Sydney may possess the glitz and the glamour, but Newcastle has the down-to-earth larrikin charm. This is the kind of place where you can grocery shop barefoot, go surfing in your lunch hour and quickly become best buddies with the person sitting next to you in the bar.
Swim or surf at the popular beaches and soak in ocean baths, explore the outstanding heritage architecture in the CBD and window-shop along funky Darby St. Dine on fish and chips, watch the tankers chug along the horizon and catch some live music. Whatever you do, however, don’t just pass through – Newcastle is easily worth a couple of days or more.
Recommended things to do & see
Our top picks for Newcastle
Newcastle Regional Museum
Opened in May 2011 to great fanfare, the city's flagship museum occupies the restored Honeysuckle rail workshops on the foreshore and focuses on the people, activities and places of the Hunter region.
Newcastle Region Art Gallery
This excellent regional gallery has a permanent collection of works by revered Australian artists (Drysdale, Nolan, Whiteley) and hosts exciting temporary exhibitions.
This large, beige modern hotel is right on the waterfront and is easily the best sleeping option in town. Service is excellent and the pool is a real plus. Breakfast costs $40.
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