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Your feel-good guide to Newcastle

Nobbys Beach, NewcastleCredit: Destination NSW

Surfers enjoying a morning in the water off Nobbys Beach, Newcastle.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Your feel-good guide to Newcastle

Nobbys Beach, Newcastle Credit: Destination NSW

Surfers enjoying a morning in the water off Nobbys Beach, Newcastle.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #feelnsw #newsouthwales

Embrace the contrast of Newcastle’s dramatically beautiful stretch of coast and its former industrial prosperity, which is etched in grand buildings and architecture repurposed to service a vibrant, blossoming city. Ease into a relaxed city escape in this must-visit metropolis just two hours from Sydney as you explore a contemporary downtown crammed with arts, culture and design gems and an enviable food scene.  

Seek out history, art and treasure  

Get your bearings in this ocean-side city with a sedate sojourn aboard Newcastle’s Famous Tram. Allow yourself to be transported back in time on the detailed replica of a 1930s tram and gain insights into Newcastle’s rich heritage during a commentated city tour.  

Take in the city’s Pacific-gazing splendour from Fort Scratchley, which has stood sentry over Newcastle since 1882. Feel yourself drawn into the port city’s fascinating convict history as you learn how an incarcerated workforce created Australia’s first coal mine.  

Satisfy your cultural yearnings with a dip into the program of exhibitions, performances and events at the heritage-listed Civic Theatre in the city centre, connecting with local creatives over a rotation of comedy, drama and music in this lovely theatre from the 1930s. 

If you love the thrill of a good garment hunt, set aside some time to scour the city’s treasure-laden vintage shops and artisan markets. Lose track of time as you browse the wares of the area’s established and emerging artists, designers, makers and producers at Newcastle’s Olive Tree Market, which takes place on the first Saturday of each month at Civic Park. Or get your rummage on at The Conscious Exchange in Islington, where you’ll find pre-loved and vintage clothing, accessories and homewares, plus eco-skincare and nature-care play products. You’ll also find Stoned Saint Moon and Hide and Seeker in Islington, among many more second-hand stores pocketed around the city. 

Embrace the outdoors 

Let Newcastle’s enlivening ocean-laced breeze guide you from the city to its outskirts and bushland beyond on your favourite mode of transport, be by foot and on wheels. Cover plenty of ground on a cycle from the city to the suburbs with Newy Rides’ three-hour Newcastle Essentials tour, or discover the area’s history, street art and cafés at a slower pace with Newcastle Afoot walking tours.  

If that offshore, deep-blue water is beckoning you with the promise of an awe-filled adventure, jump on a custom-built vessel with CoastXP. From sightseeing year-round to whale watching between June and October, you’ll learn about local marine life, geology, Aboriginal heritage and unique landmarks, including wrecks, islands and sea caves. Or gather your inner circle and charter a working harbour boat via Spitfire Pilot Boats for a memorable bespoke cruise in the waters around Newcastle. 

Take the plunge in Merewether Ocean Baths, the largest man-made ocean pool in the southern hemisphere, or dip into the ocean at one of the city’s sandy beaches. Then lace up your walking shoes and follow a self-guided walking trail, such as the 6km Bathers Way; the 5km Convict and Industry Walk; the 3.2km Shoreline Walk; or the short (450-metre) but deeply moving Memorial Walk that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli and the pioneers of steel-making. Immerse in the worlds of science and history on the 10km Newcastle Coastal Geotrail, which follows clifftops and coastal trails from Nobbys Beach to Merewether headland.  

More lush green reserves invite you to commune with nature and exhale deeply. Delve into nearby Blackbutt Reserve, Glenrock State Conservation Area, Blue Gum Hills Regional Park, Kooragang Wetlands, and the 15km Fernleigh Track, which runs along a disused rail line between Newcastle and neighbouring Lake Macquarie.  

CoastXP, Newcastle Credit: Destination NSW

The CoastXP vessel taking guests on a boat tour of Newcastle.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

CoastXP, Newcastle Credit: Destination NSW

The CoastXP vessel taking guests on a boat tour of Newcastle.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Newcastle Memorial Walk, The Hill Credit: Destination NSW

Couple walking along the Newcastle Memorial Walk, The Hill.

#newsouthwales #feelnsw

Newcastle Memorial Walk, The Hill Credit: Destination NSW

Couple walking along the Newcastle Memorial Walk, The Hill.

#newsouthwales #feelnsw

Bite into a vibrant foodie scene 

Savour the fresh flavours sourced from producers and wineries from the nearby Hunter region and enhanced by welcome bursts of creative energy across Newcastle’s super-charged dining landscape.  

Feel spoilt for choice in Newcastle East, between the harbourside Foreshore Park and the ocean, where outstanding fare is easy to stumble upon. Start the day with an eponymous Monkey Fry featuring South American sausage at Three Monkeys Café in Cooks Hill or enjoy seasonal dishes starring locally sourced ingredients at East End Hub, on the Newcastle Beach end of King Street. Indulge a love of books as you settle in for great coffee, an intellectually inspired toastie and vintage reads at The Press Book House on Hunter Street.  

Once the morning begins to ebb into lunch, take a seat at the elegant Signal Box in the Market Street Lawn precinct. Here, the food ethos centres on ingredients that can be hand-made in-house. Spend a long and languid lunchtime (or dinner) grazing on the likes of whole-roasted snapper and rock lobster mornay. 

Feast on classic, abundant seafood plates at Scratchley’s on the Wharf. Experience a contemporary imagining of the ocean’s harvests at Scotties Beach House near Newcastle Beach, or slurp fresh oysters while absorbing the spectrum of Pacific blues at Noah's on the Beach. Delight your taste buds with vibrant, beachside-breezy Asian fare at the Newcastle instalment of Byron Bay-born eatery Light Years

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.  

In nearby Newcastle West, dig into Greek, Spanish and Lebanese-inspired dishes at The Wickham Boatshed, a relaxed space overlooking the working harbour. Watch the talented chefs conjure up perfectly balanced flavours at Flotilla, also in Wickham, or continue away from the city centre to discover Equium Social in Mayfield, where deliciously wholesome fare is served in an art-filled space that supports local creatives.  

Relax with drink before dinner  

Newcastle isn’t short of watering holes to replenish your stamina after a day diving under breakers or exploring the city’s nooks. Relish the moody and intimate space at The Koutetsu, a Newcastle West bar specialising in innovative cocktails and premium whiskies.  

Sample the house-made delicious spirits at the smart bar lined with barrels at Earp Distilling Co., set within an historic warehouse precinct in Carrington, a 10-minute drive north of the city centre. You can also unravel the mystery of distillation during one of the Earp’s masterclasses in the fine art of gin-making.  

Newcastle East has plenty of options, too. Enjoy boutique beers with pizza and burgers at FogHorn Brewhouse’s art deco warehouse; soak up the 1920s vibe as you sip on cocktails and graze on lavish share plates at Babylon; and delight in delicious yum cha with tasty cocktails at Ginger Meg’s.  

While away the late afternoon at the beautiful art deco bar and beer garden at Clarendon Hotel on Hunter Street, or sample fine craft beers at The Grain Store in a generously proportioned café space near Newcastle Beach. 

Elevate your evening with a well put-together cocktail or Brazilian-style barbecue meal at Meet, or grab a seat at the rooftop bar at the QT Newcastle for a sophisticated sunset dalliance that slips seamlessly into the evening. 

Recharge for another day in Newy 

There’s no shortage of fine establishments to rest your head after a day sampling the city’s many inspiring experiences. Immerse in the lavish interiors of the impeccably styled Crystalbrook Kingsley, the city’s first five-star hotel. Housed within a rotund, brutalist building, this destination hotel comes complete with a rooftop restaurant, Roundhouse. Let hours slip away as you indulge in Roundhouse’s dishes of beautifully compiled flavours while looking out over Nobby’s Beach, or take in stunning city views from the hotel’s sleek Romberg’s bar. 

Take your cue from hotel chain QT’s playfulness at design-led QT Newcastle as you lean into the sleek aesthetic and quirkiness of your room, and be intrigued by the locally focussed, contemporary Australian menu at the hotel’s restaurant, Jana, which features plates from the grill. 

Make the most of the city’s sandy shores by staying at Noah’s on the Beach, directly opposite Newcastle Beach in the city’s east – many of the rooms have floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto balconies. Let those holiday feelings take hold when you pop downstairs to the restaurant for sundowners.  

Appreciate the convenience of being within walking distance to the area’s attractions at Novotel Newcastle Beach Hotel, which offers contemporary accommodation on a corner position on King Street. Also on King Street, the budget-friendly Holiday Inn Express is handily located right next to the Newcastle Interchange, the city’s major transport hub.  

Romberg's, Crystalbrook Kingsley Credit: Crystalbrook Kingsley

Romberg's is the hotel's the rooftop bar. Newcastle’s hotly anticipated Crystalbrook Kingsley opened its doors 9 June 2021. It is a 130 room five-star hotel.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Romberg's, Crystalbrook Kingsley Credit: Crystalbrook Kingsley

Romberg's is the hotel's the rooftop bar. Newcastle’s hotly anticipated Crystalbrook Kingsley opened its doors 9 June 2021. It is a 130 room five-star hotel.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Jana Restaurant & Bar, QT Newcastle Credit: QT Hotels & Resorts

A selection of dishes from Jana Restaurant & Bar, QT Newcastle

#feelnsw

Jana Restaurant & Bar, QT Newcastle Credit: QT Hotels & Resorts

A selection of dishes from Jana Restaurant & Bar, QT Newcastle

#feelnsw

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