Newcastle City - Newcastle, NSW

172 kms from Sydney

Newcastle is the second city and port of New South Wales and, in volume of shipping, is the third port of Australia. It stands on the southern shores of the estuary of the Hunter River, and is the outport for the produce of the Hunter River Valley.

Coal was first discovered in the Newcastle area by Lieutenant John Shortland when he explored the mouth of the Hunter in 1797, and it was not long before it was being mined and sent to Sydney. Oversea trade in coal also began early, and by 1814 Newcastle was sending 154 tons of coal yearly to Calcutta, payment being made in Bengal rum.

At first the principal mining district was near the coast and there were mines in areas now occupied by the city and its suburbs. With the partial exhaustion of these and the discovery of more profitable measures between Maitland and Cessnock, the centre of the mining industry moved about 20 kms westward. But Newcastle has retained its importance as the shipping port and industrial centre of the region.

For an industrial city, Newcastle is surprisingly handsome with wide streets and stately buildings. The surrounding district is noted for its beauty. From many elevated points it is possible to view great stretches of pleasant rural and coastal lands. Newcastle has excellent sporting facilities of all kinds, fine surfing beaches and, at near-by Lake Macquarie, many attractive seaside resorts.

While the city of Newcastle is one of the most modern in Australia, it is not generally known that it is a tourist centre as well as an industrial centre. It abounds with beaches, perhaps the most notable being Newcastle beach, right on the city's doorstep. Here the ocean drive skirts along the baths to Nobby's Head where the breakwater overlooks Stockton. A vehicular ferry is constantly crossing, and nowhere can the Hunter be crossed except by ferry. The Pacific Highway is joined by punt at Hexham, about 9miles west of Newcastle. It is here that the New England Highway branches off, running through Maitland up to Brisbane, or, by crossing the punt, the coastal route is followed. Of the many beaches adjoining Newcastle suburbs the most popular are Stockton, Bar Beach to the south, Merewether beach, and the beaches around Redhead. An interesting panorama of the whole Newcastle area can be seen from Lambton Heights. The surrounding district to Newcastle abounds in lakes; to the north, Port Stevens, to the south, Port Macquarie.

Location

Newcastle, NSW, 2300