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Newcastle, a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, sits at the mouth of the Hunter River (162 kilometres north of Sydney) on the coast of NSW, Australia.

It offers great surf beaches, coastal walks and harbour-side dining as well as having rich historical sites to explore. We had a most enjoyable day wandering around Newcastle; a highlight being our visit to Fort Scratchley.

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Fort Scratchley was built in 1882 to defend the city.  It has free admission, however there is a charge if you want to explore the tunnels.

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Two 6-inch Mark VII BL guns – they returned fire on the Japanese submarine that shelled Newcastle in 1942.

My husband obviously thought he was hilarious lining up my head with the guns!  I was oblivious to his antics as I was busy taking in the view towards Nobby’s Lighthouse.

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After our tour of the fort, we went back down and continued driving along the waterfront towards the harbour.

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We stopped at the Queen’s Wharf Hotel for a mouth-watering lunch of lightly fried salt & pepper squid with Asian slaw.

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It was a tough ask to sit there and enjoy a couple of fine wines overlooking the glistening Hunter River…but we managed it!