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Local Celebrity Tips

Want some hot tips on what to see and do in Newcastle from those that know the place best? We interviewed a handful of famous Novocastrians and local movers and shakers to find out what their favourite places in Newcastle are and what they would recommend to visitors. Read on to find out more.


MIKEY ROBINS (Comedian and Media PersonaliMikey-Robins-whitety)

What's the best thing about growing up in Newcastle?
Living as we did in The Junction we were only ever a short walk or drive away from some of the best beaches on the eastern coast. Later as a young man I loved all the old pubs in Cooks Hill many of which I have to confess I still frequent every time I'm in town.

My favourite childhood place In Newcastle:
Bar Beach, it's were dad taught me to body surf, it was our most regular haunt on a summer's weekend day or during school holidays.

My favourite place in Newcastle today:
Definitely the East End of town and The Hill, not just for the wonderful architecture but these days for great cafes and bars. It's great to see how much this area has come on without losing its original character.

Three Top Tips for new visitors to Newcastle:
1. Spend a while having a walk through King Edward Park until you find yourself down at The Bogey Hole. This wonderful swimming hole was constructed in 1819- 1820. Ordered by Major James Morisett and constructed by hand by convicts, where else do you get to actually swim in history?

2. If you're not too exhausted after that take a walk along the foreshore and end up in the Newcastle Museum, history and exercise what's not to love.

3. My next tip about visiting Newcastle is to leave all your pre-conceived thoughts about dining out in this city back on the freeway. Do your research, Newcastle over the past few years has become a foodie destination with a slew of new restaurants receiving nationally good reviews and awards. However if you are on a budget or would just like to sample one of my old favourites you can't go past a Darby's pie.


KATE WALKER (Children's Author)

What's the best thing about growing up in Newcastle?
For me as a writer, the best things about growing up in Newcastle were the down-to-earth people and wonderful grittiness of the place. Working-class Wickham, where I was raised, was close to docks and industries, therefore full of large, unadorned buildings and rough-diamond neighbours. These were people with no airs, with an ability to laugh uproariously at themselves, and few illusions. This background, I think, is what gives my stories their touch of sandpaper reality, and characters blessed with as many virtues as faults. In this city with few pretentions, those down-to-earth people are its treasure, and they're still there.Kate-Walker

My favourite childhood place in Newcastle:
The streets of Wickham where I used to ride my bike.

My favourite place in Newcastle today:
Beautiful Nobby's.

Three Top Tips for new visitors to Newcastle:
1. Walk on the beach
2. Stroll out along Nobby's breakwater
3. Catch the Ferry to Stockton - with any luck you'll see the tug boats bringing in one of the big ships


CHARLI ROBINSON (Entertainer and Media Personality)Charli-Robinson

What's the best thing about growing up in Newcastle?
The beaches, the lifestyle and friendly community. It's something I didn't realize not everyone has until I moved away.

My favourite childhood place in Newcastle:
My home town of Anna Bay is my favorite, 7 beaches and rolling sand dunes, its paradise on earth.

Three Top Tips for new visitors to Newcastle:
1. A walk around our beautiful Foreshore
2. Nobby's beach
3. A quick drive to Port Stephens to see the dolphins


JOHN CHURCH (John Church Advertising)John-Church

What's the best thing about growing up in Newcastle?
Long summer days on Bar Beach finishing with a refreshing, late southerly change

My favourite childhood place in Newcastle:
Riding bikes and building cubby houses in Blackbutt Reserve

My favourite place in Newcastle today:
King Edward Park for a family picnic

Three Top Tips for new visitors to Newcastle:
1. Walk along Nobby's breakwall
2. Long lunch the harbour
3. Walk along Fernleigh Track


JOHN BELL (Co-artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare)JohnBell

What's the best thing about growing up in Newcastle?

The accessibility to the beaches (Nobby's being the favourite), historical towns like Raymond Terrace and Morpeth.

My favourite childhood place in Newcastle:
The Civic Theatre โ€“ a magical cave of illusion.

Three Top Tips for new visitors to Newcastle:
1. Nobby's
2. The West End
3. The Civic Theatre


CHRIS THORNTON (Award winning chef of Restaurant Mason, Newcastle)Chris-Thorton

What's the best thing about growing up in Newcastle?
The surf without a doubt and not just the waves but the people who ride the waves, the beaches and the culture.

My favourite childhood place in Newcastle:
Newcastle Beach

My favourite place in Newcastle today:
Hard tossup between my house with my wife and dogs, my restaurant (Restaurant Mason) or Newcastle Beach.

Three Top Tips for new visitors to Newcastle:
1. Relax โ€“ Newcastle is laid back and friendly and enjoy a beer at the pub
2. Come with an open mind โ€“ the food scene has exploded, and makes some of the best coffee around and the city is rich with a diverse culture
3. Plan to stay longer


JOHN EARLE (Landscape Artist, John Earle Studio Gallery)

What's the best thing about growing up in Newcastle?John Earle
The beaches

My favourite childhood place in Newcastle:
The beach

My favourite place in Newcastle today:
Bar Beach

Three Top Tips for new visitors to Newcastle:
1. Go to the beach
2. Take your swimmers
3. Stay a few days