NEWCASTLE, a seaport of Northumberland county, New South Wales, Australia, at the mouth of the Hunter river, 102 m. by rail and 62 m. by sea N. by E. of Sydney, in 32° 55' S., 151° 49' E. Newcastle is the second city in New South Wales, the fourth port of Australia, and the seat of an Anglican bishop. The city rises steeply from the sea, and possesses numerous fine buildings, among which may be mentioned the railway station, post office, custom-house, the cathedral of Christ Church, the school of art with its large library, and the Victoria Theatre. There are also two state-subsidized hospitals, a college, a school of mines, a technological museum, several large and handsome churches, and numerous subsidized charitable institutions. Communication between the different parts is maintained by tramways, and steam ferry-boats ply between the city and its suburbs on the shores of the harbour. The industries include brewing, shipbuilding, copper and iron-founding, carriagebuilding and fellmongery; there are boot factories, engineering works, biscuit factories and smelting works at Cockle Creek. There is also a large trade in frozen meat. There are numerous coal mines in the vicinity, yielding coal of the finest quality. Newcastle has a fine harbour, with an area of S40 acres, protected by two breakwaters; the breadth of the channel at its entrance is 1200 ft., and the depth at the bar is 25 2 ft. Vessels of the largest tonnage can enter and lie alongside of the wharves, which are 5 m. in extent, equipped with travelling cranes, hydraulic and steam cranes, lighted by electric light and connected with the Great Northern railway by a branch line. There is a floating dock to lift 2000 tons, and at Stockton there is a patent slip to take large vessels for repair. The facilities for the shipment of coal are excellent, and Newcastle is the chief coaling port in the southern hemisphere. The harbour is protected by two forts, Fort Scratchley, the strongest in Australia, and Shepherd's Hill Fort. The city exports coal, wool, coke, horses, cattle, frozen meat, silver, lead, copper, tallow, hides and country produce. Newcastle returns three members to the legislative council and six members to the legislative assembly. Most of the suburbs are separate municipalities, namely, Stockton, Carrington, Wickham, Hamilton, Merewether, Adamstown, Waratah, New Lambton, Lambton, Wallsend and Plattsburg. The population of the municipality of Newcastle is 14,250; of the town and suburbs about 70,000.
. The mouth of the Hunter river (named after Governor John Hunter), now known as Newcastle Harbour, was discovered in 1797 by Lieutenant John Shortland, who accompanied Hunter to New South Wales. For many years after its discovery it was used as a convict station. It became a free settlement in 1821, and in 1859 was erected into a municipality. The centenary of the landing of Shortland was celebrated in 1897, when a monument commemorating the event was erected.
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