Do You Have What It Takes To Become a Shipmate Of William The Fourth?

We are currently looking for a very limited number of keen Volunteer Crew Members,
Shipmates Members and Corporate VIP Sponsors. Are you up to the task of becoming a

Shipmate of William The Fourth?

This Is How Experiences Are Made

Nowhere else can you feel you are going back in time. The unique character of William the Fourth inspires all forms of emotion. Enjoy the serenity or soak up the grand vistas of the Newcastle city panorama from the harbour. You know this is not like any other voyage as you sense what life was like for our pioneer forefathers. We know you will never forget it and we will see you again.

A Brief History Of William The Fourth

William the Fourth is an accurate operational replica of Australia’s first steam powered ocean-going paddlewheel ship.

When convict settlement was established at Newcastle from 1801, ships were the only form of transport. Within 30 years the settlement of fertile lands along the Hunter River and a growing coal trade – Australia’s first significant export industry, enabled the era of steam ships. In 1831 – when the Australian Agricultural Company began to have a profound impact on Newcastle, a shipyard was established at Clarencetown, taking advantage of the excellent timbers, to construct Australia’s first steam-powered ocean-going ship – William the Fourth, to operate between Sydney and the growing settlement inland from the ‘Green Hills’ now known as Morpeth.

There were almost no roads, and the graveyard of shipwrecks at the harbour entrance is testimony to the many hazards our local pioneers faced. The ship was a general carrier, transporting produce to the markets in Sydney and every product the settlers needed to live in the valley. It’s hard for us to imagine the hardships they faced, but their enterprise and determination developed the characteristics that are still in our blood today. By its very unique nature William the Fourth still serves as a faithful testimony to that tough pioneering and maritime heritage.

The replica William the Fourth was constructed as a community 1988 Bi-Centenary Project at Raymond Terrace, at a cost of $1.5 million and was launched on 26 September 1987 by Mrs Hazel Hawke. During construction hundreds of people purchased engraved copper nails – still in the ship’s hull, and since then thousands more have enjoyed the experience of the ship whilst learning of our maritime heritage. The replica operated commercial cruises on Newcastle Harbour and the Hunter River for 14 years until a boiler leak put it out of service in 2001. It was earmarked to be dismantled.

In 2008 a community-based organisation, William the Fourth Inc. was formed to take ownership from Newcastle City Council and complete a total restoration of the ship and return it to service. Difficulty in raising funds delayed the restoration for 10 years but with generous public and corporate support, work valued at over $650,000 was completed without incurring debt. As part of the full refurbishment a powerful diesel engine with propeller, as well as bow thruster were installed to maximise availability and overcome the issues presented by steam and paddlewheel propulsion (whilst retaining and simulating the steam experience).

William the Fourth provides the ideal platform to showcase

the beauty of the city from the harbour.

 

It is available as a floating display, a unique venue for on-board refreshments and functions, and also has an operating licence to undertake corporate and tourist charters in sheltered waters. Charters are based on an hourly rate, for any number of passengers up to 54. Operations are available at any time, subject to availability of volunteer crew.

What We Do

Available For Charter

Business or private functions. The perfect venue for any organisation to give your clients or guests an experience to remember. We have a range of options available. Call or email for details.

The ship on the harbour is the perfect special venue to celebrate your special event. Weddings, parties, anything. Invite your family and friends and make your own special event.

HIstory Cruises

On the first Sunday of each month – and at other special dates – a 2-hour themed cruise of the harbour explores all aspects of our region’s history and culture.

Check the cruise schedule for new events continually being added. Departing at 1.30pm.

Morning Tea cruises

On the first Sunday of each month a 90-minute harbour cruise including morning tea departs at 10.30am.

Check the cruise schedule for new events continually being added.

Our Next Cruises

Generally on the first Sunday of every month enjoy our Sunday Morning and Afternoon Tea Harbour Cruises 

or a Special themed Afternoon Tea Cruise at 1.30pm from time to time.

Check our cruise schedule for special event cruises.

Morning Tea on the Harbour

Relax and enjoy Special Treats and a 1.5 hour cruise on Newcastle Harbour aboard William the Fourth.
$30 Adults & Seniors.
$20 Children (up to 12 yrs).
 
On Sunday 7 March 2021 at 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
 

LOCATION

William the Fourth
Lee Wharf Pontoon, 5 Honeysuckle Dve,, NEWCASTLE, NSW 2300

 

Afternoon Tea on the Harbour

Relax and enjoy Special Treats and a 1.5 hour cruise on Newcastle Harbour aboard William the Fourth.
$30 Adults & Seniors.
$20 Children (up to 12 yrs).
 
On Sunday 7 March 2021 at 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
 

LOCATION

William the Fourth
Lee Wharf Pontoon, 5 Honeysuckle Dve,, NEWCASTLE, NSW 2300

Festive Morning Tea 

on the Harbour

Relax and enjoy Special Treats and a 1.5 hour cruise on Newcastle Harbour aboard William the Fourth.
$35 Adults & Seniors.
$25 Children (up to 12 yrs).
 
On Sunday 3 April 2021 at 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
 

LOCATION

William the Fourth
Lee Wharf Pontoon, 5 Honeysuckle Dve,, NEWCASTLE, NSW 2300

Festive Afternoon Tea 

on the Harbour

Relax and enjoy Special Treats and a 1.5 hour cruise on Newcastle Harbour aboard William the Fourth.
$35 Adults & Seniors.
$25 Children (up to 12 yrs).
 
On Sunday 3 April 2021 at 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
 

LOCATION

William the Fourth
Lee Wharf Pontoon, 5 Honeysuckle Dve,, NEWCASTLE, NSW 2300

Or to see our complete current timetable and book – Click Here

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As Seen On TV:

A quick glimpse of the ship at work on Newcastle Harbour in 2019.

 

TV series ‘The Great Outdoors’ in 1990, showing the replica under steam.

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