Researchers hoping to uncover World War II relics as part of a web of bunkers and tunnels under Fly Point have made a small discovery during a pre-dig before launching a full dig after the Christmas holiday period.
Charles Tennyson and Mark Rawson were granted permission by Port Stephens Council to undertake archaeological investigations and begin excavating in the vicinity of a former defence site at Fly Point in Nelson Bay.
The council also agreed to pay half ($4480 from mayoral funds) the cost for the removal of up to six trees to allow for the work.
The team began their excavation last week, uncovering a defence position above the entry point and an old and very heavy pickaxe head.
"This was a pre-dig to orientate ourselves with the ramp leading in [to the tunnels], in addition to tidying up the tree felling area and ensuring that it looked nice during the tourist season," Mr Tennyson said.
"So we have decided not to disrupt holidaymakers and we will be back after the tourist season to continue our investigation.
"Still available for the general public to view is the andersite rocks with drill marks positioned behind the fence at Fly Point Park and the large andersite blown rock down at the water's edge."
Mr Tennyson believed the rock had been dumped there by the military and it was "this finding that provided the first of many clues" to the the very real prospect of a cache of US manufactured vehicles and weapons left behind from World War II being concealed in a bunker in that area.
He said the the team was interested in any information from the general public regarding the site and could be contacted on alliedsalvage.com.