Graving or Dry Dock
This dry dock is the only one in the south island of New Zealand.
The graving or dry dock is a remarkable feat of Victorian marine engineering. It was conceived in 1875 and completed in 1882, and took 600 man years to build.
The dry dock has a floor length of 137m, floor width of 14m and can accommodate vessels with up to 18.8m beam and 6.1m draught.
It is fascinating to watch a vessel come to the entrance when the gates are open and the dock is full of water. The vessel enters, the gates are shut and the water is emptied and the vessel rests on a dry platform, so that the maintenance can be carried out. When it is complete the dock is gradually filled with water again, the gates are opened and the vessel leaves.