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Jesmond House, what a beautiful, well kept enormous mansion this was!
This Mansion was built for spirit merchant John Wood in 1865, originally standing amongst an extensive garden. It was often used for grand social occasions. Features include a grand entry staircase, magnificent ornamental cast-iron fencing and a tower. It was Newcastle's most fashionable house at one time and it is not hard to see why, it is beautiful!,
Written Feb 25, 2010
This old Beacon Tower, which was used as a navigational aid, was originally 7 metres high, then it was extended to 20 metres in 1877 after the light had been obscured by the erection of a Wesley Parsonage. Alterations to the bearings of the entrance channel led to commissioning of new lights in steel towers on other sites on 1 June 1918.
The public are no longer allowed to climb the Tower
Updated Feb 25, 2010
Address: The Hill - Newcastle
The Hunter Botanic gardens are not to be confused with the Hunter Valley gardens, they are two different gardens located in different places.
We didn't know this one existed until we saw sign on the Pacific Highway, of course, this meant a visit!
Heading to the Visitor's centre 1st, we found leaflets on the Gardens, plus souvenirs and a Cafe serving Devonshire morning teas, yummy! They also have lite meals and refreshments here.
The gardens cover quite an area, so be prepared for some walking, as there is plenty to see. There are lots of the Australian natives, like the Grevillea, Banksia, Acacia gardens just to name a few. Most of the plants here are Australian flora.
There are so many themed gardens, the Protea garden [south african plants] was one of my favorites, and the Succulent garden would have to be one of the best I have ever seen, so many different types of cacti here! They also have an area with the plants that grow in the region. Rainforest, Wetland, a really nice place for a stroll!
If you have the time, there is a large expanse of natural bushland with several walking tracks up to 6km in length providing an opportunity to see local plants and wildlife including numerous birds, goannas, possums, wallabies and koalas.
The bushland called the Gundabooka Trail is used to indicate the plants which were important to the local Kooris [aborigines] and were used for food, medicine and other purposes.
The Gardens and Visitors Centre, and Gardens Shop and the Kookaburra Cafe are open daily, from 9.00am to 4.00pm
Admission to the Gardens is FREE for individuals.
The Gardens has a boom gate controlled carpark for visitors. A parking charge of $4.00 applies for cars.
Check the website for different events that are held throughout the year at the gardens.
Lovely gardens well worth visiting, especially in Spring/Summer when the shrubs and Trees are flowering.
Written Feb 25, 2010
Website: www.huntergardens.org.au/ -
Cellar Door Opening Hours
9am - 5pm Monday to Saturday
10am - 4pm Sunday
$5 per person
Private Group Tour & Tasting
$5 per person for tour
$8 per person for tour and tasting
Bookings are essential
Updated Nov 10, 2009
Address: 1838 Broke Road Pokolbin NSW 2320
Phone: 612 4993 7000
There are three standout sandstone buildings in Newcastle. The old Post Office, the old Customs House and the Town Hall, shown here.
This shot is taken from near the library on the other side of Civic Park one afternoon with a storm brewing which somewhat enhances the colour of the sandstone.
It was opened in 1929 and inside is a lovely dance hall with balcony et al.
Walking up the splendid stairway however, one notices what I consider to be an eyesore. There is a large mural in lurid yellow set amongst the sandstone supposedly depicting the Hunter Valley by a famous artist called Olsen. In an art gallery it may well have a place. Here, where it clashes with everything, is not the place.
Updated Feb 8, 2009
Address: King Street, Newcastle
This was another night we went up to the carpark, only this time we went to Strzelecki Lookout, the name derived from a noted early explorer of Polish descent.
The granite tablet in the Strzelecki Lookout site states the following information about Paul Strzelecki.
"Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki in recognition of the Polish Geologist and Australian Explorer whose work on coal deposits and chemical analysis during the period 1838-1945 influenced the development of the Newcastle District." What it doesn't tell you is that the man had a fascinating life and, if you ever get the chance to research him, you will come across a truly amazing story.
The lookout has superb views east and south and is a popular spot for take off with Hang Glider enthusiasts.
The proposed art commission for this site is integral to seating as the site is at the crest of a long climb from Bar Beach. The site allows for some innovative seating integrated into an environmental art design. The art should intimate aspects of Strzelecki's work, life and connection with Newcastle. The Bather's Way trail on the down track to Bar Beach passes sections of an exposed cliff face that reveal examples of geographic stratification. Let you know when it's complete.
Updated Feb 8, 2009
There are many galleries to view, this is a list of just a few.
Von Bertouch Gallery named after a lady called Anne who was passionate about art and larger-than-life and who sadly passed away in 2003, but her legacy of a top class private gallery remains, located in Laman Street, Newcastle.
Dobell House at Wangi Wangi is the one time home of one of Australia's most famous brushmen, Bill Dobell, a unpretentious man of the people. Art and memorabilia can be found here at 47 Dobell Drive, Wangi Wangi.
The John Paynter Gallery features the work of emerging and established artists so you get a real pot pourri here at 90 Hunter Street, Newcastle.
If you're in to South Sea Islands stuff then the Seventh Day Adventists have a museum in a house once used by one of their founders here, Ellen White. It's at 27 Avondale Road, Cooranbong. It also has some of her artifacts.
Lake Macquarie City Council has its own gallery at Booragul in an attractive setting by the lake with a privately owned restaurant next door making it a popular weekend venue. The are sculptures set in the lawns surrounding the buildings.
Updated Feb 8, 2009
This is a shot of Merewether Baths and beach, taken on the same afternoon as the shot in my "Sports Tips" page.
It's not uncommon to get cloud banks off Newcastle in the afternoon and the sun's low evening rays will kiss the clouds and make them blush for five minutes before the earth's rotation beckons the dark grey of night.
The white building is the pumping station that renews the salt water for the baths.
The other pics were taken one morning when I woke up in the motorhome and it just all happened. I like to think there's a couple of good ones among them.
Updated Jan 29, 2009
The local kids call this place the 'Fairy Garden'. It is a small piece of land owned by the council which had been left unused until the 'Fairy Protector ', (aka the gentleman who lives across the road from it), took matters into his own hands and created this delightful haven for his children and grandchildren to play in. Now, many other neighbourhood kids benefit from his hard work and brilliant imagination. There are of course, fairies throughout the garden, hiding in and around the toadstools, but there are other creatures as well...lions poke their heads out from jungle type bushes, a crocodile smiles at possible dinner candidates, frogs, both real and terracotta, rest near ponds. There is always food left out for the local birdlife offering them a haven also. There is a barbeque area and cool, shady resting places. The kids love running through the magical little pathways and discovering the treasures here.
We are always very careful when we come here to leave everything just as we found it, as the Fairy Protector has put so much time, effort and love into his very special garden.
Written Sep 15, 2008
Address: Near the jackson St bridge. Broadmeadow.
This is a great place to take the kids to burn off some excess energy or to cool down in summer. They have great holliday programs as well as 'disco' nights, hockey matches, learn to skate classes, figure skating lessons, hockey lessons, even a coffee club for the mums. They also cater to birthday parties, supplying all the necessaries and cleaning up the mess to boot!
We recently took Brad for his first skate and were lucky enough to have the place entirely to ourselves, (mid week morning session). It gets quite busy on the weekends, and especially during school hollidays, but is never too crowded.
Written Aug 24, 2008
Address: 230 Macquarrie Rd, Warners Bay
Phone: 4954 4499
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