Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Fuel Wharf

Naval/port facility
North and Cape York

Douglas Street, Thursday Island 4875

Research points the construction date of the Naval Wharf and slipway to be the beginning of 1943, coinciding with McArthur’s Moultrie Plan and the installation of the Navy Fuel tanks. Up until then, the army wharf (Port Kennedy) across from the Customs house had been used, however with the Moultrie Plan, it was envisaged that larger ships requiring a deeper draft would access the port and need somewhere deeper with access to the Navy’s fuel.

The Naval depot consisted of the fuel tanks, slipway, workshop, which house, jetty and all portable gear and fittings. The slipway was 560′ long, constructed of concrete foundations with two sets of rails, and haulage gear, winches and a Ford v. 8 power unit. The capacity of the slipway is approximately 400 tonnes. The timber jetty was 560′ long and ran adjacent to the slipway, in a L shape, the head of which ran in a north easterly direction for 70′, with a 33′ width. The winch house is located at the head of the wharf, slightly to the east and is of corrugated iron construction, while the workshop was to the west of the wharf’s head. The workshop was of double corrugated fibre roofing and masonite walls, with a concrete floor and was approximately 150′ x 50′.

On 19 June 1946, after deliberation, the Navy put the depot up for lease, which was taken up by the South Sea Pearling Company in June 1949. Today the wharf and old depot surroundings is owned by Rebel Marine.


Vanessa Seekee Torres Strait Heritage