Exterior of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Torpedo Factory under construction, seen from the harbour. North Sydney, NSW C.1942.

Exterior of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Torpedo Factory under construction, seen from the harbour. North Sydney, NSW C.1942. The Australian War Memorial AWM 306001

Behind the scenes of Sub Base Platypus

Focus Tour - Saturday 2 November

North Sydney

Built

1876

Located on the foreshore of North Sydney, the site now known as Sub Base Platypus was formerly HMAS Platypus, an Australian Navy submarine base. The site has also hosted a gasworks, as well as workshops for manufacturing and maintaining torpedoes for use in World War II. The first gasworks plant began operations on the site in 1876, when coal was delivered by ship and then heated in large vessels known as retorts. The manufacture of coal gas on the site continued until 1932, after which the facility became largely redundant for a decade. In 1942, as part of the war effort, the Commonwealth Government resumed a portion of the site and established a torpedo manufacturing and maintenance factory as well as a facility for servicing the naval vessels of the Pacific Fleet. In 1967, the site was named HMAS Platypus when it was commissioned as the eastern seaboard base for the Royal Australian Navy’s six Oberon-class submarines.

Tour experience

The Behind the scenes of Sub Base Platypus focus tour coincides with the official opening of the site following completion of the next stage of the renewal project led by the Harbour Trust. Excitingly, tour participants will have the opportunity to see firsthand the big changes that have taken place.

The exclusive behind-the-scenes tour will take visitors through the layered histories of Sub Base Platypus as Cammeraygal Country, gasworks, torpedo factory, submarine base, to the emerging public domain it is now.

  • Exterior view looking down at Sub Base Platypus, North Sydney.
  • Sub Base Platypus, North Sydney.
  • Sub Base Platypus, North Sydney.

Key information


Session duration

60 mins


Capacity

This tour has a capacity of 25 people per session.


Visitor requirements

A moderate level of fitness and good mobility is required.

Visitors must wear enclosed footwear (and wet weather gear if required).

Visitors are strongly encouraged to use public transport to reach Sub Base Platypus, in particular the regular ferry services from North Sydney Ferry Wharf less than 150 metres away.


Need
to know

  • Photography allowed

  • Toilets available

  • Food & drink available