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21/12/2020 03:13 PM

Macquarie Pier pathway re-opens after $3 million makeover

Newcastle’s iconic Macquarie Pier has reopened to the public following the completion of stage one of a $3 million revitalisation project by Port Authority of New South Wales.

Port Authority of NSW CEO Philip Holliday said visitors to the historic harbourside walkway will benefit from an improved 900m pathway that seamlessly extends the Bathers Way coastal walk, featuring sandstone seating, maritime-style fencing and a new paved area at the foot of Nobbys Head to enjoy views of the harbour.

“The revitalised Macquarie Pier gives Newcastle an outstanding destination point from which to watch the activity of the working port,” Mr Holliday said.

Image: Concept art for Port Authority’s Macquarie Pier Revitalisation Project

Built in 1818 as a breakwall between the mainland and Nobbys Island, Macquarie Pier gave ships a safer approach into the Hunter River and the resource-rich Hunter Valley. By providing these ships with safe passage, Macquarie Pier helped the region’s industries grow and enabled Newcastle to develop into a thriving port city.

"As owners of this site and in our role of keeping ships and the ports of NSW safe and secure, Port Authority understood the value Macquarie Pier brings to Newcastle," Mr Holliday said. "Following the success of City of Newcastle’s Bathers Way coastal walk, we wanted to revitalise Macquarie Pier to create a destination spot that celebrates the city’s maritime history."

“Newcastle is a city built on its harbour. Macquarie Pier gives the Newcastle community a place to connect with their maritime heritage and an outstanding location to watch the activity of the working port, and appreciate the beauty and importance of the harbour that developed Newcastle into the city it is today.”

With the main pathway complete and open to the public, work will begin on the installation of interpretive heritage features along the route to tell the story of Newcastle’s maritime history. The walkway will remain open while this work is undertaken. Nobby Headland is also now open to the public on weekends and public holidays excluding Christmas Day and New Years. 

Image: Construction to revitalise Macquarie Pier began in August 2020

Port Authority’s Macquarie Pier Revitalisation Project, which began in August 2020, supported more than 100 local jobs across more than 10 local businesses involving scaffolding, concreting, earthworks, and supply of construction materials.

“We’re proud to have delivered this project for the community during the challenges of COVID as there has never been a more important time to support our local economy,” Mr Holliday said.

This $3 million 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.

Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen MP said the project has invigorated the area and created even more of a reason for people to visit Newcastle.

“I’m delighted to see the reopening of this iconic walkway, which will attract more people to the area and lead to a more enjoyable experience for locals and visitors alike,” Mr Johnsen said.

“Revitalising Macquarie Pier is exactly what the Newcastle Port Community Contribution Fund is designed to deliver, and I thank the Port Authority of New South Wales for their commitment to this important project.”

Find out more about Port Authority's Macquarie Pier Revitalisation Project

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