Morning walk to the Fort

I always seem to be blabbing on about the glorious weather we’re having and showing off photos of the clear blue skies and seas I walk by all the time.

So I may as well continue.

I do a 5km walk and this is where I start counting.


Still warm enough for swimming (for some) and the lifeguards were setting up the flags for the day.


Always plenty of surfers further along the path at the next beach – lol – well three anyway but there were lots more out of shot.


When I’ve walked up that hill and all those stairs I showed you last week I end up at a lookout called Sheperd’s Hill Fort; it was built in the late 1800’s when it was thought Russia might come over and attack us but it’s really run down and kind of scary now.


It’s a shame really because it was used by the army, navy and airforce at times and there’s a gun at the front and underground tunnels and whatnot that should be preserved.


Behind that fence is where the naughty people go I suppose. You must have to get to those cells from underground through the fort because there’s no way out of the pit.


You can imagine how cold, dark and damp it must have been down there, right in the cliffs near the sea – beautiful above ground though.


The white fence above leads to a drop onto steep jagged rocks into the ocean and if you walk along you can see where people have written words and poems for loved lost souls who have jumped from there.



Then I trek back down and today I sat and watched the water and absorbed my vitamin D while I admired my new Nike runners which I tested out today for the first time. They passed.



15 thoughts on “Morning walk to the Fort

  1. What a beautiful place for a walk. It’s sad however, the inscriptions on the fence for people who have committed suicide. In San Francisco, whoever runs the Golden Gate Bridge won’t allow people to set up memorials where loved ones have jumped. They say they don’t want to encourage others to leap from the bridge. They don’t even publicize incidents of suicide because they think broadcasting it in the news just draws more people to do the same thing. I don’t know if it’s true: but the one time I walked over the Bridge, there was a feeling of sadness there. It may have been just the fog and the cold, but thinking about what drove people to jump from such a high, cold place was depressing. I wished I could tell them there is nothing worth giving up your life for in such a way—no lover, no amount of money, no disgrace, nothing is worth that.

    • Sometimes you see flowers up there as well. I always go over and have a walk along – sort of pay my respects I guess. It doesn’t feel sad up there but I always think it’s a hell of a thing to do – how you must feel to reach that point where you can climb over that fence.

  2. Just gorgeous. There are a few old fox holes dug into the cliffs here in San Diego (for the Japanese invasion, I suppose), but nothing that elaborate.

    • The tunnels run a long way under apparently. You can do a tour which I must do one day. They used to be just open all the time and kids would go down there to play but they’d closed them up by the time we’d moved here.

    • Lol – hey, we’re important you know!!

      Turned out it was the Japanese we had to fire the guns at though when submarines came in during the war – still waiting for the Russians.

      • That reminds me of someting I heard long ago while a student in Japan, from some students from Australia. We were told during WWII, the Japanese actually did land on Australia, somewhere around the Darwin area (roughly), found nobody, started to build a road, gave up, packed up and the road and traces of their presence there was not discovered until well after the war, and then by chance. True?

        • Afraid not. They did bomb Darwin harbour – the Navy and Airforce both had large bases there but no one landed. Submarines caused a bit of havoc in Sydney and Newcastle harbours – they found the submarines in Sydney harbour but not sure about the Newcastle one.

  3. lovely walk and nice shoes.
    i should photograph the shoreline path i used to bike, if i ever bike it again – from jetty to the Queen Mary and back. i always think of photographing the path to the vet – across 2 bridges and the port of los angeles – but it’s too hard to take pics while driving (and avoiding big rigs coming & going to the port)

  4. The “memorial” and flowers have nothing to do with suicide. A 16 year old fell and his friends found him about 40 minutes later on the rocks below.

    The Newcastle Herald article is dated 09 July 1998, page 02,

    There have been few suicides at Shepherds Hill but many accidents.

    One suicide occurred in 1890 when a man walked straight through the defence works and past the workers constructing the gun emplacement and over the edge of the cliff.

    During my time as the “last resident” at Shepherds Hill Cottage nobody fell or jumped off the cliff as I kept an eye on things. After I left the vandals moved back in and, maybe by coincidence, people again fell off the cliff.

    One day somebody broke into the cottage and filled a bag with some of my possessions.

    I must have startled them because the next day Council workers found the bag next to the cliff.

    When I approached them they made a strange comment that they were surprised to seem alive as they beleived I had jumped.

    Seems I was not the only person who thought living at Shepherds Hill was hard.

    Newcastle City Council was a terrible landlord. This is another story but please consider the condition of the property as shown in the photos as to my statement.

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