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Getting to know Newcastle

Aerologistics, NewcastleCREDIT: Destination NSW

Scenic flight experience over the Newcastle coastline with Aerologistics.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Getting to
know Newcastle

Aerologistics, Newcastle CREDIT: Destination NSW

Scenic flight experience over the Newcastle coastline with Aerologistics.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

Set on a beautiful stretch of the New South Wales coastline just two hours north from Sydney, the vibrant harbour city of Newcastle boasts a lively arts scene, great wining and dining venues, fabulous shopping and and plenty of attractions — everything you need for the ultimate getaway. 

Highlights: 

  • Follow the vibrant local wining and dining trail 
  • Cruise the ocean on a whale-watching expedition 
  • Learn more about Newcastle’s rich heritage on a guided tour 

Where to seek history, art and treasure 

Newcastle’s Famous Tram is a novel and nostalgic way to start exploring the city’s rich heritage. Tours depart from Queens Wharf, on the Hunter River side of the city centre, and wend their way past the Memorial Walk Lookout and other historic sites, grand mansions and beaches, and through King Edward Park

Visit Fort Scratchley, which has stood sentry over Newcastle since 1882, to learn how convicts created Australia’s first coal mine. Take a tunnel tour and you’ll hear passionate volunteers reveal how the site was used to protect Australia during war times. 

Newcastle Art Gallery is the city’s major cultural institution for the visual arts — take a guided tour to delve deeper into the latest exhibitions. And dip into the program of exhibitions, performances and events at Civic Theatre in the city centre. 

Factor in some time to scour the city’s fabulous vintage shops and artisan markets. Start your treasure hunt on Maitland Road in Islington — check out Stoned Saint Moon, Lenni and The Conscious Exchange, where you’ll find pre-loved and vintage clothing, accessories and homewares, plus eco-skincare and nature-care play products.

Where to cycle, walk and cruise 

Cover plenty of ground by cycling your way from the city to the suburbs with Newy Rides, or discover the area’s history, street art and cafés at a slower pace with Newcastle Afoot walking tours. 

Alternatively, take to the water on a custom-built vessel with Coast XP. Go coastal sightseeing year-round and whale watching between June and November. Onboard you’ll learn about the local marine life, geology, Aboriginal heritage and unique landmarks, including wrecks, islands and sea caves. 

Newcastle may be best known for its beaches, but the green behind its sparkling blue is also worth exploring. The area has numerous themed, self-guided walking trails, such as the 6km Bathers Way, the brief 450m Newcastle Memorial Walk, the 3.2km Shoreline Walk, and the 5km Convict and Industry Walk. You can download walking maps from the city’s Visitor Information Centre

More lush green spaces are within easy reach of the city. Spend a day exploring Blackbutt Reserve, Glenrock State Conservation Area, Blue Gum Hills Regional Park, Kooragang Wetlands, or the 15km Fernleigh Track, which runs along a disused rail line between Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. 

The 10km Newcastle Coastal Geotrail blends science with history. It follows parts of Bathers Way and explores the rock platforms and cliffs of the coastline from Nobbys Beach to the Merewether headland, revealing how 300 million years of geological history have shaped natural features and influenced cultural development. 

 

Fort Scratchley, Newcastle CREDIT: Eluminate Media

Group enjoying a guided tour with a Fort Scratchley Historical Society volunteer at Fort Scratchley, Newcastle.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Fort Scratchley, Newcastle CREDIT: Eluminate Media

Group enjoying a guided tour with a Fort Scratchley Historical Society volunteer at Fort Scratchley, Newcastle.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Newcastle Memorial Walk, Newcastle CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Newcastle Memorial Walk is one of many self-guided tours to enjoy in Newcastle.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Newcastle Memorial Walk, Newcastle CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Newcastle Memorial Walk is one of many self-guided tours to enjoy in Newcastle.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Where to eat 

Newcastle’s dining scene has grown in recent years, with vibrant cafés and restaurants emerging in every corner of the city. Outstanding food is easy to come by in Newcastle East. Start the day with a hearty serve of eggs Benedict at Three Monkeys Café in Cooks Hill, a five-minute walk from the Newcastle Art Gallery, or nibble on seasonal dishes starring locally sourced ingredients at East End Hub, on the Newcastle Beach end of King Street. Bookworms can settle in for great coffee and vintage reads at The Press Book House on Hunter Street.  

At lunch or dinnertime, tuck in to fresh seafood at Scratchley’s on the Wharf, on the Hunter River side of the city centre, or Noah's on the Beach or Scotties Beach House near Newcastle Beach. Rustica, overlooking Newcastle Beach, focuses on Mediterranean flavours, while Una Volta delivers authentically Italian meals from its chic space on Watt Street. 

Vegetarians, vegans and kombucha fans love — it’s hard to miss the sizeable shed, which sits on the corner of Brunker and Mandalong roads, a 10-minute drive from the city centre. At Equium Social in Mayfield, to the north of the city centre, deliciously wholesome fare is served in an art-filled space that supports local creatives — fanning the flames of community spirit is the focus here. 

In nearby Newcastle West, The Wickham Boatshed overlooks the working harbour and serves Greek, Spanish and Lebanese-inspired dishes in a relaxed space. If you’re in celebration mode, book a table at Subo, on Hunter Street in the central Newcastle, where you can go all out with the five-course menu matched with top-notch Australian wines.  

Where to drink 

Sample new craft blends or established vintages at one of multiple venues set up within refurbished and repurposed buildings. In Newcastle West, The Koutetsu is a moody and intimate space specialising in innovative cocktails and premium whiskeys. In Carrington, around a 10-minute drive north of the city centre, Earp Distilling Co. is a smart spirits bar set within an historic warehouse — you can also take masterclasses in the fine art of gin-making here. 

Newcastle East has plenty of options, too. FogHorn Brewhouse serves its boutique beers with pizza and burgers in an Art Deco warehouse; Babylon takes its inspiration from 1920s bars, with cocktails and lavish share plates on offer; and Ginger Meg’s dishes up delicious yum cha with tasty cocktails. The beautiful Art Deco bar and beer garden at Clarendon Hotel on Hunter Street are great spaces to linger in, and The Grain Store near Newcastle Beach showcases fine craft beer in a roomy café environment. 

Where to sleep 

Stay in the city’s east for great accommodation and easy access to Newcastle Beach. Noah’s on the Beach is directly opposite the water; many of the rooms have floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto balconies, and the restaurant is perfect for watching the sun go down. 

Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel commands a corner position on King Street and offers contemporary accommodation within walking distance to all of the area’s attractions. The Holiday Inn Express, another great King Street option, is conveniently located right next to the Newcastle Interchange, the city’s major transport hub.  

Due to open in mid-2021, Kingsley, a Crystalbrook Collection Hotel, will be the city’s first five-star hotel, with a rooftop restaurant and bar providing stunning city views.  

Queens Wharf, Newcastle CREDIT: Destination NSW

Waterfront restaurants have views across Queens Wharf.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Queens Wharf, Newcastle CREDIT: Destination NSW

Waterfront restaurants have views across Queens Wharf.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

The Grain Store Craft Beer Cafe, Newcastle CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Grain Store craft beer café, Newcastle.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

The Grain Store Craft Beer Cafe, Newcastle CREDIT: Destination NSW

The Grain Store craft beer café, Newcastle.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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