It might not harbour the same international fame as Sydney, but Newcastle still punches well above its weight. As Australia’s second-oldest city, it’s brimming with historic attractions, stunning architecture and a string of sun-drenched beaches. Over the past decade, Newcastle has emerged as one of the state’s trendiest cities. It serves up a smorgasbord of fine dining restaurants, backed by colourful boutiques, hip cafes and a vibrant arts scene.
Things to Do
Kick off your time in Newcastle with a tour of Fort Scratchley. This 19th-century stronghold was built in 1882 to defend the city against a possible Russian attack. Check out the history museum, or sign up for a tunnel tour.
There’s plenty to do in the city centre, from admiring local talent at the Newcastle Art Gallery to discovering the city’s nautical heritage at the Maritime Museum. The Emporium is Newcastle’s high-end shopping mall and houses a treasure trove of local art, fashion and homewares.
If you’re a wine lover, a day trip to the Hunter Valley is a must. Known for varietals like Semillon and Shiraz, it’s an easy one hour drive from the Newcastle city centre. Spend the day visiting a string of wineries and cellar doors, ranging from world-renowned brands to family-run vineyards.
Stretching for 32 kilometres, Stockton Beach is a popular place to swim, fish and soak up the sunshine. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take on the towering Stockton Sand Dunes in the Worimi Conservation Lands.
Bus, train and taxi services run throughout the city, which make Newcastle easy to navigate. The airport is 15 kilometres out of town, with the drive taking around 30 minutes. You can also ride the rails to Hamilton or Broadmeadow Stations, then use shuttle buses to access central Newcastle and the surrounding beaches.