It seems like forever since we’ve seen you: watched you marvel at our spectacular coastline, explore our thriving creative scene and enjoy a glass of Hunter vino at our restaurants and wine bars. But with travel restrictions in NSW easing this month, we are beyond excited to welcome you back to Newcastle.
And don’t worry. We’ve kept Australia’s coolest coastal city at its best for you. While being in lockdown in Newcastle hasn’t been all tough, Novocastrians love to share. Here are seven things ready and waiting for your return.
Maybe it’s our laidback lifestyle, the fact we rarely get stuck in traffic or because we can go to the beach before work, after work and for some lucky locals, in our lunch break?
Be sure to include an early morning trip to Merewether or Newcastle Beach where you'll catch locals catching up with friends and soaking up the morning sun long before the working day starts.
Did you know: former Silverchair bassist Chris Joannou, who now operates a string of much-loved restaurants and pubs in Newcastle, describes Novocastrians as passionate, proud and friendly.
Beaches and Ocean Baths
Hemmed by water, Australia’s second oldest city offers a string of beautiful beaches including Nobbys Beach, Newcastle Beach, Bar Beach, Dixon Park Beach and, Merewether Beach. Three historic ocean baths also dot our incredible coastline - Merewether Ocean Baths (the Southern Hemisphere’s largest), the Newcastle Ocean Baths with its art deco façade and the convict-built Bogey Hole.
Check the cleaning schedule for Merewether and Newcastle baths prior to visiting.
Did you know: Merewether Ocean baths are the largest ocean baths complex in the Southern Hemisphere, measuring over 100m in length.
Newcastle Beach Guide
Our bang on coffee
Newcastle’s coffee scene has hit its straps over the past decade. Rather than a pub on every corner (although we’ve still got plenty of those) you’ll now incredible cafes at every turn. Passionate baristas churn out single origins, cold drip brews and perfect crafted lattes everywhere from the CBD (try the Hunter St Mall, Bolton and King Streets), to Darby St, Hamilton’s Beaumont St and the backstreets of Cooks Hill and Wickham.
Australia's coolest coastal walk
The Bathers Way has to be up there as one of Australia’s most magnificent coastal walks. Lace up your walking shoes and have your camera at the ready as you stroll the six-kilometre stretch from Nobbys Beach to Merewether. Along the way you’ll traverse the Anzac Memorial Walk’s 450-metre clifftop span with its 360-degree views.
Tip: if exercising while on holidays is your thing, check out our Runners Guide to Newcastle
Discover the Bathers Way
Newcastle Coastline, looking toward ANZAC Memorial Walk
Our creative side
Not to blow our trumpet or anything but Newcastle is home to more artists than any other city in Australia and the most art galleries per capita. Newcastle Art Gallery houses one of “Australia’s most substantial public art collections” outside the major capital cities while many rising young creatives call the city home. Several success stories have their roots in Newcastle. Painter and sculptor, William Dobell, Tap Dogs creator and choreographer Dein Perry, actress Miranda Otto and world-famous rock band Silverchair to name but a few born-and-bred stars.
Did you know: Newcastle Art Gallery's story began in 1945 when a Sydney surgeon by the name of Dr Roland Pope left his 123- piece art collection to the city - on the condition that a gallery was built to display it!
Our magnificant harbour
Watch tug boats guide enormous freighters into port, see yachts glide gracefully out to sea, cruise ships sent off with a cannon blast from Fort Scratchley and the Stockton Ferry ply back and forth across the harbour. Our bustling working harbour, lined with a plethora of bars and restaurants, is one of the largest export ports in the Commonwealth and a top spot for a sundowner or two.
Did you know: Newcastle Harbour is Australia's oldest export port and one of the country’s largest tonnage throughput ports.
Learn more about Newcastle Harbour
Freight ship entering Newcastle Harbour
Our flourishing food scene
Newcastle’s food scene is coming into its own; stepping up from its working class roots and spreading beyond the bustling Darby St strip. Historic and landmark buildings are now home to hip whisky bars while warehouses now house gin distilleries, Pan Asian and Mexican eateries. One of the newest additions to the food scene is the Signal Box, housed in a historic working railway signal box that operated until the Newcastle heavy rail line closed in 2014.
Tip: check operating hours and book ahead for your preferred venue to avoid disappointment.
Eat + drink
Explore areas like Honeysuckle, Darby Street and King Street
- Just like at home, you need to retain a 1.5m social distance at the beach, cafes, bars, restaurants, galleries and shops.
- We suggest checking directly with the event or venue you wish to visit for their current operating hours to avoid disappointment.
- As much as we want to see you, please stay home if you are unwell