Newcastle NSW

Travel time from Sydney is about 2 hours

Newcastle is a harbour city in the Australian state of New South Wales. Its plentiful beaches are linked by the Bathers Way, a coastal walk stretching between Nobbys Beach and Merewether Beach. The walk provides access to Bogey Hole, a convict-built ocean bath from the colonial period. Also on the path is the 1880s Fort Scratchley, a historic site and a viewpoint for spotting migrating whales.

Newcastle Art Gallery

Nationally recognised as one of the finest public collections in Australia, Newcastle Art Gallery holds over 7,000 works of art and the quality and breadth of its collection makes it a significant cultural asset for the city. The collection reflects the history of Newcastle as the eighth largest city in Australia. Established in 1804 as a penal settlement, and the earliest works in the Gallery’s collection are by convict artists. Joseph Lycett’s paintings of early Newcastle, or Coal River as it was known in the early nineteenth century, give central prominence to Nobbys headland, the quintessential feature of Newcastle harbour. Lycett’s early views of Newcastle also document the Indigenous inhabitants of the region, namely the Awabakal and Worimi people, whose lands spread north of the Hunter River and south to encompass Lake Macquarie. You can find more information about the collection in the Collection pages.

Newcastle Memorial Walk

Newcastle’s Memorial Walk is a spectacular coastal walk with a personal connection for thousands of locals.

The Walk is located above Memorial Drive The Hill, on Strzelecki Headland (between Bar Beach and King Edward Park). The Anzac walk was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in 1915 and the commencement of steel making in Newcastle; it acts as a magnificent memorial to the men and women of the Hunter who served their community and their country. The structure cost $4.5m to build and is a 450 meter long cliff top walkway that links Newcastle’s Strzelecki Lookout to Bar Beach.

Newcastle museum

Newcastle Museum was originally founded in 1988 as a major Bicentennial project and has been located in the Honeysuckle Railway Workshops since 4 August 2011.

The former Castlemaine Brewery

The original idea for a Museum in Newcastle was developed by a consortium of interested parties, including the institution of Engineers and Supernova Inc. who worked hard to promote the idea of a regional Museum in the 1980s.

The site originally selected by this group was the Honeysuckle Railway Workshops, then still in the hands of the State Rail Authority. Moves to acquire that site failed and a decision was made to acquire and restore the former Castlemaine Brewery in Hunter Street, Newcastle West.

The Castlemaine Brewery was home to the former Museum from 1988 until  2008 when it closed to allow for the new Museum in Honeysuckle to be built.

The Museum in the Honeysuckle Railway Workshops

The Honeysuckle Railway Workshops are unique pieces of classic railway architecture. There are three buildings listed with the National Trust:

  • Locomotive Boiler Shop
  • New Erecting Shop
  • Blacksmith and Wheel Shop

Locomotive Boiler Shop

The former Locomotive Boiler Shop is an example of Victorian Romanesque Architecture and was constructed between 1882 – 1887. Original plans for the building were changed to fit in a large overhead ‘Craven’ crane, the only one in the southern hemisphere. The Boiler Shop operated for 42 years until 1929 when the work was taken over by the new Cardiff Locomotive Workshop. The Boiler Shop was later used as a timber mill (1937 – 1940) and then as a Locomotive Machine Shop. It became Elcom’s first diesel operated power station in 1951 and from 1957 served as a motor vehicles garage for NSW State rail Authority. It is now permanent home to Supernova, the interactive science exhibit.

New Erecting Shop

The New Erecting Shop was constructed in 1920 as an adjunct to the Old Erecting Shop which was demolished. Locomotive engines or rolling stock due for repair went to the New Erecting Shop where they were dismantled, sent for repair and returned for re-assembly. The sawtooth roof contrasts with the style of other buildings, reflecting changes that occurred in building technology and architecture since the 1880s. The building was extensively damaged in the 1989 earthquake and now includes a substantial concrete structure to stiffen the building in case of another earthquake. The building is now home to Fire and Earth, including the BHP story and an exhibition on coal mining.

Blacksmith’s and Wheel Shop

The Blacksmith’s shop is one of the oldest of the three buildings and was built in 1880 out of local bricks. The Blacksmith’s and Wheel Shop was responsible for all the wheel shop and smithing work required by other workshops on the site. It continued its role for 55 years up to 1937.

Design your own Tour in Newcastle

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