A group of twenty nine Connect: Inner West clients and staff embarked on another fun-filled weekend away. This time, over 3 days, the group took in the sights of Newcastle, Nelson Bay and Port Stephens.
Our first stop was Crackneck Lookout at Bateau Bay. Taking in the clear skies and the spectacular views, we were all feeling very grateful to have caught a miraculous break in the weather for our excursion. The outlook was indeed very bleak the week previous!
We lunched at Swansea RSL Club, right on the foreshore, and enjoyed our meals with panoramic water views before heading on up the road. Upon arrival in Newcastle we took a scenic spin along the coastal roads before stopping in for a well-deserved ice cream break.
On Saturday we had a very full itinerary, starting off with a visit to Fighterworld, an aviation museum dedicated to the preservation of the history of fighter aircraft operations in the Royal Australian Air Force. Our clients enjoyed this hands on experience, getting up close, and even inside the cockpits of famous aircrafts such as the Mirage III interceptor and the Macchi jet trainer. Once we walked through the hangars, we were treated to a lovely morning tea by the staff at Fighter Beans Café.
Bellies full of tea and cake, we moved on to see the beautiful jetty at soldiers point. The fish didn’t seem to be biting – so the local fishermen informed us – but it was a beautiful sunny day to relax on the jetty none the less.
Taking a scenic drive around the foreshore we headed to Bub’s Famous Fish & Chips and a stroll on the marina before going up to the Nelson Head Lighthouse to take in the magnificent views of the region. Some of us were lucky enough to receive a quick tour of the museum.
Our next stop was at the Shark & Ray rescue centre. We were greeted by “Tinny” the very friendly and accommodating owner of the centre. After providing us all with food to feed the rays and sharks, he very graciously escorted our client Marie, into the tank to have a paddle with the small rays. After a few minutes of watching her, another client, Ana, and a couple of staff couldn’t help but join her in the tank and let the rays swim over and around our feet and ankles.
After a long day driving and full of activities, we headed back to have a rest before dinner.
On our last day we were treated to a scenic guided tour on Newcastle’s Famous Tram. Our knowledgeable guide Chris, gave us an informative tour of Newcastle and told us of some of its interesting history.
We stopped off for a stroll on the Anzac Memorial Bridge, taking the time to appreciate the stunning views. Chris very generously dropped us all off at the Newcastle Museum so we could take a look around and watch the light and sound show, showing us an insight to what it was like working at BHP back in the day.
From here we moved on to our last destination, Fort Scratchely, where we were given a tour around the grounds by Norm, a 93 year old volunteer. The end of our tour, and thus our weekend’s activities was marked with the firing of one of the cannons, a time honoured seafaring tradition of firing a gun at 1pm to coincide with the Customs House time ball drop.
A big thankyou to Ross and Norm and all of the wonderful people at Fort Scratchely who looked after us and made our visit really enjoyable.
All 29 travellers set off back to the inner west, tired and happy, already making plans and throwing about suggestions for the next tour!
Join us next time.
Perhaps you would like to join us next time? If so, make sure you are registered on our mailing list to ensure you don’t miss out on, not only our weekends away, but all the other fantastic offerings on our social calendar.
View the full photo gallery.
Get there with care.