"Fresh face for a star attraction" Top 5 Page for this destination Newcastle Favorite Tip by iandsmith

Newcastle General: 40 reviews and 69 photos

  A standout attraction
by iandsmith

Favorite thing: The Customs House was built facing the harbour in 1876 when Newcastle was already one of the world's busiest coal ports. This attraction is a unique example of an Italian Romanesque revival building with polychromatic brickwork and a fine clock tower. The whole thing was sandblasted to clean it up in the 1980's.
Surmounting the clock tower is a black time ball on a mast. It was dropped precisely at 1.00pm each day to give a visual time signal from which ships' chronometers could be accurately set.
The time ball was dysfunctional for a long time until a subscription got the funds to get it working again. Not long after that the earthquake occurred and jammed it again.
These days the Customs House is a restaurant and it has proved to be very popular.
It can provide a private boardroom lunch for 8 or a theatre style seminar for 200 in the upstairs function rooms.

Fondest memory: It sits across the way from the Newcastle Railway Station, whose fate is not so certain in the future as there is talk of cutting the rail link right into town. I, for one, am bitterly opposed to such a move.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 1, 2009
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