THE SEA has played a vital role in the development of our town, our region and our nation. There would scarcely be a family in the Hunter that has not in some way been touched by the sea.
The National Maritime Festival has a long history dating back to 1834; it was then called The Newcastle Harbour Regatta. By the turn of the 19th century The Newcastle Harbour Regatta had become the major sporting festival for the town until it was disbanded during World War II.
In 1982 some passionate, local seafarers resurrected the ‘Regatta’ to raise funds to enable some restoration projects for the newly founded Newcastle Maritime Museum.
The National Maritime Festival has today, evolved into one of the largest Maritime events in Australia; and the people of Newcastle and the Hunter Region have continued to support and celebrate our rich and diverse maritime heritage each year.
The Festival provides a link between our maritime heritage and an opportunity for active participation with benefits for education, cultural integration and community involvement.
At its simplest, the National Maritime Festival provides a welcome spectacle and a day of entertainment and involvement for many, many thousands of Novocastrians as well as visitors from interstate and overseas.
The National Maritime Festival leaves a lasting legacy of pride and enjoyment of our City of Newcastle, boosting the charter industries, connecting disparate special interest groups, engaging public interest and providing a catalyst for maintenance and preservation of our unique heritage port.