Newcastle may be one-tenth the size of Sydney, but Australia’s second-oldest city is punching well above its weight. Superb surf beaches, historical architecture and a sun-drenched climate are only part of the city’s charms.
There is fine dining, hip bars, quirky boutiques, and a diverse arts scene. And did we mention the laid-back attitude? Yes, Newcastle is definitely worth a day or two of your time.
The Lonely Planet recognises the port city of Newcastle has been on the brink of big things. Coal, steel and timber were its lifeblood but the cultural, the gastronomically and the creatively entrepreneurial have been on the rise for a long while, and now Newcastle’s time has finally come.
Newcastle’s famous beaches are all within walking distance from the CBD, and are rich in heritage. The Bogey Hole to the south of Newcastle Beach, below King Edward Park is Australia’s oldest ocean bath. A convict carved ocean pool provides a unique place to splash about as the waves from the Pacific Ocean spill over its edge.
Fort Scratchley, perched high above Newcastle and the Harbour, is a former military site constructed in 1882 to defend the city against a possible Russian attack.
Another attraction that’s worth a visit whilst in Newcastle includes the Newcastle Museum, recently moved to the restored Honeysuckle rail workshops. Exhibitions are interactive and engaging whilst telling a tale of the city from its Indigenous Awabakal origins to its era as an industrial heartland of coal miners and steelworkers.
For many more sites and attractions within the city, visit visitnewcastle.com..au
The Hunter Valley
The Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s major wine-growing regions, with a viticultural history dating back to the early 1800s. Known for varietals such as Semillon and Shiraz, it’s home to well over 100 vineyards. Most operate cellar doors so the public can sample their bottling’s.
When visiting the Hunter Valley, most people don’t want to leave, and why would you? With amazing wines, fabulous local produce & quality restaurants, cosy accommodation properties, quaint galleries showcasing talented local artists & gorgeous scenery.
To see more of the Hunter Valley region, visit Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism.
FLYING: There are direct flights to Newcastle from all east coast airports and stop over flights from Perth, Hobart & Darwin. Newcastle airport has undergone extensive extensions to cater for the ever-increasing travel population. The airport is just a 30 minute drive to the Newcastle CBD and all the Fringe Festival action.
Hire cars and taxis are available for transport. For more information visit the Newcastle Airport website.
Est. Flight Times From:
Sydney – 40mins
Melbourne – 1hr 30mins
Canberra – 1hr
Brisbane – 1hr 15mins
Hobart via Melbourne – 3hrs (stop over time not included)
Adelaide via Melbourne – 3hrs (stop over time not included)
Perth via Melbourne – 5hrs (stop over time not included)
Darwin via Brisbane– 7hrs (stop over time not included)
ROAD: Travelling by car from any major east coast city? Coming from Brisbane, travel along the Pacific or New England Highways.
Coming from Sydney, simply travel up the M1 motorway (old F3) and from Melbourne, travel up the Hume Highway to Sydney before proceeding onto Newcastle.
Est. Road Travel Times From:
Sydney – 1hr 45mins
Brisbane – 8hrs 15mins
Melbourne – 9hrs 45mins
Newcastle Fringe Festival makes every effort to keep venues as close to the centre of Newcastle as possible to make movement between venues quick and easy.
Public Transport & Opal Cards
Opal is your ticket to getting around on public transport. Keep and reuse it to pay for travel on public transport. Once you have your Opal card, just add value, then tap on and tap off to travel. If you don’t have an Opal card, you can use a contactless payment card such as an American Express, Visa or Mastercard for the same fare and benefits of an Adult Opal card.
Newcastle Light Rail
Newcastle Light Rail runs from Newcastle Interchange in Wickham to Newcastle Beach in the east end of Newcastle. With six convenient stops, Newcastle Light Rail is the new way to explore Newcastle’s city centre. The turn-up-and-go service operates from 5am to 1am, seven days a week..
Newcastle has an extensive network of local buses. Routes 11, 12, 13, 14 have Newcastle covered with frequent services in to the city centre every 15 minutes during weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends, between 7am and 7pm. Routes 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 connect suburbs with key CBD locations.
Taxis & Ridesharing Services
Taxi bookings can be made by phoning 133 300 or book online at newcastletaxis.com.au. Ridesharing services such as Uber, Ola and Didi are available in Newcastle. Download the appropriate app.
Newcastle eBike On Demand Service
Electric bikes (eBikes) are available to hire from 19 docking stations across Newcastle West, Newcastle East, The Junction and Newcastle CBD. The On Demand eBike service for the Newcastle area is operated by BYKKO and are available for hire 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To book this service, select a pick-up point and pick-up time up to 15 minutes in advance. Bookings at bykko.com.au
The ferry operates between Stockton and Queens Wharf with services every 15 minutes during peak periods and 20 minutes throughout the day and weekends.
Plan your trip or find out more at http://newcastletransport.info.
Newcastle has a large range of accommodation options from luxury to backpacker hostels.
To find some great rates whilst visiting Newcastle, check out the range highlighted by visitnewcastle.com.au/stay.
You can also find many B&B places within a short trip to the CBD that may appeal to you. There are of course many other options further outside the city centre.