Top 7 picks for playing tour guide in Newcastle

Top 7 picks for playing tour guide in Newcastle


30 June 2021
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So your friends and family are in town and you want to ensure sure they experience the best of Newcastle, Australia’s coolest city by the sea?

Here’s our top 7 picks for playing tour guide in your own hometown:

Hit the beach

It would be a sin to have visitors in town and not take them to Newcastle Beach - where the city meets the sand.

Watch surfers leap from the rocks near the Canoe Pool and paddle out for a wave behind Shark Alley, have a game of beach volleyball or join the locals (and their dogs) for coffee on the steps leading down to the sand.

Veer left along the Bathers Way for the historic art deco Newcastle Ocean Baths (cleaned Wednesdays) where swimmers trawl through the water no matter the weather.

Hot tip: Be sure to pop into Newcastle Kiosk for scallops with chicken salt. You can thank us later!

Ferries and shipwrecks

Don’t get too comfortable on the Stockton Ferry which plies the Hunter River between Queens Wharf and Stockton – you’ll reach the other side in about 5 minutes. Nonetheless it’s a fun outing and you can take your bike or surfboard too.

Take visitors for a stroll (or roll) along the Stockton Breakwall, or Shipwreck Walk.

This notorious section of waterway saw scores of ship wrecks before breakwalls were constructed on either side of the harbour. The wreck of the French four-masted barque Adolphe is here.

Afterwards have an ale at the historic Boat Rowers Hotel which features one of NSW’s few remaining heritage 'oval' bars virtually unchanged since 1929. Sit outside overlooking the Hunter River

Clifftop walk and sundowners

A highlight of Newcastle’s Bathers Way Walk (a coast-hugging 6km walk extending from Nobbys Lighthouse to the coastal wilds of Glenrock Reserve) is the 450m span of the clifftop Anzac Memorial Walk.

Once you’ve taken in the 360 degree views, continue down to Bar Beach and skirt the coast for Merewether Beach (or you can jump in the car and drive).

Make for Merewether Surfhouse for sundowners or join families at the pizza kiosk on the ground level.

Grab a coffee and check out some street art

Impress your visitors with Newcastle’s outdoor art gallery.

Grab a takeaway coffee from New Slang or the Press Coffee and Book House and explore artist Inari Meyers’ stunning large scale portrait between NUspace and University House.

Local mural artist Bronte Naylor’s vintage inspired seaside scene ‘Mirror Ocean’ is found nearby in Civic Square.

Museum Park, next to the Newcastle Visitor Information Centre is home to Fintan Magee’s large-scale Shadow.

In Workshop Way, be surrounded by art, on one side is Trevor Dickinson's interactive mural and on the other side you can spot three pieces in a row by Tom HendersonMitch Revs and Sophia Flegg

Harbour haunts

With a history stretching back more than two centuries, Newcastle Harbour is the biggest port on Australia’s east coast and bustles with ferries, yachts, tug boats and freighters.

Stop by the Signal Box for coffee, then walk on to Honeysuckle for lunch.

Our picks: Nagisa for contemporary Japanese fare include Bento Boxes or Honeysuckle Social for share plates and cocktails.

See Newcastle's most beautiful park

Newcastle abounds with beautiful parks but if you can only pick one make it King Edward.

This spectacular historic park with its Victorian rotunda offers wide green open spaces tumbling down to the rolling Pacific Ocean.

A section of the Bathers Way cuts through the park affording walkers far reaching ocean vistas (and migrating whales in season).

There are majestic Norfolk Pines, a sunken garden and a fascinating remnant of our penal past - the iconic Bogey (indigenous word for bathe) Hole. Hand hewn out of rock by convicts, this Instagram-worthy ocean pool lies at the foot of the eastern cliff face.

Throw out the picnic rug and lap up this glorious green space.

Swim in the southern hemisphere's biggest ocean baths

Merewether Ocean Baths is a landmark ocean pool set in a striking location at the southern end of Merewether Beach, hugely popular with lap loving locals and visitors alike.

Pull into the carpark above Merewether Ocean Baths for ocean vistas extending north to Dixon Park and Bar Beach where surfers and dolphins often frolic together in the waves.

Do some laps yourself or just take a refreshing dip in the 100m pool – there’s room for everyone. One thing’s for sure, you’ll exit with a smile on your face.

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