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Fort Scratchley

About Fort Scratchley

Fort Scratchley is a jewel in Newcastle’s military history. Situated on the East coast of Australia and overlooking the vast ocean is an impressive sight. Originally constructed in the late 1880s as a defensive installation against a possible attack from Russia. It’s intriguing to learn how this fort played a unique role in Australian history during World War II. It’s incredible to think that the Fort survived the only coastal bombardment experienced on Australian shores during the war. Today, the museum houses historical artifacts and gives visitors a glimpse into the past. The underground tunnels are a hidden treasure that guests must experience, leading to stunning views and a sense of adventure. Any visitor, old or young, will find this experience captivating and informative. Fort Scratchley is undoubtedly a must-do activity while visiting Newcastle.

fort scratchley

What to do at Fort Scratchley

Every day, except for Tuesdays, a loud boom pierces through the air, echoing across the city of Newcastle. This sound comes from the historic fort, where two-pound cannons are fired as the ball on Customs House drops, marking time. This age-old seafaring tradition dates back to 1878 and was used by sea captains in ports worldwide to adjust their navigation instruments. What makes Newcastle’s fort unique is that it’s the only one in Australia that returned enemy fire. The two 6-inch guns used to do so are still on display, alongside other remnants from that fateful day when the Japanese submarine shelled Newcastle. Visitors can see shrapnel from Parnell Place and even one of the shells that landed at BHP at Fort Scratchley. The fort’s rich history and unique features will transport you to a time when ships ruled the seas and forts kept them safe.

Step back in time as you explore the intricate tunnels of the Headland Fort. With 600 metres of tunnels to explore, it’s a maze that’s sure to captivate your imagination. Join one of the knowledgeable volunteers on a guided tour and discover the secrets of this fascinating labyrinth. Running every day except Tuesday when the fort is closed, there’s always a chance to delve deep into history and experience the thrill of adventure. Don’t worry about encountering crocodiles either, the fort’s defences were aimed at protecting against human invaders, not reptilian ones, and the dry defensive ditch, reminiscent of a medieval moat, never held water or these scaly creatures.

cannon at fort scratchley

One local company in Newcastle that is involved in this tourist attraction is:

Website: Decking Newcastle

Address: 4/394 Maitland Road Mayfield NSW 2304

Phone: (02) 6699 1487