The Newcastle Recreation Reserve, including the Bogey Hole and King Edward Park, has been listed on the State Heritage Register.
The NSW government included the new listing because of the land's importance in the state's cultural history. The reserve encompasses the Obelisk and Obelisk Reserve, Acadia Park, Shepherds Hill (Khanterin), the Yi-ran-na-li cliffs, King Edward Park and The Bogey Hole,
The area is a distinctive unity of Aboriginal, colonial, geological, environmental, military and recreational features, and has been the site of toil, conflict, reflection and celebration throughout its long and diverse history.
The Minister responsible for Heritage, Don Harwin said the listing will ensure ongoing protection of the Reserve's heritage significance.
"This impressive landscape holds strong importance as a gathering place for the traditional custodians, the Awabakal people, and for the history of Newcastle which has grown into NSW's second largest city," Mr Harwin said.
"The reserve is a rare NSW example of a comparatively undeveloped landscape encompassing both Aboriginal and European features influenced by convict labor. Colonial period artists including Joseph Lycett and Conrad Martens sketched and painted the landmarks at the time."
The reserve is where convicts from the Newcastle penal settlement built the Bogey Hole Baths and The Horseshoe Walk from 1818-1823, under the command of Captain James Thomas Morisset. It was where Awabakal leader Biraban taught Reverend Lancelot Threlkeld the local Aboriginal language and culture when the English missionary arrived in 1825, and it was where WWI and WWII military installations were built to defend the city and the NSW coast.
The site is also a rare example of an inner-city landscape where coastal native grasslands thrive, including the endangered ecological species of Themeda grass.
"I am thrilled for the people of Newcastle and the Hunter region that this important landscape is gaining the recognition it deserves. The listing will ensure the Reserve's significance will be protected and celebrated for future generations," Mr Harwin said.
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