Fort Scratchley Historic Site open 6 days a week...10am to 4pm...closed Tuesdays ...Free Entry to site ... paid guided tours of tunnels available at 10.30, 11.30, 1.05, 1.40...last tour 2.30pm...3.45pm LAST gate entry

Stunning aerial film of the Fort and environs filmed using a four rotor quadcopter (drone)shot in June 2015.


Filmed directed by Carl Buhmann during the final visit of HMAS Tobruk.


Highly recommended.


Courtesy Carl Buhmann

Music of the Guns (March 2014)

Music of the Guns was a premiere event held on the parade ground at Fort Scratchley on March 15th 2014.


Over one thousand people enthusiastically enjoyed the repertoire of the massed musicians that finished with Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture...complete with the MkVII 6 inch guns at the Fort.


The video (at left) is courtesy the Newcastle Herald.


Be early for tickets to 2016....they sell very quickly.

The Fort has two British made 6-inch Mk VII guns installed as the main armament , these being installed in 1911.


1942 - A Japanese submarine, the I-21, attacked Newcastle on the 8th of June and was repelled by return fire from the Fort.


These two guns were the only coastal artillery to engage an enemy during any period in Australia's WW2 history.


These guns are still in place today, and are fired for special events.

The Fort has in its collection a '2 Pounder' muzzle loaded field gun, that is fired on a regular basis for Special events and as a TIME GUN indicating the hour 1 p.m. (13:00 hrs) on all days weather permitting, excepting Tuesdays


Historically it was used in conjunction with a TIME BALL which is installed on the spire of Newcastle Customs House near the harbour. Ships' Captains used the Time Ball and the cannon to synchronise their ship's clocks (chronometers) and was essential for accurate navigation at sea.

During the CRUISE SHIP visiting season (October to May) the guns are fired in salute on departure of the ships from Newcastle Harbour, generally three rounds are fired.


These gun salutes may be seen from the park area below the Fort near Horseshoe Beach or from across the harbour on the Stockton Foreshore and are particularly spectacular at night.

Excellent computer animation of the Japanese attack on Newcastle on 8th June 1942.

Courtesy Paul Lobb & NBN TV


Model of the Japanese Submarine

TV personality Sir Tony Robinson visited the Fort  in April 2014 for the filming of a segment of his new TV series called "Tour of Duty", which features reminiscences of World War One stories and objects across Australia. Sir Tony was also invited to fire the Fort's 25 pounder field gun whilst on site, which he did and greatly enjoyed.

The show was aired in 2015

Sir Tony holding

25 pdr shell case

The Fort has installed in the underground casemate a restored 80 pounder *RML  gun on a full period type timber mounting.


This gun is fired on special occasions.

The firings are not viewable to the public in situ, due to the noise and concussion involved. Viewing of the gun report is available on the Port side railing above ground.



*RML = Rifled Muzzle Loaded

The Fort has recently re-installed in the underground casemate a restored Nordenfelt 1.5 inch gun. The restoration to fully working condition was the result of a generous grant. It is believed to be the only working version in the world.


This gun is fired on special occasions.

The firings are not viewable to the public in situ, due to the noise and concussion involved. Viewing of the gun report is available on the Port side railing above ground.


Video courtesy The Herald

The Fort was closed by the military in 1972 and as such there was very little if any film footage of it in action.

This colour film shows gun crews at work during live firing at targets off the coast of Newcastle in the 1960's. This is very rare film, but it gives an idea of the Fort at work.


This film is subtitled due to the poor original audio.

The quality is most viewable considering its age.

Best at Full Screen.

The Fort originally had two of these Nordenfelt guns, but no history of them

remains. .45 calibre rifle ammunition with a quoted rate of fire of up to 600 rounds per minute making it a devastating weapon. Singleton Army Weapons Museum hold in their collection one Nordenfelt, but sadly, it is not one of the Fort’s originals.









Video courtesy  Forgotten Weapons (US)


Click to view story

Grace Jones served at Fort Scratchley 1944 - 1945 as a switchboard operator in 11 Australian Fort Signals Section.


She was a member of Australian Womens Army Service during that period. Grace tells a very good story of her times at the Fort.










The Cunard Liner Queen Elizabeth visits Newcastle Port on February 22nd 2016.

It is the first Cunard ship to visit in over 100 years and was welcomed by a huge crowd of Novocastrians.


The Fort fired a salute on entry and later in the day on departure.


A beautiful sight to embellish our harbour.





October Open Day at the Fort featuring views of the parade ground from a drone.


Seen in the video is the flag raising, firing the Time Gun and the two guns firing from the casemate....the 80 pounder and the restored Nordenfelt 1.5 inch.









Video courtesy Bernie Ayrton

This rare 16mm colour film of Newcastle's celebrations during Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day or VJ Day (Victory in Japan) was donated to Greg and Sylvia Ray in 2019 by Mrs Vera Findlay of Greta.


The original creator of the film is unidentified.










Video courtesy University of Newcastle (Australia)



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

Admission and self guided tours (excluding tunnels) of the Fort is free.

Society’s Office

Ph: (02) 4929 3066



Self guided Fort Tour