Newcastle with kids activities

Newcastle with kids activities


Explore the best of Newcastle with the whole tribe - Learn to surf, picnic with peacocks and  scoot your way to Nobbys Lighthouse.

The kids will be talking about this holiday for years!

Day One

Arrive into Newcastle and let the fun begin.

Check in to Quest Newcastle West in the city’s burgeoning west end. This former brewery and one-time museum now offers self-serviced apartments complete with historic beams, window placements and other original fixtures. Thankfully all the mod cons have been thought of too including kitchenettes, an alfresco BBQ area and pantry service – making it super easy for families.

After settling in, grab the scooters and skateboards and head for the ‘gold bowl’ at Empire Skate Park, Bar Beach. Sitting opposite the rolling waves of Bar Beach, several major skate competitions have been held here while some of Newcastle’s best skaters have honed their skills here (and still do).

Insider tip: If the kids aren’t quite up to dropping into the bowl (or more experienced skaters are having a session) let them loose on banked wall, stairs with hubba ledges and a flat bank with rail. There’re also flat paved paths for beginners.

Once the kids have had their fun, make the short walk across the road to the Swell Kiosk and pick up a family pack of fish and chips. Grab a table and tuck in keeping one eye on the ocean for possible whale sightings (June-November). 

Day Two

Fuel up (rustle up brekkie in your apartment or walk over to The Edwards or the Sherwood Coffee Bar nearby) because this morning you’re hitting the waves.

Jump in the car and make way to Nobbys Beach. Join Merewether surfer Philippa Anderson (or fellow surfers Ellie Lambkin and Sarah Baum) for a family surf lesson at her eponymous surf school.

Lessons are offered at Nobbys Beach, a patrolled beach with gentler tides and a sand bank making it a good place to nail the basics.

Philippa who dreams of qualifying for the World Championship Tour (WCT) hopes to inspire the younger generation and see more kids get into surfing.

Insider tip: If the kids still have energy to burn, scoot or skate out to Newcastle Breakwall where Nobbys Lighthouse (open Sundays) protects this notorious stretch of waterway. See enormous freighters guided into and out of port by tug boats, keep an eye out for dolphins and even spot seals that like to sunbake on the rocks below.

Time for lunch and the afternoons adventures - pick up some picnic supplies at King Street Deli and Bar or Woolworths at Marketown and drive the 20min to Blackbutt Reserve, the city’s beating green heart. Here you'll meet native wildlife, be dwarfed by soaring gums and listen to a cacophony of bird calls.

Insider tip: Parents grab a takeaway coffee at Little Lane Espresso at Blackbutt shops before you arrive at Blackbutt’s Carnley Reserve.

Roll out the rug and enjoy a picnic at Blackbutt Reserve, letting the kids run free or play in the playground (there are two playgrounds: one at Carnley Reserve and an adventure playground at Richley Reserve). 

After lunch, take a stroll along the boardwalk to see native birds, wombats, reptiles such as the eastern long-necked turtle, diamond pythons and eastern blue-tongued lizards to name but a few. You’ll also see barking owls, echidnas along with tawny frog mouths and sugar gliders in the nocturnal house.

Peacocks freely roam the reserve, there’s a duck pond while a separate enclosure is home to kangaroos and emus which the kids can feed from a special mix purchased from the kiosk.
Insider tip: If you want to see the koalas at their most lively time your visit for their 2pm feed. Koalas can sleep for up to 22 hours a day so between 1.30-2.30pm is when they’re most active.

After some down time make your way to Napoli Centrale in King Street (can catch the Light Rail or it’s flat 10 minute walk from the Quest Apartments) for authentic pizza fired with locally-sourced, slow-burning iron bark – lending it a delicious smokey flavour. Sit indoors and watch the pizzamakers at work or nab an alfresco table (book ahead as this place is super popular) and people watch like a true Italian.

For dessert you won’t have to venture far. Wander literally across the road and join the queue for Popolo Artisan Gelateria where authentic handmade gelato is made fresh daily from the same owners of Napoli Centrale.

You’ll find all the classics– pistachio, chocolate, lemon and Tiramisu – plus contemporary flavours like Oreo and Snickers. Buonissimo!

Day Three

Enjoy a lazy breakfast from Quest Newcastle West as you pack up all your things and check out - but not to worry, the holiday's not over yet!

Make your way to Glenrock State Conservation Area and hike the very family friendlyYuelarbah Trail (approx 5km return). The popular track is pedestrian only and a great short trail option through wet gullies and coastal rainforest. On the way to Glenrock Beach you’ll pass two waterfalls and Leichhardt’s lookout which offers excellent views over Glenrock Lagoon.

Once you have finished the walk, pick up some take away and hopefully you’ll enjoy silence on the drive with the kids worn out from their fun weekend in Newy.