In New York it’s garbage trucks doing their rounds; in Istanbul the call to prayer but in Newcastle the sound of ship horns entering and leaving the harbour will wake you from your slumber. Head for the harbour front and watch Australia’s oldest, and one of the largest, export ports come to life.
Did you know?
The Port of Newcastle is the largest on Australia’s East Coast.
Join the locals doing their morning laps at either the Newcastle Ocean Baths (Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle East) with its distinctive Art Deco façade or over at Merewether Ocean Baths (Henderson Parade, Merewether) which are the Southern Hemisphere’s largest ocean baths. Check here for the cleaning schedule for both baths.
It’s nigh on impossible to walk more than 50 metres in Newcastle’s CBD without the opportunity to get a caffeine fix. Office workers and uni students fuel up in Bolton and Hunter Streets, mums down a much-needed cuppa after finally getting out of the house on Darby St. On the beachfront walkers, joggers and surfers stop for a flat white while suited real-estate agents mingle with tattooed hipsters over their single-origin lattes in the backstreets of Cooks Hill. Not all coffee’s created equal however so do your research - or follow the crowd.
Slap on the sunscreen and hit one of Newy’s beautiful beaches. Australia’s second oldest city is hemmed by water and its incredible coastline offers six beaches to choose from – Nobbys Beach, Newcastle Beach, Bar Beach, Dixon Park Beach, Merewether Beach and Stockton Beach. Remember to always swim between the flags (Nobbys Beach is patrolled year-round).
Did you know?
Merewether Beach is a national surfing reserve - one of only six in Australia.
Opt for lunch with a view and soak up Newcastle’s summer vibe. Cafes and restaurants overlook beaches such as Merewether and Newcastle, while Honeysuckle is the place to go if it's harbour views you seek. Darby Street, Hunter Street Mall, Beaumont Street and King Street are also dotted with cafes offering caffeine, gourmet sandwiches, international cuisine and sweet treats.
The Newcastle Memorial Walk’s 450-metre clifftop span affords 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean and out to the Hunter Valley and Stockton. Park at the lookout at the top, or enjoy an uphill walk from Bar Beach carpark. While you're there, check out nearby Shepherds Hill for some extra ocean views.
Alternatively take a stroll out to the entrance of the bustling harbour along Nobbys Breakwall and Nobbys Lighthouse (open weekends). Watch huge freighters enter and leave port, hustled by tug boats. Keep an eye out for dolphins, whales and the occasional sunbaking seal.
Did you know?
Newcastle was home to the east coast’s first 'lighthouse' - a coal-fired beacon at Colliers Point which began in 1804 to guide vessels safely into the harbour.
No summer’s day is complete without ice cream. Head to the Junction, Darby Street, King Street or a beach-side kiosk for an arvo refreshment!
Before heading off for dinner, find yourself a plum possie to watch the sun set. The bars and pubs lining Queens Wharf and the Honeysuckle precinct are a great spot for sundowners overlooking the harbour or head back to the beach and watch the last golden rays dance over the rolling surf.
Summer days don’t come better than this!