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Explore Newcastle

Walk or ride along the Foreshore promenade, exploring the harbour foreshore from Honeysuckle to Nobbys is the quintessential Newcastle experience. The Foreshore Park provides an excellent vantage point to view one of Australia’s busiest ports in action. Watch 300m bulk carriers navigating the harbour and busy tugs plying the waters (Map 1 U-5).

Named because of its nob-like shape, Nobbys was originally an island until convicts risked their lives to build a breakwall to protect the harbour. Walk to the end of the breakwater and enjoy the lighthouse and magnificent views (Map 1 V-3).

Swim in the Art Deco Newcastle Ocean Baths (opened in 1922), or at one of Newcastle’s six beaches. Check out the Canoe Pool situated next to the Ocean Baths, built in the late 1930s for young swimmers. The base of the pool once featured a map of the world, with the various continents jutting out of the water like islands (Map 1 V-7).

Revisit Newcastle’s convict past with a visit to the convict-hewn Bogey Hole (Map 1 R-10), built around 1820 for the personal use of Commandant James T. Morriset. Located beneath a rocky prominence, the Bogey Hole gets battered during heavy seas. Explore Newcastle's industrial heritage with a visit to the Convict Lumber Yard (Map 1 T-5), the location of white Australia’s first industrial site.


Tour Fort Scratchley Historic Site (Map 1 V-5); with its commanding position guarding the Hunter River Estuary. Overlooking Nobbys Beach and lighthouse, the Fortress has a long and interesting military history.


Catch some culture - watch a performance at the spectacularly-restored Art Deco Civic Theatre (c. 1920) which presents a diverse range of shows from ballet to Billy Connelly (Map 1 N-6). Or visit Newcastle Region Art Gallery, one of Australia’s leading regional galleries with a magnificent collection from local, national and international artists and a full schedule of impressive travelling exhibitions (Map 1 O-7).


Experience some of the many special events staged in Newcastle throughout the year. Learn to belly dance or tango at Livesites with over 100 days of free cultural events held in the inner city. Pick up some Hunter Region crafts and fresh produce from Newcastle City Farmers & Craft Markets or cheer on the Newcastle Knights or Newcastle Jets from ‘the hill’ at Ausgrid Stadium.  


Meander through the diverse dining and entertainment precincts in Newcastle. Sip cocktails at a buzzy harbourside restaurant; dine in cosmopolitan Beaumont Street; check out the live music at one of our many local pubs and finish up with late night coffee at funky inner city Darby Street.

Enjoy a picnic in majestic King Edward Park, with its elegant rotunda (c. 1898), hundred year old Norfolk Island Pines, stunning ocean views, beautiful gardens and sweeping lawns. Nearby, The Obelisk, a prominent feature on Newcastle’s skyline, was originally a stone flour mill and a guiding landmark for ships approaching the port of Newcastle (Map 1 Q-9).

Walk the Bathers Way, a five kilometre coastal walk stretching from the commanding lighthouse at Nobbys Headland to the Merewether Ocean Baths, the largest in the southern hemisphere.


Take a tour of  Christ Church Cathedral and discover its rich history. A survivor of the Japanese submarine attack of WWII and the 1989 Newcastle Earthquake, Christ Church Cathedral is now a fully restored masterpiece. Beautiful grounds and views surround the city’s ‘Castle’ (Map 1 R-6).


Visit Blackbutt Reserve, an undulating natural environment consisting of peaceful picnic settings, wide open spaces, bushwalking trails and a diverse range of habitats and ecosystems. The reserve is home to a wide variety of Australian wildlife including koalas, kangaroos, wombats and birds (Map 2 H-6).


Catch the ferry across the harbour to Stockton for a stunning view of the Newcastle city skyline, take a stroll along the Shipwreck Walk and enjoy the southern end of the largest coastal sand mass in the southern hemisphere - Stockton Bight Sand Dunes (Map 1 R-2).


Click here for a list of some of Newcastle's favourite sights