Novocastrians braved the wet weather on Monday morning to witness the reopening of Macquarie Pier after four months without access.
The $3 million project, headed by Port Authority of NSW, has created a 900-metre pathway with sandstone seating, maritime-style fencing, and a paved area at the foot of Nobbys Head to enjoy views of the harbour.
Port Authority’s Newcastle Head of Operations, Emma Fensom, said it hoped to see residents making use of the track.
“I just think it is a really positive project, especially this year over any [other], it’s important to have something that everyone can enjoy,” she said.
“Novocastrians can get out and enjoy the view and see the working harbour and walk along the beach.
“It [will] bring people together and it is also good for everyone because they are out getting some exercise.”
Ms Fensom added that it was a huge investment in the community and Newcastle.
“Port Authority is really proud to have made the investment, along with their partners,” she said.
Port Authority Chief Executive, Philip Holliday, added the pier would give people the chance to connect with the city’s heritage.
“Newcastle is a city built on its harbour,” he said.
“Macquarie Pier gives the Newcastle community a place to connect with their maritime heritage and appreciate the beauty and importance of the harbour that developed Newcastle into the city it is today.”
Work on the path is not quite finished though, with construction on the installation of interpretive heritage features along the route to begin soon in a bid to tell the story of Newcastle’s maritime history.
The walkway will remain open while this work is undertaken.
The project was supported by the NSW Government through a $500,000 grant from the Newcastle Port Community Contribution Fund and a $200,000 contribution from Port of Newcastle.
The project also supported more than 100 local jobs.
Go to the Port Authority website for more information about the project.