Explore the history of the islands in the estuary of the Hunter River. Walk in nature on the boardwalks and trails on Ash Island. Have a picnic at one of the many rustic tables and benches scattered around the Schoolmasters House precinct.
Self-service tea, coffee, water and maps plus ecological and family history information is available in the historic and lovingly restored Schoolmasters House.
Hunter Wetlands National Park is accessed via the Ash Island bridge, 12 km west of Newcastle.
The Schoolmaster House has local significance. It was built in the mid 1890’s to house the schoolmasters who administered and taught at the Ash Island Public School once located a stroll to the west. The Schoolhouse building was demolished in 1966. The Schoolmasters House was then the home of a tenant and so was left standing.
For over a century the schoolmasters House has stood through floods, been the home of many tenants, and during WWII was leased by the R.A.A.F. during the building of Radar Station 131 nearby.
Sturdily built of double brick, the Schoolmasters House has Baltic Pine ceilings, Tallowood floors, cedar doors and windows, and three marble fireplaces, testament to the social status of schoolmasters in the late Victorian era.
Significantly for our era, it is the last of the buildings on the islands in the estuary still standing on its original footprint.