Newcastle, a harbour city located about 160 km north-north-east of Sydney, is the second most populous area in New South Wales. It is accessible by car and bus through Pacific Motorway or by train on the North Shore/Central Coast line with one train change in Hornsby.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics posted that the average age of about 170K Newcastle residents is 36.5. They mostly work in or connected with coal mining, ship building and portage services.
What is in Newcastle for walkers? Other than the scenic train ride up to Newcastle train station, walkers can enjoy the scenic foreshore walk imbibed with history and Australian way of life.
The European vibe of the city will greet you as you exit the station: the concrete water gateway, the manicured lawn, the old buildings and the life on a weekend by the beach.
Two points of interest in Newcastle are the Nobby’s Lighthouse (taken from the hill of Fort Scratchley) and the Fort Scratchley (up on a hill behind the Nobby’s Beach Surf Pavilion).
On Sundays, the Nobby’s Lighthouse Ground is open to the public. It offers an easy uphill walk with scenic view of the city and the surrounding waters. It was windy and rainy on the day I visited thus I had to endure the sting of windblown sands hitting my face as I traverse the road by the beach. Sipping a cup of hot latte while sitting on a wooden chair inside one of the lighthouse towers made it up and erased the pain.
It is worth mentioning the plants and flowers that grow in abundance on the beach. They are distinctively beachy and unlikely to be found inland.
As you walk up the hill, you will not miss the cut-size model of a boat and boards depicting the history of life savings on the harbour of Newcastle since 1836.
On the other side of the foreshore is another uphill walk to Fort Scratchley, a fort used to guard this shore in World War II. It is now decommissioned and used as a museum housing memorabilia of the fort and personal effects of those who served in that period. Check out the flat iron and the washing board they used at that time. Big credit goes to Michael Faraday for spearheading the mass production of electricity to make washing machine and electric flat iron work.
Newcastle is still a metropolitan area although smaller in comparison to Sydney. It has the old Customs house converted to a hotel and a bar and the street arts capture the life in the harbour.
Don’t get me wrong, please. I still enjoy bush walking but writing it to post starts to bore me when I post one after another. This post on Newcastle foreshore walk is a much needed break and I will return with another bush walk post on a different but longer track next time.