Welcome to the Port of Newcastle, the largest bulk shipping port on the east coast of Australia and the world’s leading coal export port.
Port of Newcastle has developed an online educational resource that explains the key features of the busy Port, from cargo handled at the shipping berths to interesting facts about the Port’s operation.
‘Discover the Port’ is a Smart Board responsive interactive tool that brings the Port of Newcastle into the classroom.
Navigate around the site by using the arrows to access a different area of the Port and click on the yellow hot spots to find out more.
Now, let’s take a look around the Port of Newcastle!
Nobbys used to be an island and was twice as tall. It caused a problem for early sailors visiting Newcastle as ships entering the port would lose the wind in their sails as they passed the tall, rocky outcrop.
In 1855 convict labour was used to physically reduce to size of Nobbys by 27.5 metres. The resulting rock was then used as part of the construction of the Nobbys Breakwater. In 1846, Nobbys was joined to the mainland by the breakwater and Macquarie Pier.
The Port operates to an 8 tug program, and Svitzer provides the towage services. The tugs are very powerful, ensuring the safe berthing of a vessel and the safe, efficient departure of vessels leaving the port.
They operate 24 hours a day within the port.
All ships entering or departing the port must be accompanied by tug boats to help them stay within the channel and to assist with berthing.
Many river systems feed into the Hunter River, bringing natural sediments continuously into the harbour bed from upstream. This is why flooding in the Hunter River, upstream of the Port can result in the harbour turning a brown colour due to the heavy flow of siltation.
Port of Newcastle is responsible for maintaining the depth of the deep water channel to 15.2 metres for commercial shipping. Areas of the channel that are not dredged can be as shallow as 2 or 3 metres.
Maintenance dredging prevents the build-up of silt and to keep the channel open for commercial shipping.
About 2,200 ships visit the Port of Newcastle each year, which is about 6 ships per day. Day or night, there is always something happening.
Vessel scheduling is the central point for the movement of vessels entering and departing the Port.
The Port’s team of vessel schedulers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week coordinating the efficient movement of vessels in the Port of Newcastle, working closely with terminals, shipping agents and service providers.
The Destiny sculpture at the tip of Dyke Point was created by Julie Squires and installed in 1999 to mark 200 years of commercial shipping in the Port of Newcastle.
The 8 metre sculpture is inspired by the traditional figure heads on the bows of early sailing ships. Destiny stands on a global sphere and symbolises the future. Each strand of her hair represents one of the seven seas.
The GrainCorp silos have been a well-known feature of the Port of Newcastle for many years. They’re very hard to miss when viewing the Port from the Honeysuckle area along the Newcastle Foreshore!
The GrainCorp grain export terminal was opened on the western side of the Basin in 1971.
Meals and grains, such as sorghum, barley, canola, maize, canola meal and cottonseed meal, are also handled in large quantities at the GrainCorp silos. These products such as pasta and other food products, such as pasta, livestock feed and the production of ethanol.
A good growing season can result in more than one million mass tonnes of wheat exports in a year.
Cruise ships berth at the Channel Berth, located at Dyke Point. The Channel Berth is also used to berth navy ships from time to time.
Cruise ship passengers are welcomed at the berth by cruise volunteers and take part in day trips to the Hunter Valley, Port Stephens, Morpeth or the Central Coast, or enjoy sightseeing around Newcastle and Stockton.
Port of Newcastle is building a cruise terminal at the Channel Berth, which will enable the Port to attract more cruise ships in the future.
The largest ship to enter the Port is the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship, at 317 metres in length, carrying around 2,850 passengers. Celebrity Solstice will return to the Port of Newcastle in 2017 and 2018.
There are three types of buoys used in the Port of Newcastle – Ocean, Harbour or River Class. The buoys aid in safe navigation by providing ship masters with a visual signal indicating the sides of the shipping channel.
The Carrington Precinct is one of the oldest areas of the Port and handles a diverse range of cargoes.
Cruise vessels dock at the Channel Berth in Carrington, where passengers disembark for connections to various local and regional tourism destinations. The Channel berth is also used to berth navy ships and vessels that arrive to the port early.
Commodities: Grains, orange juice concentrate, machinery, project cargo, general cargo/containers, petroleum products, mineral concentrates, coal. Berths: West Basin 3, West Basin 4, East Basin 1, East Basin 2, Channel Berth, Dyke 1, Dyke 2, Dyke 4, Dyke 5.