands, DJ and entertainers are allowed within our venues. If you are engaging more 'out of the box' entertainers such as performers or live acts it is best to check this with our Newcastle Venues Team. All third party suppliers must provide a copy of their public liability insurance to our Newcastle Venues Team and depending on the nature of the activity may be required to submit a risk assessment.
 
Is there any security at the venue?
Security at Fort Scratchley is provided by our Venue Commissionaires, who are all trained in security. Please contact our Newcastle Venues Team if you have any specific security concerns.
 
Do all venues have air-conditionimg?
All spaces are air-conditioned except for The Barracks.
 
What accommodation options are there nearby?
Visit www.visitnewcastle.com.au for nearby accommodation options.
 
How much notice do I have to give to postpone my  event if needed?
A minimum of 14 days’ notice (10 business days) is required to postpone an event. This is applicable for one postponement only and the event must be rebooked within 12 months.
 
Any request to postpone an event received within 14 days of the hire date will be treated as a cancellation and the venue hire amount paid will be forfeited.
 
How much notice do I have to give to cancel my confirmed event?
 Our cancellation terms (which are included in the hiring agreement) are below:
                0 - 90 days of event                         Forfeiture of full room hire
                91 - 270 days of event                    Refund 50% of full room hire
                >270 days from event                    Refund 100% of full room hire
 
Staffing
Staffing costs will be refunded if the Hirer provides Council more than 72 hours’ notice prior to The Function.
Staffing costs will not be refunded if the Hirer provides Council less than 72 hours’ notice prior to the Function.
 
Catering
Please contact our onsite caterers Blue Star Catering to confirm their cancellation policy on 02 4926 2999 or info@harbourviews.com.au
 
All refunds are subject to an administration charge of fifty ($50.00) dollars GST inclusive.
The notice period under this clause is taken to be from the Hire date or the first date of Hire where Hire is for consecutive days.
 
Cancellations must be given in writing to:
                                City of Newcastle 
                                Attention Civic Services
                                PO Box 489
                                Newcastle NSW 2300
                                Fax: 02 4974 2172
                                Email: newcastlevenues@ncc.nsw.gov.au