My weekend in Newcastle: Mike working at the Newcastle Caravan & Camping Show for Sydney RV Group, left me able to explore a bit of Newcastle.
I walked from our hotel into the City centre, down the mall and around the harbour, where I climbed the thousands of steps to the top of the Queen’s Wharf Tower and looked out towards where the Hunter River South and North Arms meet the South Pacific Ocean. The Queen’s Wharf Tower was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 7 May 1988 to mark the Australian Bicentenary and built of steel to reflect the industry in the area. A passerby mentioned to me there are plans to have it demolished. The harbour was busy on the water and the jetty where restaurants are well attended for breakfast/brunch. At the top of the Tower I had a good view of work being carried out to install a new light rail system.
On my walk through residential homes just a block or two from the ‘main drag’ of Newcastle shops, I was surprised to find such a varied collection of old style homes and enjoyed the discovery of unique personal touches to these residences.
The Newcastle Art Gallery was well worth a visit. Was not enthused by the black and white art display on the ground floor, but more than rewarded for my visit on the second floor containing an exhibition of art by Tim Maguire who not only paints, but also uses digital photography to take his works to new levels. For the first time, he had on display works on a purpose-built light box that lit his art from behind and the result was marvellous. He seems to do a lot of floral art which I loved. He has a technique of splashing solvent on to his works to create an added effect of droplets when looking at the works closely, but from a distance that effect just adds to the overall appearance. Loved taking it all in. These works are HUGE. Whole walls needed to display each one.
And near the gallery, Newcastle Civic Park.
Civic Park Newcastle – War memorial, Fountain and War Memorial Cultural Centre.
The War Memorial Cultural Centre was erected in memory of those who served in the two World Wars and is on the NSW National Heritage Register. Currently it’s use is as a library.
Civic Park fountain in Newcastle was designed by renowned sculptor Margel Hinder and unveiled in November 1966. There was some controversy over it at the time with people not liking it. Mrs Hinder has been quoted as saying that the “Shapes are intended to signify certain qualities that I feel are expressive of Newcastle: energy, vigour and a metallic strength.” It certainly felt very modern for something done in 1966 and very interesting to look at.
Enjoyed my exploration of Newcastle – only touched the surface, and more to see next time!