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About Fort Scratchley
Fort Scratchley has played a significant role in the history of Newcastle, with its towering presence offering a strategic vantage point and its coal seams being a valuable resource. The site has been linked to the local Aboriginal community, who are believed to have utilized its natural features for their own purposes. Discovering the rich cultural and historical significance of Fort Scratchley is an immersive experience that transports visitors back in time to a landmark era in Australia’s history.
With the arrival of European explorers in Australia, several coal seams were discovered in the region we now know as Newcastle. This led to establishing Australia’s first European coal mine, located at the historic Fort Scratchley site. From humble beginnings in 1801 and 1804, the mine used convict labour on Braithwaite’s Head to extract coal from the earth. In no time, coal mining became a crucial component of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley’s economic growth. Today, the Fort Scratchley site remains vital to Australia’s coal mining history.
What to do at Fort Scratchley
Journey through time at Fort Scratchley’s Museum Rooms and immerse yourself in the captivating history of the fortress. The carefully curated rooms, crafted by the Fort Scratchley Historical Society, offer a glimpse into the pre-Fort use by the Awabakal people, the site’s purpose as the first coal mine in Australia, and its involvement in WW1 and WW2. Best of all, entry to these five impressive rooms is completely free. Get ready to discover the valuable role Fort Scratchley played in protecting Australia’s coastline and let history come to life before your very eyes.
Looking for an exciting and educational school excursion? Fort Scratchley offers an exclusive Tunnel Tour that will take you and your students on a captivating journey through history! With limited capacity, be sure to book and pre-pay online for your spot. Choose from a range of regular tour times throughout the day the Fort is open, including 10.30 am, 11.30 am, 1.10 pm, 1.40 pm, and 2.30 pm. Please note the Fort is closed on Tuesdays. Each Tunnel Tour can only accommodate up to 24 people, including teachers, accompanying adults and students. Unfortunately, extra tours cannot be scheduled for large groups at the present time. Don’t miss out on this thrilling opportunity to explore Fort Scratchley and its hidden tunnels!
One local company in Newcastle that is involved in this tourist attraction;
Address: Unit 15/102 Bridge St, Waratah NSW 2298
Phone: (02) 4003 6447