THE quest to rediscover a vital part of Newcastle's history kicked off at Nobbys beach yesterday.
Ground-penetrating radar investigations were under way to find the original foundations of Macquarie Pier, now known as the Nobbys breakwall.
First constructed in 1818, the pier was an important piece of infrastructure in shaping the city and its demographic.
It assisted the coal industry, prevented shipwrecks off Hunter waters and created Nobbys beach.
Historical group the Coal River Working Party is determined to uncover the pier and hired GBG Australia geophysicists to do the work.
The parkland between Nobbys and Wharf roads and the nearby roundabout were explored using three different tests.
Coal River Working Party chairman Gionni Di Gravio said the data would be analysed today.
"Hopefully they will be able to join the dots up," he said.
"They will be able to get a good profile of what's underground and if it's not conclusive at least we've ticked off that scientific study.
"This is a real colonial relic and it would be great for people to be able to see it.
"I'm very hopeful of this project moving forward," he said.