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Approaching Port of Newcastle

Richard Howard
Reviewed Oct 2016
Refer to charts AUS 207 and AUS 809 when navigating on approach to Newcastle Harbour. At approximately 400m wide at the entrance including a circa 200m wide shipping channel the entrance to Newcastle Harbour is well lit by Nobby's Light House and Port and Starboard Lateral Markers. Facing NE the entrance can at times get a swell rolling across the entrance which coupled with a run out tide and NE sea breeze can result in the sea standing up off the heads however once inside harbour navigation of the River is relatively simple.

Albeit at times uncomfortable, the Newcastle harbour entrance is relatively safe with the main navigational challenge being maintaining a safe clearance from inbound or outbound ships which come with an entourage of tub boats and create a spectacular site. While a shipping movement is in progress it is recommended recreational vessels remain clear of the shipping channel. Plenty of navigable water is available at the entrance and down the main harbour fairway, especially on the SE side of the shipping channel.

On approach to the harbour call NSW Marine Rescue Newcastle on VHF Channel 16 or Newcastle Port Corporation on VHF Channel 9 to obtain details regarding shipping movements. In addition to VHF Channel 9 Newcastle Port Corporation Vessel Traffic Information Centre can be contacted on 02 4985 8292.

Once inside Newcastle Harbour and with Newcastle extending along the Southern shoreline of the River continue to navigate up the harbour to NCYC's marina at which Customs officers can be contacted and met to clear boats entering from international waters. The Harbour is tidal with up to a about a maximum 2 metre rise and fall. Following heavy rain masters of vessels should keep a close watch out for flotsam and logs which float down the river with the additional river flow.

Due to the commercial nature of the Port a number of access restrictions apply name in the Eastern and Western Basin areas and also up river in the vicinity of the coal loaders. Refer to charts AUS 207 and AUS 809 for more details regarding restricted access zones.

Limited mooring is available at Honeysuckle's Lee Wharf (call Hunter Development Corporation – 4904 2750 / and more substantial berthing is available at NCYC (call NCYC's Dockmaster on 0408 299 512 or 02 4940 8188) which is the the pick of Newcastle's berthing options.

Yachts wishing to anchor may do so at Stockton by proceeding up the North Arm of the Hunter River and dropping anchor to the SE of Stockton Bridge. Access to the shore is by tender and proximity to shops and facilities deters most people from choosing this option.
Once inside harbour navigation of the river is simple
Entrance is uncomfortable at times
4 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank Richard Howard

Surprise, Surprise ,Surprise !!

John Hembrow
Deckee Pro  
Reviewed Aug 2015
Ok so we are from Queensland and all we knew about Newcastle was the it was once a steel town

How things have changed . Our first visit by boat was in March 2015 .

With its deep and well marked entry the port is easily entered in pretty much all weather.

Once inside the the entrance the channel is wide and although busy with shipping there is plenty of room to transit upstream to the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club (NCYC) where you will find a modern and well maintained 180 berth marina and all the facilities you could ask for including an easily accessed floating fuel wharf, laundry , hot showers , a boat yard , restaurants & a nice cold beer at the NCYC club house. The best part of the NCYC however is the staff , these guys will bend over backwards to make you feel at home.

From the NCYC marina a newly constructed boardwalk winds its way along the foreshore to the Honeysuckle precinct with restaurants & bars and parklands. A little further along the way and you will find yourself at the headland and the pristine beaches & ocean baths.

The east end of the city is a mix of old & new with an eclectic atmosphere.

We intended to stay a few days and ended up in Newcastle for a month! Love it!
4 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank John Hembrow

Tides and currents in Newcastle Harbour

Richard Howard
Reviewed Dec 2016
As an all weather deep entrance with a dredged promulgated depth of circa 15-18 metres the Hunter River / Port of Newcastle is a relatively easily navigated entrance for recreational vessels. Please note that the Hunter River's catchment is the Hunter Valley and therefore quite a lot of water flows out the harbour entrance after rain and also on an outgoing tide. Coupled with the entrance facing NE which is the sea breeze direction the entrance can get quite choppy on a run out tide against a NE sea breeze. Remaining outside the tide line on approach to the entrance for as long as possible will assist in making your inbound voyage less bumpy and wet when such wind and tidal conditions coincide.
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