Two centuries after its first foundation stone was laid, Newcastle’s iconic Macquarie Pier and harbourside walkway are set for a $3 million facelift.
The upgrades, including a widened pathway, improved seating, maritime-style fencing and interpretive heritage features, will begin this month as part of a major improvement project by Port Authority of New South Wales.
The upgrades to the 900m route are aimed at creating a destination spot that ‘celebrates Newcastle’s maritime history and seamlessly complements the Bathers Way coastal walk’.
Built as a breakwater, Macquarie Pier connects the mainland and Nobbys Head, while providing a safe passage for ships entering the Hunter River.
The site’s original foundation stone was laid on 5 August 1818 by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, before being built using convict labour.
Port Authority’s Head of Operations, Newcastle and North Coast Emma Fensom said the foot of Nobbys Head would create a gathering space for visitors to relax, enjoy a coffee from mobile cafes and watch the activity of the working port.
“Macquarie Pier has provided safe passage for ships entering Newcastle Harbour for over 200 years and has been integral in developing Newcastle into the city it is today,” she said.
“Macquarie Pier is a link between Newcastle’s past and present and continues to contribute to the prosperity and liveability of our city. As owner of this significant site, Port Authority recognises its immense value to our community.
“The revitalised Macquarie Pier will give people a place to connect with Newcastle’s maritime heritage and create a space for visitors and the city’s community to enjoy for years to come.”
The revitalised Macquarie Pier is set to open to the public in late 2020, in time for the summer season.
For safety reasons, Macquarie Pier and Nobbys Head will be closed to the public during the construction period.
The Newcastle Breakwall will remain open during the works and can be accessed by the public via Nobbys Beach.
The upgrades are thanks to the Newcastle Port Community Contribution Fund supporting community projects around the Port of Newcastle.
For more details about the project visit the Port Authority of NSW website.