Newcastle, Australia Tourist Attractions
Newcastle (pop. 432,600 with suburbs) is the second largest city in New South Wales, an important industrial center (steelworks established 1915) and one of Australia's busiest ports. The area was settled at an early stage, with a penal colony established in 1804, and coal mining began soon afterwards. It enjoyed a great upsurge of prosperity after becoming the principal port in the Hunter area in the mid 19th C (steel, coal, wheat, wool).Historic buildings extend from the waterfront up the hill, bearing witness to the town's prosperity at the end of the 19th C (customs house, railway station, Christ Church Cathedral, courthouse, post office). The Historical Museum (Brown and Pitt Streets) illustrates the history of the town, Hunter Valley and the Newcastle region. The Art Gallery has a good collection of Australian art, particularly of the 19th C.At the tip of the peninsula (Nobby's Road) is Fort Scratchley, built in 1880-6 to counter a possible Russian attack, from which there are wide views. Queen's Wharf is the center-point of the foreshore redevelopment program designed to clean up the coastal zone, disfigured in the past by shipping and industry, and to provide a walkway to the city center and scenic walks along the foreshore. The process of redevelopment was made necessary by an earthquake in 1990 which caused damage in the business district. Spacious parks and gardens in the city center; good surfing beaches on the coast. Visitors can see round the BHP steelworks at Port Waratah, the foundation of the city's industry.
Excursions to Lake Macquarie, a large coastal lagoon 27km south, and to the Hunter Valley, the well-known region northwest of the city.