In most of the Australasia, coastal cities the ocean bathing sites have to be approached by tram or train, but in this instance beautiful sandy beaches are within a quarter of a mile of the Post Office.
The Municipality has a water frontage to the Pacific Ocean amounting to over three miles, excluding the foreshores of the harbour.
In 1901 the Government donated a grant of £1000, which was expended in forming a concrete retaining wall for a distance of one-eight of a mile, the Council contributing certain sums in erecting dressing boxes for ladies and a few shelters.
Later on, in 1907, a further grant of £1000 was made by the Government, which was disbursed in erecting substantial shelters, promenades, retaining walls, and general conveniences.
The success of this work was so appreciated both by the citizens and the Government, that three more grants were made during the past few years amounting to £1700, the Council spending a further sum of £500 quite recently.
The result of
these operations has had the effect of placing Newcastle in the premier
position of all Australasian watering places.
A beautiful carriage drive has been formed overlooking the ocean, from which can be seen on the north the Stockton Beach and the hills of Port Stephens over 30 miles away, also Red Hill and Norah Head, about the same distance away to the south'ard.
There is an uninterrupted promenade 45 chains in length, paved with concrete and tarred metal, and lighted from end to end by electricity, which is much appreciated by the thousands who visit this charming spot.
Along this promenade scores of comfortable seats have been provided and shelters from the sun and rain, and during warm nights, surf bathing can be indulged in, the sandy shores being illuminated for that purpose by several powerful electric arc lamps.
The whole of the distance is protected by a substantial concrete wall of ample strength to resist the severe gales which at times assail these shores.
Bathers are well
catered for, and they can indulge in exclusive dips or "a la Continental"
breakers, or in specially constructed enclosures.
In one instance a large area of water known as the Soldiers' Baths has been surrounded by massive boulders to lessen the roughness of the seas and keep sharks away; in another, a huge pool has been excavated out of the rock which is filled by the waves dashing over it, and kept sweet and clean by means of scouring out appliances.
This is called the "Bogey Hole."
Visitors of both
sexes intending to indulge in surf-bathing can either be accommodated with
free bathing boxes, with fresh water showers and conveniences attached,
or for ...
The building with the flag poles is the Newcastle Surf Club and Life Saving Society.
... a few pence receive more privacy, with similar concessions, as well as bathing costumes and their clothing and valuables taken care of by responsible officials.
are specially catered for; hot and cold water can be purchased from the
refreshment rooms and kiosks on the beach or are supplied gratis by the Corporation.
Sundry shelters have been erected, with water laid on, having benches and tables for public use, accommodating, free of cost, some hundreds of excursionists and holiday makers.
For private parties tents can be engaged at a nominal fee by telephone, each capable of holding a considerable party.
A special feature of the improvements recently carried out is the facility afforded to invalids and owners of perambulators, by making the approaches to the beach from the higher ground both by means of inclines as well as steps.
To encourage surf
bathing the Council recently built at no small expenditure a pavilion which
has been leased to the Newcastle Surf Club and Life Saving Society, having
a roll call of 500 members. This was opened by Mr. W. H. Wood, the Chief
Secretary of the State, on the 25th Septemoer, 1909, before a large and
In his remarks on that occasion he eulogised the citizens of Newcastle for the wonderful
improvements effected on the beach and for their couragein doing something for themselves.
This Society is run by the energetic President, Mr. Alderman M. J. Moroney, Mr. S. Staton as Captain, Mr. I. Lasker as Hon. Treasurer, and Mr. N Morriss as Ron. Secretary.
The Club House is not only a place where the bathers may disrobe prior to flinging into the cool, breaking waves, but it is also a rendezvous for all who wish to make it a meeting place for social intercourse and friendly chats.
The club rooms are fttted up with every convenience, such as telephone and electric lights as well as lockers for members' use, gymnastic sundries, punching balls, lounges, fresh water showers, store rooms and conveniences.
The building is substantially constructed, and is supported on granite piers founded upon the rock some feet below the surface of the sand.
In addition to the facilitIes already described, there are no less than 14 life-saving stations, which are inspected daily by competent officials, and maintained in thorough working order, and they have been the means during the past few years of saving the lives of several too venturesome swImmers.
In the immediate
future a private syndicate contemplate expending £3000 in forming
an immense sea bath hewn out of the solid rocks for safe sea bathing, with
the luxury of hot salt water and Turkish baths.
All papers empowering this construction have been approved of both by the Municipal Council and the Government.
is universally admitted to have more conveniences for Bathers, Picnic Parties,
and the public generally than any other beach in Australia.
On holidays excursion trains from all parts bring as many as 20,000 visitors in one day.
The Newcastle Coffee Palace overlooks the Beach, and from the balcony a panoramic view is obtained of the ocean- stretching to Catherine Hill Bay on the one side and of the entrance to the Harbour on the other.
The house, recently erected, contains every modern improvement, but the accommodation
has already proved insufficient, and an additional storey is to be added which will be completed in ample time for next summer season.
B. BLACKWELL, Assoc. M. Inst, C.E.
Australian Country Life.
Volume ?, Number ?
Sydney, N.S.W., November 15, 1910, pages 68 to 71.