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Once a coastal defensive stronghold, Fort Scratchley is today a museum dedicated to its former protective role. It was initially built in the 19th century to stave off a potential Russian attack, although its guns weren’t put into action until the Shelling of Newcastle in 1942. Explore the site for a better understanding of the fort and its place in Australian military history.
Look around the site at your own pace or get a guided tour for a more comprehensive visit. Embark on a tour of the fort’s underground tunnel complex. The museum has five main rooms with a range of exhibits. Learn the pre-fort history of the Awabakal peoples and the coal mines of the region.
Hear about the history of the stronghold, which was completed in 1882. It was constructed to defend against a feared Russian attack. However, its first true military service came in 1942, when the Japanese fired 34 shells at Newcastle. The Fort Scratchley gunners fired four shells in retaliation at the submarine; however, they had no hits. The Australian Army left the fort in 1972.
Inspect the items for sale at the Artillery Store, which has a range of souvenirs and refreshments. Hear the daily time gun firing, which goes off at 1 p.m. to coincide with the drop of the time ball at Customs House. It is part of a tradition that once helped sailors adjust their navigation instruments.
Note that the site opens to the public Wednesday through Monday from morning until afternoon. Enter the museum for free and pay a fee for a guided tour.
Find Fort Scratchley in the Newcastle East suburb at the eastern tip of Newcastle. It is on the small peninsula that juts out between the Hunter River and the Pacific Ocean. Ride a bus to one of the stops in this suburb. See nearby attractions, including Sandhills Community Garden, Newcastle Ocean Baths and Nobbys Beach.
Located in the heart of Newcastle, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Newcastle Civic Theater, Nobbys Head Beach, and Newcastle Beach. Merewether Beach is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) away. Civic Station is only a 4-minute walk and Newcastle Interchange Station is 20 minutes.
Offering direct access to the beach, this Newcastle East hotel is in the city center and within a 5-minute walk of Newcastle Ocean Baths and Newcastle Beach. Nobbys Head Beach and Merewether Beach are also within 2 mi (3 km). Civic Station is 20 minutes by foot.
Situated by the ocean, this hotel is steps from Fort Scratchley and Newcastle Ocean Baths. Nobbys Head Beach and Newcastle Beach are also within 10 minutes. Civic Station is 22 minutes by foot.
Located in Newcastle, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within a 15-minute walk of Newcastle Beach and Nobbys Head Beach. Merewether Beach is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) away. Civic Station is 17 minutes by foot.
Situated in Newcastle, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Newcastle Civic Theater, Newcastle Beach, and Nobbys Head Beach. Merewether Beach is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) away. Civic Station is 6 minutes by foot and Newcastle Interchange Station is 24 minutes.
Located in the heart of Newcastle West, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Newcastle Civic Theater, Merewether Beach, and Newcastle Beach. Nobbys Head Beach is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) away. Newcastle Interchange Station is 9 minutes by foot and Civic Station is 10 minutes.
Located in the heart of Newcastle West, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Newcastle Civic Theater, Christ Church Cathedral, and King Edward Park. Merewether Ocean Baths and Blackbutt Reserve are also within 6 mi (10 km). Newcastle Interchange Station is 9 minutes by foot and Civic Station is 12 minutes.
Situated near the beach, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Christ Church Cathedral and Nobbys Head Beach. Newcastle Beach and Merewether Beach are also within 2 mi (3 km). Civic Station is 15 minutes by foot.