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Newcastle FAQs

How do I get to Newcastle?

Easily accessible by air with several flights departing daily, rail, interstate and local coach services.  By road - if approaching from the south, the M1 Pacific Motorway from Sydney will have you arriving in Newcastle in just two hours. Alternatively, if you are entering the city from the north, follow the Pacific Highway. By air - Newcastle Airport is the major regional airport and is located 30 minutes north of Newcastle's city centre. Many direct flights are available on a daily basis from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Ballina / Byron Bay, the Gold Coast, Canberra and Dubbo. By rail - Newcastle is part of the CityRail network. There are frequent return services daily. CountryLink trains connect Newcastle to Sydney, Brisbane and other country centres.  

How do I get around once I am here?

Newcastle is a very walkable city, with a range of scenic walking and cycle tracks in the city centre and suburbs of Newcastle. For bike hire, there are rental companies including Newcastle Electric Bikes, Boomerang Bikes and Spinway who offers bikes for hire for as little as $33 per day. However for those who do not want to walk or ride, timetables for the Stockton Ferry and Newcastle Buses are available from the City of Newcastle's Administration Centre (located on the ground floor), 282 King Street, Newcastle, or by clicking here. Port Stephens Coaches operate between Newcastle Airport and Newcastle Station several times a day during the week. Newcastle also offers taxi services on 131 000 or 131 008, or the ride sharing service, Uber.

When is the best time to visit Newcastle?

Newcastle is fantastic to visit all year round as it lies in the temperate zone, so generally the climate is free from extreme temperatures. Seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere - summer is from December to February while winter is between June and August. The warmest time of year is the summer months, with an average maximum temperature of 26C. The coolest months are June to August when daytime temperatures rarely fall below 7C. For up-to-date weather forecasts visit the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

There is always something happening in Newcastle, no matter what time of year you choose to come. To peruse upcoming events in Newcastle click here.

The most affordable time of year to visit Newcastle is outside of peak holiday seasons, such as Easter, school holidays and Christmas/ New Year.

How long should I spend in Newcastle?

Personally, we think forever is a good amount of time to spend here, that's why we live here! But seriously, Newcastle is such a vibrant and liveable city, that most people who come here on holidays, almost always return, either to live, study or holiday. If you are visiting from another area, or internationally, you could easily spend several days here, or you could base yourself here for a week or two and use Newcastle as your base to explore Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie and beyond.

What types of accommodation options are there?

It doesn't matter if you have spent your day exploring all of the wonderful things Newcastle has to offer, or if you've spent it relaxing, everyone needs somewhere to unwind and rest their head at the end of the day. Newcastle has a range of accommodation options to suit any taste or budget. From internationally branded hotels to bed and breakfasts, backpackers and hostels, or camping Newcastle has something for everyone. To search and book your Newcastle stay click here

What is there to do in Newcastle?

Despite having attracted Lonely Planet's admiration, Newcastle is yet to be detected by the mass tourism radar. The seaside city of Newcastle is a great holiday destination with a rich history, quirky arts culture and a thriving dining and shopping scene. Embark on one of the many self-guided walking tours or learn how to surf. Spot local marine life aboard Nova Cruises or get up close to Australian animals at Blackbutt Reserve, 182 hectares of natural bushland where you can walk the trails and discover the wildlife. Take a family day out to swing and climb like Tarzan at Tree Top Adventure Park, or for something more relaxing, pack up the picnic basket and head to King Edward Park, Foreshore Park or one of the many beautiful green spaces within Newcastle. For a full list of things to see and do click here

How do I experience Newcastle like a local?

  1. Get your caffeine fix - Over the past few years, Newcastle has created a coffee culture that gives Melbourne a run for its money. You never have to look far for a flat white in this buzzing city with baristas dominating almost every other shop.
  2. Rent a bike - Cycle the city and enjoy some of the most beautiful cycle paths in the state, incuding coastal track Bathers Way, and historic trail the Fernleigh Track.
  3. Shop local - Explore one of the many local markets for fresh local produce, wines, gourmet foods, arts, crafts, fashion, jewellery, home wares and much more at Newcastle Farmers Markets, The Olive Tree Markets and Hunt and Gather Markets, just to name a few.
  4. Lets get physical - Start your day with a jog along one of Newcastle's many beautiful beaches, join a yoga class (there are many local yoga studios to choose from) or take a dip in one of the city's open air ocean baths.
  5. Spend a day at the Beach - If your idea of fun is lazing around in the sun, Newcastle has seven beaches within five minutes drive of the city centre and three open air ocean baths. Newcastle and Merewether Beach also boast a number of popular cafes for beachside dining.

What is there to do after dark?

There’s no better way to describe Newcastle’s nightlife than electric. Small bars are constantly popping up all over the city, while some old favourites have truly kicked things up a notch. There are boutique beer bars for those beer aficionados, glamourous harbourside bars and local pubs playing live music around the city. Enjoy a cocktail at one of the many wonderful venues along Hunter Street, enjoy a late night coffee at the funky inner city Darby Street or make your way to Beaumont Street to the enjoy the late night local pub atmosphere.

Where should I go to eat & drink?

Newcastle has an emerging food scene that makes it an appealing spot to indulge in quality food and wine, and it seems that around town there's a new bar, cafe, deli, or restaurant throwing open its doors every week. Mediterranean hub Beaumont Street has long been a mecca for wining and dining, with a wonderful array of lively pubs and sidewalk cafes. For those who prefer relaxed dining, Darby Street in Cooks Hill offers bohemian style cafes and galleries to browse. Enjoy lunch or a cup of coffee before heading off to shop through the variety of artisan stores. Or, for those who can't go past those waterfront views, right on the harbor at Honeysuckle wharf, The Boardwalk is the place to head for sophisticated dining and opulent bars with spectacular harbor views. For a list of places to eat and drink, click here

I'm travelling with kids, what is there to do to keep them entertained?

Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, Newcastle offers diverse dining, cultural and entertainment options making it a favourite family destination. Newcastle has loads of great family friendly activities to keep not just the kids, but Mum and Dad, entertained all year round. Here is our top 15 list of awesome family friendly things to do.

Are there any major events in Newcastle?

Winner of four International Festivals and Events City Awards, Newcastle is home to many exciting major events. Keep an eye out for upcoming events at Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Civic Theatre, Newcastle Jockey Club and Lizotte’s for great musical showcases, theatre shows, race days and exhibitions. Regular events include Rugby League home games for the Newcastle Knights and Soccer A-League, Newcastle Jets games taking place at Hunter Stadium. Other annual events include Newcastle Jazz Festival, Surfest, This is Not Art Festival, Newcastle Writer’s Festival and many more. Newcastle is extremely excited to also be hosting the Coates Hire Newcastle 500 from 2017 to 2022, which will see the city transformed into a supercar race track. For a full list of events, click here or follow us on Facebook - Newcastle, Australia for the latest information about upcoming events.

I'm in Newcastle for 1, 2, 3 days - How can I best discover the city?

We have itinerary suggestions for your Newcastle visit which can be found by clicking here. You can also put together your personal Newcastle wish list by clicking here