Newcastle is another place blessed with beautiful beaches. It even has some old skool Ocean Baths on the coastline. I walked out to the Nobby’s Beach breakwall and up to the lighthouse. This is quite popular with plenty of locals going for their daily walk. The weather was not the greatest with strong wind gusts pushing me around the further out on the breakwall I walked. There are signs on the way out stating you walk beyond this point at your own risk. Large waves apparently smash over the breakwall at any time.
Nearby was Fort Scratchley. It was free entry to look around. The exhibits were quite interesting recounting the lives of the soldiers who were based there at the turn of the century to protect the port. Newcastle was attacked by the Japanese by a submarine during WWII, and the fort opened fire on the sub once its position was located. The biggest guns are still in place to view.
I also had a quick look at Christchurch Cathedral which is a prominent landmark in town.
A storm was hanging round by now so I retreated to Backpackers Newcastle hostel. This was a nice enough facility with pool, communal cooking and entertainment area, and 4 to a shared room all for $30 night. I probably had the worst night sleep to date.. people talking outside my room till late and then every time someone turned on their bunk beds the beds screaked. I did meet a couple nice Aussies staying there so had a good chat to them.. Both from Brisbane as it turned out.
Heading out I pass through Williamtown, site of one of RAAF’s airforce bases. Outside the base is a museum called Fighter World. $15 entry. There are 2 sheds filled with old jet fighters, missiles and launchers, jet machine guns, engines and models. A special attraction includes the last F-111 jet fighter used by our airforce. It was a giant compared to the other jets on display. Quite a good display and interesting to think that people flew these things in combat. The cockpits are quite cramped.