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Newcastle added to State Heritage Register

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The Newcastle Recreation Reserve has been listed on the State Heritage Register.

The site that includes King Edward Park, the Obelisk and Obelisk Park, The Bogey Hole, Shepherds Hill (Khanterin) and the Yi-ran-na-li cliffs, was given the title earlier this week by the Minister responsible for Heritage, Don Harwin.

Mr Harwin said the impressive landscape held significant importance for its traditional custodians, the Awabakal people, and for the history of Newcastle.

“The reserve is a rare NSW example of a comparatively undeveloped landscape encompassing both Aboriginal and European features influenced by convict labour,” he said.

“Colonial period artists including Joseph Lycett and Conrad Martens sketched and painted the landmarks at the time.”

Boasting spectacular ocean views, the reserve holds significance to all Novocastrians.

The Newcastle Recreation Reserve excludes the King Edward Headland Reserve (the former Newcastle Bowling Club site), which is owned by the local Aboriginal community through the Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council following a successful claim in 2018 under the 1983 Aboriginal Land Rights Act.  

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the heritage listing of Newcastle Recreation Reserve recognised the significance of the area.   

“It is a site of considerable cultural, historic and heritage significance to the people of NSW,” she said.

“The reserve includes sites of known cultural significance to the Awabakal people, and was the scene of important early interactions with Europeans. 

“It was declared a recreation reserve in 1863 and is a rare example in NSW of a comparatively undeveloped inner-city landscape.  

“King Edward Park’s Victorian rotunda is an iconic local landmark, while countless Novocastrians have admired the bright annual flower displays that fill the sunken garden with a rainbow of colour each spring. 

“The reserve also possesses coastal native grasslands, including Themeda grass, which is an endangered ecological community threatened by coastal development and weed invasion.”

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