Last chance to climb up the Queens Wharf Tower in Newcastle

UPDATE: Sunday 2 September 2018 will be the last day for public access to Queens Wharf Tower

Love it or hate it, the Queens Wharf Tower is slated for demolition soon so take the opportunity to climb to the top with your kids. Newcastle City Council has indicated that Queens Wharf Tower will remain open until the afternoon of Sunday 2 September. For more details about the access and demolition schedule, check the Newcastle City Council website.

This iconic steel landmark was officially opened in 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Newcastle as part of Australia’s bicentenary and according to architect Kevin Snell in an interview with the Newcastle Herald, it was only meant to be a temporary structure dismantled after a few years. The information plaque on the tower states it was designed to ‘elevate people high above the site where water, park and city meet”.

This elevation will soon be gone with the tower set to be demolished in late 2018. Reason for demolition? Newcastle City Council cites a maintenance bill of $1.6 million, lack of disabled access and its phallic design which it describes as embarrassing. (I have to agree – it does resemble a big penis and it does smell a bit funky).

We recently climbed the tower to see the views from the top. It’s worth a visit before it goes just for the experience and to be able to say you climbed it.

Choose a day that the family feels energetic as it’s 180 steps to the top of the 40.3 metre tower. I would suggest counting the stairs as you go up to gauge how close you are to the top as it’s hard to figure out if you’re close to the top. After a while, it can seem endless!

Take your time climbing up the stairs as younger kids might need more time. The tower is all enclosed but it’s a bit narrow especially when it’s busy with people. I recommend holding onto the handrail especially on windy days.

At the top, you’ll be rewarded with great views although the windows are pretty scratched and grimy.

From here you can see Nobbys Headland and lighthouse, Stockton sands and Newcastle Harbour towards Mount Sugarloaf as well as the movements of Newcastle’s working harbour.

There’s no doubt that the city’s skyline will improve with the removal of Queens Wharf Tower. However, it would be great to have a replacement tower erected that both locals and tourists could enjoy.

Useful information

  • Queens Wharf Tower is located on Wharf Road, Newcastle by the Stockton Ferry Wharf.
  • It’s open every day at 8am and closed at dusk. It is also closed in bad weather.
  • Toilets are located in Harbourview Function Centre building block.
  • For food and/or drinks, visit Cielo Italiano, Six Degree or the Queens Wharf Hotel.
  • For more information about Queens Wharf Tower, visit the Newcastle City Council website.