Our new friend David G picked us up and gave us a day off of the boat life. We headed into Newcastle to check out this city on the water. Next time, I’d bring my bathing suit! There’s tons of fun places to swim in Newcastle.
We started at the Mereweather Ocean Baths, full of people in a Saturday in the summer. Thankfully it was mostly cloudy for us, so while it was dry and hot, it wasn’t scorching. The ocean baths are these great things that I’ve never seen in the states: man made swimming pools naturally filled with salt water from the ocean. We’ve seen them all over the place. Maybe one of these days we will actually swim in one.
The Mereweather Ocean Baths are a great place to pick up the Yuelarbah Track. The track is part of the Great North Walk, a 250 km trail from Sydney to Newcastle. The last 6km from Mereweather baths to Nobby Lighthouse is a 4m wide paved road. We didn’t walk the whole thing, but instead drove between major sites.
Directly north of the baths is the Mereweather Surfclub and Mereweather Beach. Excellent people watching, and there was even a surf competition going on!
Two and a half kilometers down the track is the Newcastle Memorial Walk. Dedicated to the ANZAC service members in WWI, the structure itself is architecturally beautiful, and so is the view!
Another kilometer brought us to Bogey Hole. This swimming hole was constructed in 1819 under the demands of Major James Morisset. Built by convicts, this small pool allows for a more secluded and quiet swim with the ocean water lapping over the edges.
Next is the Newcastle Ocean Baths, with a quirky Federation Free classical style facade. This one even has a lap pool!
Finally, the trail ends at Nobbys Beach, Lighthouse, and breakwall. Nobbys used to be an island that was twice as tall as it is currently, but it blocked the wind from the sails of incoming ships, so in 1855 convict labour was used to reduce the size of the island! The materials removed were used to make the breakwall. The lighthouse is open and free on Sundays.
If you’ve got time, visit Fort Scratchley, built in 1882 and used to fend off Japanese submarines in WWII.
We popped into NCYC to say “hello” to a familiar face (just the boat, sadly we didn’t get to say hi to our friends).
We had a great lunch at Shipyard Takeway. Friend calamari, fish & chips, and fish burgers.
We drove to The Hood Milk Bar for dessert. I ordered the “The Best Dark Chocolate Gelato in the World”. And guys, it was.
Thanks David G for showing us a great time around Newcastle! It’s always nice to get a break from the boat.