Fort Scratchley Historic Site

Fort Scratchley Historic Site is a coastal fortification in Newcastle, NSW’s second-biggest city. Built in the 1800s, Fort Scratchley commands spectacular views of the ocean and entrance to Newcastle Harbour.

The fort consists of a network of tunnels built into the headland. You can explore the tunnels on a guided tour. You’ll learn what life was like in the fort during its long military history and what happened in World War II.

In a display of 19th century maritime tradition, Fort Scratchley also has a daily firing of the 1pm time gun to coincide with the ball drop. The time ball and gun firing were used to adjust navigation instruments aboard ships.

The fort is open six days a week, 10am to 4pm. It’s closed on Tuesdays. Daily tour times are displayed near the fort’s shop, with the first tour leaving at 10.30am and the last tour departing at 2.30pm.

Newcastle is about two hours’ drive north of Sydney. You can travel by train from Sydney’s Central Station to Newcastle’s Hamilton Station, where you can take a bus to Scott Street for the 10 minute walk to Fort Scratchley.