THE Merewether Beach pedestrian tunnel is being transformed into an aquarium filled with sea life.

English-born artist Trevor Dickinson – who painted the pop art-style mural in the Newcastle Beach tunnel featuring an ice cream van – has started working on the walls and ceiling of the walkway underneath Scenic Drive, which provides beachgoers with access from Ridge Street to Henderson Parade.

‘‘Whereas the Newcastle Beach tunnel is all about the sky and beach views, the Merewether tunnel requires you to go down stairs and it felt like you were going underwater,’’ Dickinson said.

‘‘It will be filled with seahorses, sharks, a monster from Creature from The Black Lagoon, a dolphin, lots of fish, a blue groper and a stingray.

‘‘I’ve also painted Merewether landmarks as submerged aquarium ornaments – the old surfhouse, the Beach Hotel, the baths, the last steam train – as well as myself in there as a deep sea diver, painting a fish on the wall.’’

Dickinson will also paint a gilded frame in which renowned landscape artist John Earle will paint a Merewether scene.

Lambton-based former Mambo designer Michael Bell was repainting some of his 1998 work in the tunnel, which had beachgoers and dogs heading to the sea, and incorporating them to suit the theme of the new work.