3D Virtual Newcastle

Videos capture a bird’s eye view of Newcastle’s early settlement history

The Coal River Working Party has commissioned a series of fly through videos showing a computer generated three dimensional view of Newcastle in 1800 and 1830.

Based upon authentic historical archival maps and records, the fly throughs are the work of design and illustration contractor for EJE Architecture, Charles Martin, and his team.

The videos depicting the area in 1800 show Newcastle pre-settlement, just three years after the original landings of Lieutenant John Shortland. The video offers sweeping views over the cliffs and beaches along the coastline and shows a wide mouth to the harbour. Newcastle’s famous landmark Nobbys Head, then known as Coal Island, was not yet connected to the mainland.

The 1830 images are based on the John Armstrong survey, currently held in the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, New Zealand, as well as the Sir Thomas Mitchell sketches in the Mitchell Library, part of the State Library in Sydney.

These fly throughs show houses and buildings, notably the original church on the current site of Christ Church Cathedral and a windmill used as a guiding mark for sailors until it was replaced by the Obelisk in 1850.

Formed by the University of Newcastle in February 2003 to restore Newcastle and the Hunter Region’s significant historic contribution back into the Australian story, the Coal River Working Party is seeking sponsorship to commission Martin and his team to recreate Newcastle during the 1810 and 1820s.

It is hoped that the fly throughs will be expanded into a co-operative and inter-disciplinary teaching and research tool available for use across the university.

For further information about the project, please contact Gionni DiGravio from the Coal River Working Party at gionni.digravio@newcastle.edu.au.

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