What was the only Australian coastal installation to fire on an enemy vessel in time of war? Answer: Fort Scratchley during World War II.

Learn all about this episode and other fascinating history at Fort Scratchley. Visitors can take a self-guided tour around the fort viewing the cannons and other above ground defence structures. Kids will be fascinated by the large cannons and views of the ocean. If you would prefer a full site tour and a chance to explore the underground tunnels, pay for a guided tour with one of the Fort Scratchley Historical Society volunteers.

Located on the south-eastern headland at the entrance to Newcastle Harbour, Fort Scratchley offers 360 degree views of Newcastle. It’s has amazing views of the city, beaches and harbour. On a clear day, you can see the hills to the west and Port Stephens to the north.  It’s a great place to for whale watching during the winter months migration. Binoculars are actually available for hire from the Fort Scratchley shop which also sells gifts, souvenirs and light refreshments. Take a picnic and enjoy the view at Fort Scratchley or enjoy the small playground outside of the Fort, perfect if the kids get tired of the history stuff!

For a special auditory experience, be near Fort Scratchley when the guns fire. On special occasions such as Australia Day and Anzac Day, the big guns of Fort Scratchley (6” Mk VII Guns) are fired. They also fire on the June long weekend to commemorate the anniversary 8th, the anniversary of the shelling of Newcastle on 8th June at 2.17am 1942.

Address: Nobby’s Road, Newcastle, NSW
Phone: (02) 4974 5033
Hours: Open 6 days a week, 10am to 4pm. (closed Tuesdays and on public holidays)
Cost: General admission to Fort Scratchley is free. Cost applies for full site and tunnel tours.
Website: http://www.fortscratchley.com.au

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Reena Bilen

In 2012, Reena founded Newy with Kids to share information about family-friendly Newcastle. Originally from Canada, she had no idea about what to do with her toddler and after searching unsuccessfully for a family guide, decided to start her own. Since that time, both the toddler and Newy with Kids have grown keeping Reena busy. If you see her out and about, say hi.
Reena Bilen