Fort Scratchley Historic Site Newcastle East
Where is it at?
Fort Scratchley Historic Site
Tel: 02 4929 3066
Where are we going today?
The Fort Scratchley Historic Site is where you can tunnel into 200 years of history, and it's also where you can experience some of the most amazing views in Newcastle!
Fort Scratchely Historic Site stands proud guarding the Hunter River, and is certainly one of the most spectacular vantage points in the entire city.
Once used by local Aboriginies, the fort has a strong history with coal, as well as navigation and defence - so kids will be exploring history first hand, as they learn about what happened right under their feet!
Did you know that it was the European explorers that came from Sydney who discovered the coal seams? This led it to be the first ever coal mine in the entire country!
Then, the coal-fired navigation beacon was set up, and was used right up until 1857 - can you imagine how much that helped those explorers and ships going past!
Of course, Fort Scratchley Historic Site has an incredible position, so it's no wonder it was used as a strategic defence point too!
A guided tour is by far the best way to unlock all the secrets here, with much more detail and of greater significance than you could find alone. A tour will take you around the full site including several tunnels!
On weekends it becomes one of the few sites left in the world's shorelines which fires a gun and time ball at 1pm precisely for sea farers to correct their watches by.
Are you excited to travel back in time to learn about history first hand? We certainly are!
How much does it cost?
- AdultsFree entry! $12.50 for guided tour
- ChildrenFree entry! $6.50 for guided tour
- Free Under: 4 years for guided tour
When can we go?
10am - 4pm, 6 days a week
Closed Tuesdays, open year round
The gift shop sells ice cream!.
Any Top Tips?
You can join a paid tour of the site, either the full tunnel tour and site, or just the tunnels. Tours depart 4 hours per day. The free admission allows you to enjoy a self-guided tour with a map.
Need a little extra help?
The tunnel tours are unsuitable for wheelchairs, but other areas can be accessible but it's uneven ground.
Can I get one of those?
There is a range of merchandise for sale at the Artillery Store! Bring that pocket money!.
At 1pm there is the traditional fun firings - don't miss out! They run every day, subject to weather.
What people are saying?
by Felix Kong
Really nice view of Newcastle's CBD, Honeysuckle, and the docks on the other side. The sea's also really beautiful, and you can see the cathedral and other landmarks from here. It's free, and has some history to it as well. Definitely worth a look.
by Michael Watson
The fort was well maintained, had wonderful views, and the staff were all very interested to tell you anything you wanted to know. Went on the tunnel tour - very informative - went for over 1.5 hours, much longer than the advertised 45 minutes - was full of great information and enthusiasm. Had a really nice time visiting the fort!
by Kimme Suchyta
Ft. Scratchley is well maintained historic site. Admission is free to the fort, however, tours through tunnel are not. There are great views of the beach from this site. The museum portion of the fort is being renovated,but a few of the rooms are open with a timeline of the fort. Each staff member I talked was incredibly knowledgeable and engaged!
by Todd Wright
Use to love visiting Ft. Scratchley. But i visited recently and found myself bored within the first ten minutes. Everything is roped off, closed up or removed. Plus you can't enter the tunnels anymore without a tour and it's not free. Yes it's free and yes it has amazing views on Newcastle. But just isn't what it use to be.
by anthony murphy
Very good views and history. Tunnel guides are very knowledgeable. A must see when in the area