Surf and the city: Newcastle with kids
Newcastle is a beachy town full of family-friendly fun.
- July 2022
Laidback but lively with plenty of oceanside activities, Newcastle is perfect for a family holiday. Take the kids for a splash around in the ocean baths or a bike ride on the coastal paths. Keep them entertained at interactive museums, with surf lessons and street art. With great food and fun for the grown-ups too, Newcastle can turn it on for every member of the crew.
Get the kids together for a walk along the coast or, better yet, hire electric bikes and cycle it. They’ll see the Newcastle Memorial Walk (a section adorned with steel silhouettes of soldiers) and amazing views from various viewing platforms. The Memorial Walk connects to Bathers Way, a walk from family-friendly Nobbys Beach to Merewether Beach, where the ocean baths are a great place to cool off.
Tour the tunnels
Newcastle has a big military history, and Fort Scratchley is the place to explore it. Built on Flagstaff Hill in the 1880s, the fort is now a museum, and the best bit is touring its underground tunnels. An expert volunteer will lead you down narrow stairs and hallways and into the network of tunnels for a deep dive into local history. For extra excitement, time your trip with the fort’s daily 1pm gun firing.
Adventure in the outdoors
Just a short drive from central Newcastle, you’ll find Blackbutt Reserve, a sprawling bushland attraction full of wildlife exhibits and kid-friendly outdoor activities. You can go for bush walks, have a picnic lunch (there are free barbecues), feed the emus and see a reptile show. There are two interactive playgrounds, with musical instruments, rope courses, swings, slides and an adventure tower, to really burn off energy. Plus, kids can get activity packs with scavenger-hunt clues and puzzles to add to the fun.
Get to the museum
Newcastle Museum is an interactive museum guaranteed to keep little ones entertained. There are activities in the main exhibition spaces as well as hands-on science fun to be had at the Supernova and toddler-friendly Mininova sections. Kids can walk under a massive globe, make a tornado or play in a magnetic field. Check the program for special science shows during school holidays.
Hit the surf
Newcastle is a surfing town, so get the kids riding the waves with some surf lessons. Several local surf schools offer family surf lessons that cater to all ages and abilities. They are run by pros who know the best beaches to learn at, so even groms as young as five can learn the basics and hit the waves. If you can’t make it to a surf lesson, or would rather something calmer, take the kids to the Mereweather Ocean Baths for a wave-free dip in the water.