Labor's longest serving prime minister was at Parliament House for the introduction of legislation to secure Koongarra within Kakadu National Park, a process he helped start.
He returned to the floor of the lower house to watch a question time dominated by the opposition's pursuit of the government's long-promised and now abandoned budget surplus.
As Hockey got to his feet to ask his first question, Speaker Anna Burke paused him so she could welcome Hawke.
Hockey, who's also the member for North Sydney, didn't miss a beat.
First, to gentle opposition applause, he welcomed Hawke as his constituent. Then he welcomed him as the last Labor PM to have delivered a surplus (in 1989-90).
That brought the house down - on the opposition side at least.
The hoorays, of course, had a political edge. But Hawke didn't seem to mind. He beamed through it.
Hockey's off-the-cuff performance neatly dove-tailed with the opposition's main weapon of the day - copies of Labor newsletters to constituents boasting of the delivery of its promised surplus.
Normal people would have been a tad embarrassed by this premature proclamation.
The prime minister said the opposition should apologise for falsely promising fully costed policies, while Swan said the once great Liberal Party had joined the "cranks and crazies" of the United States Tea Party.
Later, workplace minister Bill Shorten came back to Hawke, while accusing the opposition of wanting to wreck superannuation.
Hawke, Shorten said, knew the only time super was lifted was when Labor was in government.
That mightn't have been the most tactful of linkages as superannuation back in Hawke's time was Paul Keating's big thing.
Hawke, though, beamed again.
The 83-year-old seemed to be enjoying it all and stayed longer than most VIP visitors.