South Newcastle Beach

Welcome to Newcastle’s former aerosol art paradise.

Newcastle City is separated from the Pacific Ocean by a sandy strip called Newcastle Beach, shown below. Rocks divide the beach into “Newcastle Beach” and “South Newcastle Beach” – not to be confused with “South Newcastle” – a precinct that does not exist. But if it did, residents would rename it "The Hill."

Newcastle Beach looking south in 2004. Today is football final so the place is deserted.

A seaside graffiti venue briefly existed at the south end, near the now-demolished Royal Newcastle Hospital, center of picture. A panorama below shows it’s extent, stretching along the beach wall of Shortland Esplanade and including the amenities buildings.

This was Newcastle’s own “5 Pointz" – and like that famous New York sister zone, it’s gone. The city had another ‘5 Pointz’ venue, the Palais Royal, a dance hall from last century. Conforming to Newcastle tourism sensitivites, it too is gone.

This was the site in October 2004.  Click image to view an interactive panorama. Use player controls, or override with mouse/touch to drag, & zoom.

Legalised in 2005, when council rejected a zero-tolerance approach to graffiti, the “aerosol art agreement” used a register of artist to work in three areas: free-form, senior artists, and murals.

In April 2010 Newcastle City Council – a formerly street-art-tolerant council – both shut down the registered writers’ venue and banned legal aerosol art walls anywhere in the local government area.

Some consider wall art “a blight on our city” while others believe graffiti is minimised by allowing legal spaces for artists.

Since the closure, murals and street art in Newcastle have flourished, due to both commissioned professional works and initiatives like the Public Art Program, Pride of Place, and Revitalise Newcastle.

Promenade, south tunnel, and south wall in 2004

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Promenade, south tunnel, and south wall in 2005

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Promenade, south tunnel, and south wall in 2007

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Promenade, south tunnel, and south wall in 2008

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