The Newcastle Memorial Walk (also known as the ANZAC Memorial Walk) is a 450 metre scenic walk along the headland, located in the suburb of The Hill in Newcastle. It starts from a place called Strzelecki Headland, where there is free parking for approximately a dozen cars. It is a popular walk for the stunning views, but also because it is easily accessible for prams and wheelchairs, as the walk is flat from the car park until you get to the lookout.
When you arrive to the start of the walk, the view from the car park alone is stunning - with views along the coastline to Bar Beach and out to the wide blue sea. There is signage at the start of the walk which explains that the walk and bridge opened on ANZAC Day in 2015 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli. This was also the year that steel making began in Newcastle, so the whole walk is a stunning memorial to the men and women of the Hunter who served their community and their country. These are just some of the highlights, as you walk along...
The Newcastle Memorial Walk - an easy walk for kids and families
If you walk along the Newcastle Memorial Walk between May and November, ensure you take your binoculars to look for whales out to sea, as this viewpoint is one of the best along the Newcastle coastline. Another highlight that our family enjoyed about the walk was that it had sweeping views out to sea and the coastline, but it also had 180 degree views over Newcastle itself. It was interesting to look over the city from this high viewpoint and see the Hunter River, Honeysuckle Precinct and the suburbs of Newcastle, all at once. It will take your breath away!
Look for whales and enjoy the views along to Bar Beach
Along the walk is a 160 metre-long bridge which has been cut into the headland and weighs a whopping 64 tonnes of stainless steel. The open, sturdy design allows people to feel like they are even closer to the water and the coastal elements. On our visit it was quite windy, so we could feel the wind on our face, taste the salt in the air and hear the waves crashing below. We admired the structure for its engineering feat, but also for the whole experience of being closer to nature it provided.
As you can imagine, this was an expensive project, with Newcastle Council paying $1.5 million dollars and BHP Billiton paying $3 million dollars towards the project. See below a You Tube clip, courtesy of Enigma, which shows the construction of the bridge.
As you walk along the walkway and bridge, there are informative signs to read about World War 1, including stories about the Australian Light Horse and the Chronology of Battles. There are also a number of striking, metal artworks to view, which depict the silhouettes of soldiers at war. Engraved onto these silhouettes are the names of nearly 4,000 of the 11,000 known Hunter Valley men and women who enlisted during World War I.
On our visit, we saw people looking for the names of relatives who they believed would be on the artworks. Everyone who was there agreed it was a fitting and thoughtful tribute to those who had enlisted. You couldn't get much more "Newcastle" than the steel and the view!
When you get to the end of the flat walkway, there is a small lookout and then there are stairs downwards, to connect to the walking trail to Bar Beach. Although the 450 metre walk is relatively short, it is memorable for its views, its story and the feeling that you get as you walk along. It makes you think about the people of World War 1 who fought for our country and also for the history of the city that surrounds you.
If you are visiting Newcastle for a day, or for longer, it is worth tracking down to take in the views of Newcastle from this thought-provoking walk and memorial. Take your camera!
Small lookout at the end of the Newcastle Memorial Walk