I went to Fort Scratchley over christmas and what a place to visit! you instantly get the feel and look of how it must of looked like and felt to be at war and looking out for the enemy. The views are to die for and the outlook out to sea is one of the things you must go and see just for the pictures you can take. The tunnels are a must visit too the guide that took us around was fantastic he told the history so well and was interesting for adults/children for the history side and for the children to take a look at the huge guns! (probarly adults to)
Opening times 10am till 4pm 6 days a week not open on a Tuesday.
Tunnels cost Adult $12
Children $6 (ages 4-12)
Times of tunnel 10.30am first tour and goes on intervails through the day last one being 2.30pm.
Fort Scratchley was opened in 1882 after fears of Russian attacks. Soldiers barracks and officers residents were later established in 1886. The guns, installed in 1882 have only been fired a number of times. Today, the guns of Fort Scratchley.
Pre European Settlement
The headland now known as Fort Scratchley has two natural features which stood out. Height offered a lookout of the area; and seams of coal around its base. These were recognised not just by Europeans but by local Aboriginal tribes.
"Natural landscape features and known scared sites include Whibay Gamba, Newcastle’s famous landmark Nobbys. It is said that a notorious kangaroo jumped from Tahlbihn Point, at the site now known as Fort Scratchley, to the safety of Whibay Gamba. The kangaroo remains hidden in the island’s bowels occasionally thumping its tail and making the land tremble. The thumbing is said to be a reference to the region’s earthquake activity." Newcastle City Council Website on Aboriginal Culture
The land around Nobbys Head including the Fort Scratchley site would have been first sighted by Europeans on 10 May 1770 when Captain James Cook on his ship Endeavour sailed up the east coast of Australia..
The first Europeans to set foot on the area now known as Fort Scratchley arrived on 9th September 1797.
Lieutenant John Shortland RN, during an unsuccessful pursuit of convicts who had pirated the colony's largest vessel, the 'Cumberland' in the Hawksbury River, made a camp at what was to become Freshwater Creek. This was near the base of the hill which apparently first became known as 'Braithwaite's Head' in honour of Lieutenant Braithwaite RN of HMS Reliance.
During Shortland's exploration of the harbour foreshores, he found coal scattered at the base of the hill. Samples of the valuable fuel were taken to Sydney, leading subsequently to the first commercial coal mining in Newcastle on this site, a small shipment being sent to Bengal in 1799.
During the next century the Fort would begin construction.
I do hope in the near future if you haven't already take a day out to look at Fort Scratchley fantastic place to take the whole family.
Many thanks for reading :)
Linzi Hunter Paranormal Australia