Engineering Heritage National Marker - South Brisbane Dry DockPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Peter Rasey

The Engineering Heritage National Marker commemorates the South Brisbane Dry Dock.

Tenders were called and a contract let in January 1876 to construct a dry dock at a cost of 61,963 / 13 / 0 pounds.

The designer of the dock was William Nesbit, Chief Engineer for Harbours and Rivers. The dock was to be capable of accommodating ships up to 97 metres length and 15 metres beam. The dock entrance was closed by a movable caisson and a centrifugal pumping installion was provided to dewater the dock. The dock was completed on 10 September 1881 following difficulties in obtaining supplies of building stone and flooding of the Brisbane River.

Due to the increasing size of ships the dock was extended by a further 30 metres in 1886 and 1887. The dock experienced peak demand during both World Wars for the repair of warships. The dock was also used by commercial shipping. The dock was retired on 22 September 1972 after the Queensland Government build a bridge downstream which prevented shipping reaching the dry dock. The dock had been used by 5007 ships during its 91 years of active use. 

Engineering Heritage Australia, a special interest group within Engineers Australia, runs a program that recognises historically significant engineering works. Such works have a plaque on display, with a brief summary of the significance of the work. The program was established in 1984 with two categories of awards, "National Engineering Landmark" and "Historic Engineering Marker".

In 2009 these were renamed "Engineering Heritage National Landmark" and "Engineering Heritage Marker"; in 2011 and 2012 the awards were renamed and a third category added.  The current awards are:

  • Engineering Heritage Marker
  • Engineering Heritage National Marker
  • Engineering Heritage International Marker



Address:412 Stanley Street, HMAS Diamantina, Queensland Maritime Museum, South Brisbane, 4101
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -27.481855
Long: 153.026697
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 15th August, 1995
Front Inscription




Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au