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Newcastle Australia

Newcastle

Eclectic and ever-evolving city extraordinaire

Metropolitan Newcastle is the second most populated area in New South Wales. Located 162km north-east of Sydney, it’s the Hunter region’s leading city. Newcastle is the perfect place for creative types: from the Newcastle Jazz Festival to the This Is Not Art new media and arts event and Electrofringe, the National Young Writers’ Festival and an active youth music culture, Newcastle packs plenty of inspiration. The city was once known as the “Steel City” – a nod to the BHP Steelworks base – but has morphed into a highly liveable, buzzing city with top-drawer café and culinary cultures. Add the three distinctly different beaches here – from Nobbys in the north to Merewether in the south, which are linked by one great, three-hour coastal walk in the form of Bathers Way – and you’ve got a great place to check out, no matter how long you plan to stay.

When to go

Newcastle boasts a subtropical/oceanic climate: summers are warm and winters are generally mild. Rainfall is heaviest in late autumn and early winter. This is truly a year-round destination, plus or minus a layer of clothing. There’s always something to do in “Newie”. If you’re a foodie, you’re covered, no matter what the weather; head to Newcastle's east, where you'll find the refurbished Great Northern Hotel; Sprocket, East End Enetoca, the one-hatted Bacchus and more. An exceptional site for filling your calendar year-round is hunterhunter.com.au.

Flying with Jetstar

Direct, non-stop flights to Newcastle depart from Brisbane, Melbourne (Tullamarine) and Gold Coast.

Find cheap flights to Newcastle

Getting around

All travel on the blue-and-white Newcastle city centre buses is free. Newcastle Buses and Ferries offers a late-night bus service around Newcastle and to Stockton. Also, the Stockton Ferry departs Queens Wharf every 30 minutes starting at 5.15am.

Airport information

 

Things to do

Here be giants

From late May to early November each year, the Newcastle coastline welcomes thousands of humpback whales as they undertake their annual migration from the Antarctic Southern Ocean to the warmer waters off Hervey Bay, Queensland. An estimated 20,000 humpbacks make their way along the beautiful coastline here and are best spotted from places like Birubi Point, Bar Beach Cliff, King Edward Park and Redhead Beach.

Better in French

Under a partnership between Alliance Française de Newcastle and the Newcastle Film Society, Tower Cinemas Newcastle screens French films never before seen in Australia on one Friday a month from June to October. Before the screening, stroll through the little French market for délicieuse French fare. 183-185 King St, tel: +61 (2) 4926 2233

Big and stall

The Hunt and Gather Markets are held on the third Saturday of each month at Newcastle East’s Pacific Park. The brainchild of sisters Gemma and Karla, the markets have given Newcastle a fashion- and design-focused haven and a platform for artists, musicians and creative types to sell clothing, accessories, leather ware, jewellery and more. Cnr Scott and Pacific Sts, Pacific Park

Chef’s surprise

Underground Epicureans is a “covert” group of hungry diners who regularly meet for dinner at secret locations, chosen at the whim of a selected local chef. Dinner venues remain under wraps until the “White Rabbit” discloses the destination. Follow the group on social media to join in the fun. tel: +61 (0)438 208297

Into the blue

Architecturally breathtaking, the art deco Newcastle Ocean Baths is one of the city’s most enduring historical landmarks, dating back more than a century. This saltwater bathing complex is not just a magnificent place to swim, it has also long served as an open-air studio backdrop for photographers. 1 Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle East, tel: 1800 654558

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