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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you're in Newcastle for any length of time or, if you've researched your destination and you don't mind a tipple, then you'll be heading into the Hunter Valley and probably Pokolbin.
This is a wise choice as it's a great place to visit and there's certainly a vast array of wines to choose from and just as much accommodation.
Do bear in mind that you won't be the first to "discover" the area as tourist numbers rose from 1,600,000 in 2001 to over 2,000,000 in 2002 and have consistently been above that since. The good news is that there is so much to see and it's so spread out that there's plenty of elbow room. With five golf courses, world class gardens, hot air ballooning, cycling and a myriad of restaurants there's also plenty of variety.
The building shown here used to be a convent. Built in 1909 at Coonamble for the Irish Brigidine Order of Nuns it was cut into four sections late last century and shipped 600kms on the back of 7 trucks to its present location.
Aided by Electricity Commission workers who continually had to remove low power lines for safety it reached Pokolbin and was reassembled to the satisfaction of some of the nuns who have since visited it.
They were so impressed they handed over the original foundation stone, stained glass windows and etched wooden doors which they had stored when they moved to new premises.
It's now an accommodation house with a "if you have to ask you can't afford it' tag but it would be nice if you had the money.
(also see my Pokolbin page if you want more info)
Newcastle brewery is a pub/ club set up right in the harbour of town. Its a great place to sit and have a drink with friends. I find sunday afternoons when it is warm is the best time of year to do it. Most weekends there is a live band playing outside. Great to just sit down and watch the boats pass you by. There is also an excellent menu & function rooms.
St Andrews Presbyterian Church (1880s) is situated in the south western corner of Civic Park and is an impressive building, though not on a grand scale like the cathedral, designed by Menkens with a very vertical aspect and tall spire.
The Civic is one of Australia's great historic theatres and hosts a wide range of musicals, plays, concerts, dance and other events each year in the nation's seventh largest city.
Located in the heart of Newcastle’s City Centre, the 1520 seat Civic Auditorium is one of Newcastle ’s most popular and prestigious venues. The grandeur of the art deco surrounds with the marble staircase, terrazzo balcony and main auditorium chandelier, makes for a stunning and unforgettable experience.
The heritage-listed Civic Theatre was designed by prominent architect Henry White and originally opened by the then Premier of New South Wales in 1929.
Regarded as one of the finest architects of the period, White specialised in cinemas or "picture palaces" as they were then called. In all, he designed some in 183 theatres in Australia, New Zealand and North America, many in partnership with John Eberson. Sydney's State and Capitol Theatres are among their other designs from the same period.
The Newcastle Knights Rugby League team is my favourite team and they are much loved in Newcastle.
If you can get to a game at Energy Australia Stadium, I would recommend it.
The place has an atmosphere and energy about it that I love.
Right smack in the middle of the city there is a park. Actually there are several parks. One that has views to die for and wonderful landscaping is King Edward Park.
It overlooks the Pacific Ocean just south of Newcastle Beach and is dotted with tall pines and barbecue and picnic areas.
It's no surprise therefore to find that many people like to spend Saturday and Sunday afternoons here and many wedding parties choose to use this as a spot for their photograph session, particlularly around the rotunda (pic 3) which forms a lovely frame for many a shot.
There's a steep natural bowl in the middle of the park and it features the Sunken Garden, always a lovely spectacle in spring. Pics 1,2,4,5 show you what it looks like in December.
All in all, a splendid place for a walk or just relaxing.
Once upon a time, this type of house was the province of the working class and then they slowly became time worn and some were pulled down. Terrace housing was on the wane. As the years passed and Australians began to realise their heritage was being lost, a movement gathered momentum and suddenly buildings such as this became worthwhile.
They were done up, restored even, and sold at inflated prices but, hey, don't they make such a change from the profusion of 20th century bland housing that one finds elsewhere.
These examples are to be found in the inner city, about a block south west of Civic Park and the cultural centre.
Were you to visit Newcastle you might get to see my backyard. Then again, you might not. If you were fortunate enough (my view) you might get to see the nesting doves that are about 1 metre from our kitchen window.
Or, perhaps you might notice the native orchids down the back or the occasional daisy. Whatever you see, I would hope that you enjoy it.
Sadly, the young chick was taken by the animal that most VTers seem to love, a cat. The amount of birds, native and otherwise, that they consume is tragic.
The town I live in has tended to live at an arm's length from global conflicts; one of the reasons I enjoy living there so much. As such I grew up in a tolerant world, one that racism and its like were never a part of.
So it was with much sadness in 2005 that I learnt that it was a part, however small, of our community when the local synagogue was attacked and damaged.
A couple of neo-nazi youths vandalized the building. I won't gratify them by elaborating what they wrote except that to me it's all summed up by the fact that it was done in the wee hours of the morning when they can hide behind the cloak of darkness, because they know the world at large disowns them.
The rest of Newcastle's religious community rallied around the synagogue I'm pleased to say and may this kind of thing disappear from our streets.
The building itself supports a small Jewish community in Newcastle. The history is linked to an extraordinary man; MORRIS, ISACK (1881-1951), rabbi, was born on 10 October 1881 at Zagare, Lithuania, Russia, one of five children of Samuel Selig Monteviersky, storekeeper, and his wife Yarcha Frida, née Yosef. Isack qualified at a Yeshivah college, went to Britain in 1900 and anglicized his surname to Morris. After two years in the Cape Colony where he was naturalized on 2 April 1903, he reached Sydney on 11 July 1904 in the Geelong and was appointed reader of the Newtown synagogue. Late in 1905 he was guaranteed a salary by George Judah Cohen to begin services for the Newcastle Hebrew Congregation. Though he left he returned in 1921 and, with funds from the Cohen family among others, the building was completed in 1927.
The first building here is on a place appropriately termed "The Hill".
It's the first real area of quality homes in Newcastle and most have been maintained and restored. This is one of the finer examples on the very top of the hill.
The second shot is in Hunter Street and shows and example of a new block of units that have maintained the original facade, leaving something more visually pleasing than the majority of buildings that are going up today.