Hunter Valley Dune Buggy Club

It’s a movement that seems to have risen and disappeared almost as quickly as the drift sand that flows across the dunes: Newcastle’s own homemade beach buggy scene. Take a look back at our lost history of coastal custom culture.

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Tales from Wangi Power Station

Built immediately after the Second World War, as the country’s energy needs were growing, Wangi Power Station serviced the state and local community for 30 years. It was also deeply connected to the largest coastal saltwater lake in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Max Dupain’s Slaughtered Mangroves

In 1969, celebrated Australian photographer Max Dupain visited Newcastle’s industrial harbour for an assignment to photograph BHP Steelworks. While he was there, he was struck by the ecological devastation that had occurred on the other side of the river.

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The Tale of Pirate Point

The HM Norfolk is well known for being the first ship to circumnavigate Tasmania and prove the existence of the Bass Strait, but what happened after this mission is a truly wild but largely forgotten story from the history of Newcastle.

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The Slums of Hexham

“It’s a hard life, but free”. This is how one resident of Hexham described the place in 1941, a time in which this little suburb — built from driftwood, mud, and fishing wire — seemed to emerge from straight out of the estuary.

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Hartley Spurr, Bait-monger

A handwritten sign says “Bait at all hours” and that’s what Hartley Spurr provided in Newcastle for over sixty years, across two centuries. This pictorial of Spurr’s waterfront store offers a glimpse of street-level life on the harbour during wartime.

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Tales from The Royal

For nearly 200 years, The Royal occupied a small hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Hunter River to the north. Golden sand was right at its doorstep, water was visible from every ward, and fresh salt air filled its corridors. Here are the stories of the people who were there.

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