List of Royal Australian Navy bases

The following is a list of current and former commissioned bases used by the Royal Australian Navy.

Current bases

Naval facility Purpose State/Territory Location Period Notes
Fleet Base East Fleet base, depot, dockyard New South Wales Sydney 1788 – present Includes HMAS Kuttabul, HMAS Waterhen and Garden Island dockyard and berthing facilities
Fleet Base West (HMAS Stirling) Fleet base, depot Western Australia Garden Island 1978 – present Major West Coast base, submarine base
HMAS Albatross Naval air station New South Wales Nowra 1948 – present
HMAS Cairns Base Queensland Cairns 1974 – present Patrol boat, hydrography, and minor war vessels base
HMAS Cerberus Training facility Victoria Crib Point 1912 – 1921;
1921 – present
Formerly located at Williamstown
HMAS Coonawarra Base Northern Territory Darwin 1970 – present Former Naval Wireless Transmitting Station, now a patrol boat base
HMAS Creswell Training facility Australian Capital Territory Jervis Bay 1958 – present Location of the Royal Australian Naval College
HMAS Harman Communications facility Australian Capital Territory Canberra 1943 – present A tri-service base
HMAS Kuttabul Administrative, logistical, training, accommodation New South Wales Sydney 1943 – present Administrative base for Fleet Base East
HMAS Moreton Administration Queensland Brisbane 2016 – present Administration and reserves
HMAS Penguin Depot, specialist training New South Wales Balmoral 1913 – 1942;
1943 – present
Location of Balmoral Naval Hospital, hydrographic school, diving school and medical school
HMAS Waterhen Base New South Wales Waverton 1962 – present Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Headquarters, part of Fleet Base East
HMAS Watson Training facility New South Wales Watsons Bay 1945 – present Location of Maritime Warfare school

Former bases

Former naval facility Former purpose Country
(if outside Australia)/
Location Period Notes
HMAS Assault Training facility New South Wales Port Stephens 1942 – 1945
HMAS Basilisk Depot Papua New Guinea Port Moresby 1942 – 1945;
1974 – 1983
HMAS Brisbane Depot Queensland Brisbane 1940 – 1942
HMAS Carpentaria Base Queensland Thursday Island 1945 – 1946
Administrative centre United Kingdom London 1966 – 1981
HMAS Commonwealth Administrative centre Japan Kure 1948 – 1956
HMAS Derwent Depot Tasmania Hobart 1940 – 1942
HMAS Encounter Depot South Australia Port Adelaide 1965 – 1994
HMAS Gilolo Depot Indonesia Halmahera Island 1945 – 1946
HMAS Huon Depot Tasmania Hobart 1942 – 1994
HMAS Kuranda Depot Queensland Cairns 1944 – 1945
HMAS Ladava Depot Papua New Guinea Milne Bay 1943 – 1945
HMAS Leeuwin Depot
Training facility
Western Australia Fremantle 1940 – 1986 Currently used by Australian Army, known as Leeuwin Barracks
HMAS Lonsdale Depot Victoria Port Melbourne 1940 – 1992
HMAS Lusair Depot Papua New Guinea Torokina 1945
HMAS Madang Depot Papua New Guinea Madang 1944 – 1946
HMAS Magnetic Depot Queensland Townsville 1942 – 1948
HMAS Maitland Depot New South Wales Newcastle 1940 – 1946
HMAS Melville Depot Northern Territory Darwin 1940 – 1975 Replaced by HMAS Coonawarra
HMAS Mindari Training facility New South Wales Woolloomooloo 1945 – 1948
HMAS Moreton Depot Queensland Brisbane 1942 – 1994
HMAS Nirimba Naval air station
Training facility
New South Wales Quakers Hill 1953 – 1955;
1956 – 1994
Now a campus of the Western Sydney University (2007)
HMAS Platypus Submarine base New South Wales Neutral Bay 1967 – 1999
HMAS Rushcutter Depot New South Wales Rushcutters Bay 1901 – 1979 Commissioned as HMAS Rushcutter on 1 August 1940
HMAS Seeadler Depot Papua New Guinea Los Negros Island 1950 Name of base changed to HMAS Tarangau.[1]
HMAS Tarangau Depot Papua New Guinea Dreger Harbour near Finschhafen,
Los Negros Island
Base at Dreger closed in 1950, and the base name and its personnel and equipment transferred to the former HMAS Seeadler at Manus Island.[2]
HMAS Torrens Depot South Australia Port Adelaide 1940 – 1964
HMAS Waratah Administrative centre United States of America Washington, D.C. 1966 – 1980


  1. ^ "MANUS BASE TO BE CALLED H.M.A.S. TARANGAU". The Canberra Times. 21 March 1950. p. 4. Retrieved 24 October 2011 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ "MANUS BASE TO BE CALLED H.M.A.S. TARANGAU". The Canberra Times. 21 March 1950. p. 4. Retrieved 24 October 2011 – via National Library of Australia.


  • Stevens, D. (2001). The Royal Australian Navy – A History. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195555422.
Fleet Base East

The Fleet Base East is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) major fleet base that comprises several naval establishments and facilities clustered around Sydney Harbour, centred on HMAS Kuttabul. The Fleet Base East extends beyond the borders of Kuttabul and includes the commercially-operated dockyard at Garden Island, and adjacent wharf facilities at nearby Woolloomooloo, east of the Sydney central business district in New South Wales, Australia. Fleet Base East is one of two major facilities of the RAN, the other facility being the Fleet Base West.

Confusingly, naval personnel often use the term Fleet Base East to mean the naval wharves at Garden Island where ships assigned to the Fleet Base usually berth but the official designation includes several other bases and facilities as well.

HMAS Albatross (air station)

HMAS Albatross is the main naval air station for the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm. The base, located near Nowra, New South Wales, was formally established in May 1942 as Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base RAAF Nowra, then was transferred to the Royal Navy as HMS Nabbington in 1944, and operated as a naval air station until it was decommissioned in late 1945. In 1948, the airfield was commissioned into the RAN as HMAS Albatross, as the primary shore base for the Fleet Air Arm. Since 2011, four squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm operate from Albatross. The current commander of the base is Captain Fiona Sneath, RAN.The base is home to the military airport Naval Air Station (NAS) Nowra (IATA: NOA, ICAO: YSNW), completed in June 1941.

HMAS Cairns (naval base)

HMAS Cairns is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base located adjacent to the Trinity Inlet on the shore of Trinity Bay in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Although used regularly as a port-of-call since before World War II, a permanent RAN presence was not established until 1971, when a maintenance and support base for patrol boats was set up. The base was formally commissioned in 1971 as a minor war vessel base. The current commander of the base is Commander David Hannah, RAN.

HMAS Cairns is responsible for all Australian naval activity off north-eastern Australia, and is the home base for one Armidale class patrol boat, two Cape class patrol boats and the ships of the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic Service.

HMAS Cerberus (naval base)

HMAS Cerberus is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base that serves as the primary training establishment for RAN personnel. The base is located adjacent to Crib Point on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The base is also an official bounded locality of the Shire of Mornington Peninsula and is the only naval base to have a specific listing in the Australian census. As at the 2016 census, HMAS Cerberus had a population of 1,040.

HMAS Coonawarra

HMAS Coonawarra is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base located in Darwin, Northern Territory, and is home to twelve fleet units of the RAN. The current commander is Commander Darren Rushworth, RAN.

HMAS Harman

HMAS Harman is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base that serves as a communications and logistics facility. The main base is located in the Australian capital of Canberra, and is geographically recognised as the suburb of Harman (postcode 2600). Established in the late 1930s as the Royal Australian Navy Wireless/Transmitting Station Canberra, the facility was commissioned into the RAN as a stone frigate in 1943. In addition to its communications and logistics roles, the base hosts reserve units from both the Australian Army Reserves and Royal Australian Air Force Reserves, as well as cadet units from all three branches of the Australian Defence Force Cadets.

The base is also reported to be a major contributor to the U.S. National Security Agency's XKeyscore surveillance program.The commander of the base is Commander David Luck, RAN.

HMAS Kuttabul (naval base)

HMAS Kuttabul is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base located in Potts Point in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Kuttabul provides administrative, training, logistics and accommodation support to naval personnel assigned to the various facilities that form Fleet Base East, the main operational navy base on the east coast of Australia. A part of Fleet Base East itself, Kuttabul occupies several buildings in the Sydney suburb of Potts Point and in the immediately adjacent Garden Island dockyard. It also supports navy personnel posted to other locations throughout the greater Sydney region.The base is named for the steam ferry HMAS Kuttabul that was sunk while docked at Garden Island during a Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbour in 1942.

HMAS Moreton

HMAS Moreton is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base located in Bulimba, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, responsible for providing administrative support to RAN personnel and visiting warships. It was originally established as a naval base located at New Farm, Brisbane in 1932, and was decommissioned in 1994; and recommissioned in 2016.

HMAS Penguin (naval base)

HMAS Penguin is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base located at Balmoral on the lower north shore of Sydney Harbour in the suburb of Mosman, New South Wales. Penguin is one of the RAN's primary training establishments, with a responsibility for providing trained specialists for all areas of the navy. The current commander of Penguin is Commander Mathew Bradley, RAN.

HMAS Stirling

HMAS Stirling is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base that is part of Fleet Base West situated on the west coast of Australia. The base is located on Garden Island in the state of Western Australia, near the city of Perth. Garden Island also has its own military airport on the island (ICAO: YGAD). HMAS Stirling is currently under the command of Captain Brian Delamont, RAN.

HMAS Waterhen (naval base)

HMAS Waterhen is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base located in Waverton on Sydney's lower north shore in New South Wales, Australia. Constructed on the site of a quarry used to expand Garden Island in the 1930s, the location was used during World War II as a boom net maintenance and storage area. In 1962, the area was commissioned as a base of the RAN, and became home to the RAN's mine warfare forces. Waterhen was the first small-ship base established by the RAN, and from 1969 to 1979 was also responsible for the RAN's patrol boat forces.

HMAS Watson

HMAS Watson is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base on Sydney Harbour at South Head, near Watsons Bay in Sydney, Australia. Commissioned in 1945 (after three years operating as HMAS Radar), the base served as the RAN's radar training school. In 1956, torpedo and anti-submarine warfare training were relocated to the base, and by 2011, Watson was the main maritime warfare training base, as well as providing post-entry education for maritime warfare officers, training for combat system and electronic warfare sailors, and command training.

List of active Royal Australian Navy ships

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) fleet is made up of 50 commissioned warships as of October 2018.

The main strength is the ten frigates and two destroyers of the surface combatant force: eight Anzac class frigates, two Adelaide class frigates, and two Hobart class destroyers. Six Collins-class boats make up the submarine service, although due to the maintenance cycle not all submarines are active at any time. The issues have now been fixed and five submarines are available for service. Amphibious warfare assets include two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships and the landing ship HMAS Choules. Thirteen Armidale-class patrol boats perform coastal and economic exclusion zone patrols, and four Huon-class vessels are used for minehunting and clearance (another two are commissioned but in reserve since October 2011). Replenishment at sea is provided by the Sirius, while the two Leeuwin-class and four Paluma-class vessels perform survey and charting duties.

In addition to the commissioned warships, the RAN operates the sail training ship Young Endeavour and two Cape-class patrol boats acquired from the Australian Border Force. Other auxiliaries and small craft are not operated by the RAN, but by DMS Maritime, who are contracted to provide support services.The lion's share of the RAN fleet is divided between Fleet Base East (HMAS Kuttabul, in Sydney) and Fleet Base West (HMAS Stirling, near Perth). Mine warfare assets are located at HMAS Waterhen (also in Sydney), while HMAS Cairns in Cairns and HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin host the navy's patrol and survey vessels.

Lists of military installations

This list of military installations consists of a collection of military related lists worldwide:

List of Australian military bases

List of Royal Australian Air Force installations

List of Royal Australian Navy bases

List of Brazilian military bases

List of Bulgarian military bases

List of Canadian Forces Bases

List of Chinese Air Force Bases

List of Danish Military Installations

List of Greek military bases

List of Honduran military bases

List of Indian Air Force bases

List of Irish military installations

List of Israel Defense Forces bases

List of Mexican military bases

List of New Zealand military bases

List of Russian military bases abroad

List of bases of the South African Air Force

List of South African military bases

List of Soviet Air Force bases

List of Sri Lankan air force bases

List of US-Bulgarian military bases

Royal Australian Naval College, HMAS Creswell

The Royal Australian Naval College (RANC), HMAS Creswell, commonly known as Creswell, is the naval academy of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) that consists of the RAN School of Survivability and Ship's Safety, Kalkara Flight, the Beecroft Weapons Range and an administrative support department. It is located between Jervis Bay Village and Greenpatch on the shores of Jervis Bay in the Jervis Bay Territory. Since 1915, the RANC has been the initial officer training establishment of the Royal Australian Navy.

The commanding officer of Creswell since January 2019 is Captain Warren Bairstow, RAN, who is also the Superintendent of Naval Waters for Jervis Bay and the lead authority for the conduct and management of Navy's initial entry, leadership and management training around Australia.

Bases of the Royal Australian Navy
Current bases
Former bases


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