Tucked away at the Northern end of Newcastle's popular Bar Beach, Susan Gilmore beach is a gorgeous little stretch of sand perfect for a picnic or a quiet swim.
The beach was named after the American "clipper", or sailing ship, "Susan Gilmore" that was shipwrecked on its shores in July of 1884. The only objects to be spotted on the shoreline these days, however, are the occasional playful pooch chasing a frisbee, fitness fanatics dodging incoming waves on an afternoon jog and sun-seeking swimmers or sun-bakers taking advantage of the beach's free private tanning facilities.
Accessed at low-tide by rounding the cliff face (or, for those in-the-know, through a gap in the fence in the top car park), the beach is a more secluded place to get a fix of sun, sand and surf. Rarely crowded, this is a place where you may find yourself alone in the early morning or late afternoon light, looking up at the towering cliffs surrounding the beach and feeling like you may have travelled back to prehistoric times.
This writer was there on Valentine's Day and it would be hard to think of a lovelier place for a picnic. As the sun went down and the other couple at the opposite end of the beach released a paper lantern, lights glistened on the horizon from one of Newcastle's iconic coal freighters. Susan Gilmore Beach was perfect.