State Dockyard

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The State Dockyard at Dykes Point, Newcastle was built by the Government of New South Wales from 1938 until 1941 and opened in 1942 during World War II. The dockyard was constructed using much of the plant and buildings from the former Walsh Island Dockyard and Engineering Works which had ceased operations in 1933. The dockyard launched its first vessel in July 1943. By 1945 it had built two vessels for the Royal Australian Navy and 22 vessels for the United States and had repaired six hundred ships.

In November 1986 a team of apprentices from the Hunter Valley Training Company completed a three year overhaul of steam locomotive 3801 at the dockyard.[1] The dockyard closed in 1987.

A 15,000 ton floating dock was located at Dyke Point in 1943 to repair damaged ships during World War II. The floating dock was scrapped in 1977.

Ships built at State Dockyard[edit]

MS Princess of Tasmania under construction in 1958

After closure[edit]

In 2007 the outline of the painted "STATE DOCKYARD" sign on southern roof of the former dockyard building could still be viewed from above. 32°55′21″S 151°46′30″E / 32.92261°S 151.77512°E / -32.92261; 151.77512Coordinates: 32°55′21″S 151°46′30″E / 32.92261°S 151.77512°E / -32.92261; 151.77512

Surviving ships[edit]

Sydney Ferries' MV Freshwater at Balmain depot in July 2013

As of 2014 the surviving State Dockyard built ships are the MV Cape Don, a lighthouse tender built in 1962 for the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service which is now a museum ship at Balls Head Bay, Waverton. The MV Freshwater, MV Queenscliff, MV Narrabeen and MV Collaroy continue to operate for Sydney Ferries on the Manly run, and the MV Lady Cutler, a former Sydney Harbour ferry, is now a cruise boat on Port Phillip, Melbourne.


  1. ^ "Re-Commissioning 3801" Railway Digest January 1987 page 30

External links[edit]