A shipment of $144 million in cocaine arrived at Port Kembla before it was seized by police at Port Botany.
The drugs arrived into Australia in a second-hand excavator, shipped out of South Africa into Port Kembla before being driven to Port Botany in June.
Border Force officers were suspicious about the origin of the heavy equipment and x-rayed sections of it at the Sydney Container Examination Facility.
The drugs were concealed within the hydraulic lifting arms of the excavator, which had been opened, filled with 384 separate one-kilogram packets of cocaine, and carefully re-sealed.
Border Force officers substituted the drugs and then resealed the replacements into the metal lifting arms, with the excavator trucked down to Bungendore in the ACT for delivery, where police were waiting.
Heavily armed Canberra-based tactical police swarmed the back streets of Bungendore, making two arrests related to the shipment from South Africa on Sunday.
The 384kg seizure is the biggest made by ACT police, who coordinated the raid out of Winchester Police Centre in Belconnen in strict secrecy after having a local criminal syndicate under surveillance for some months.
Bungendore residents reported witnessing the black-clad tactical officers carrying semi-automatic weapons preparing to enter the target premises, a small landscaping company in King Street.
The precautions were necessary because the syndicate had close links to an undisclosed bikie gang, ACT Chief Police Officer Ray Johnston revealed.
Two men appeared in Queanbeyan Local Court on Monday as a result of the raid.
They are Timothy John Engstrom, 34, and Adam Phillip Hunter, 35, both of Queanbeyan. Neither man applied for bail and will be held in custody until their next scheduled court appearance on September 9.
The men are expected to face high-level drug trafficking charges, which potentially carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Australian Border Force Acting Deputy Commissioner Operations, Sharon Huey, said the significant result was another example of the high levels of cooperation between Australian law enforcement agencies.
"This was an incredibly sophisticated concealment of cocaine, but through our joint efforts, we've been able to disrupt this syndicate and stop these harmful substances from infiltrating our borders," Acting Deputy Commissioner Huey said.
"Our officers have highly sophisticated technology at their disposal and this detection really shows no matter the lengths criminals go to - even if they weld drugs into machinery - we have the skills and equipment to find these concealments."