THE NOBBY ROCK, NEWCASTLE.
Newcastle, whose trade is second only to that of Sydney, owes its commercial importance, if not its existence as a large shipping port, in no small measure to the works which have been completed there. There are at present two breakwaters in course of construction at Newcastle – one about 2000 feet long, connecting the main land with Nobby Island, a high rook at the southern entrance to the port and the site of the light house, called the southern break water; the other, the. northern break water, extends from the North Head, in the direction of the River Hunter, out into the ocean. The southern break water was constructed in olden times by prison labor, the stone procured by blasting the rocks, on the beach within a short distance. The works were much damaged by the sea in consequence of the stone not being sufficiently hard to resist the action of the waves; the Government therefore, in the year 1866, commenced to repair the breakwater with stones of a much harder description, and weighing, on an average, not less than ten tons ; in order to procure this stone a new quarry was opened at Waratah, a few miles from Newcastle, from whence the stone is conveyed in trucks by railway and tipped from the end of the breakwater ; the inner side is afterwards hand packed. Up to the present date 350 yards of the breakwater ave been repaired, and it contains 90,000 tons of stone. It will probably be completed as far as the Nobby in the course of a year or so. The work has been tested by heavy gales, but as yet not a single stone has been displaced. A further extension of the breakwater to Big Ben (a reef of rocks some distance off the Nobby) is contemplated. This will be a work occupying some considerable time, owing to the depth of water between the Nobby and the reef, and to the heavy seas which will often prevent the work from being proceeded with.