The Dawes Point area where Pier One stands was used primarily for military purposes after Australia’s colonization by the British.
Work on the construction of Pier One commenced in August 1910.
The Pier One wharf was initially designed to provide a berth of 540ft long, with a 30ft width of wharf in front of two double decked cargo sheds, 190ft x 70ft in dimension. By 1913 plans had been amended to provide 620ft wharf in length, featuring a two-story Federation style timber longshore shed 421ft x 70ft in dimension.
After its construction, Pier One was used regularly by the Orient Steam Navigation Company, and P&O Steam Navigation Company, although other lines also used the facility. The Royal Military Service New Zealand also used Pier One for some time, from 1913. From 1923 a permanent arrangement was made for the berthing of large P&O and Orient liners that had moved from Circular Quay due to their increased size.
Pier One served as a P&O passenger terminal until 1963, then as a cargo wharf until 1977 when work began on redevelopment for commercial use. It continued to be a popular attraction offering restaurants. Amusements and retail until it was restored and redeveloped as the innovative Hotel, opening in Spring 1999.
Today it is home to the hotel Sebel Pier One.