It’s the secret city of New South Wales, a scenic drive just up from Sydney, scoot past the central coast and away from the rat race and head to the city tucked away in quietly stunning Lake Macquarie.
More known for its industrial past and mining sub culture, the beauty and easy lifestyle that is the heart and soul of Newcastle is often forgotten.
Surrounded with breathtaking beaches and coast lines, over loaded with walking and cycling tracks, full of cafes and restaurants of exceptional quality and blessed with sun drenched days all year round what’s not to love about the city retreat.
Here is our bucket list of what to do here when you aren't enjoying a beer at the Sydney Junction Hotel…
Top 10 things to do in Newcastle
1. Anzac Memorial Walk
This walk boasts the most stunning of views from start to finish. Kick off from iconic Merewether beach and follow the track right up to the cliff top. 760m of bridge that joins up to the Bathers Way track from Nobby’s beach. A homage to World War I soldiers, the Anzac walk is iconic and uniquely Novacastrian. Take in 360 views of the city, the coast line and views all the way out to Stockton- the entire beauty of Newcastle is on full display!
2. Visit the iconic Merewether Ocean Baths
The Merewether Ocean Baths are the perfect swimming spot for any beach goers. With a kiddies pool so the toddlers can safely splash in the sun, and a large Olympic sized ocean bath behind it. In the early mornings see the every day regulars stroll down and dive in and do their morning laps. On a hot summers day, bodies sun themselves on the benches and floating toys fill the baths as young people enjoy the beauty of what is Newcastle
3. Visit Nobby's Lighthouse and see where Pasha Bulka beached in 2007
Stroll down to Nobby’s beach and walk out to the light house along the break wall. Duck and weave as waves splash against the rocks surface. See why this spot is so popular among locals as kids learn to surf and the long stretch of white sand gives the spot a private and secluded feel. See where the famous Pasha Bulka beached in 2007 while you're here.
4. Hire SUP boards on the lake
Hire yourself a stand-up paddle board and get active while having a great time as your paddle down the stunning Lake Macquarie in Warners Bay. You won't even feel like you’re exercising as you paddle down the the lake or take it more extreme and have a crack taking on the ocean waves.
5. Walk the Glenrock track down to Burwood beach
Glenrock State Conservation Area is a stunning scenic overdose, full of breathtaking views. Engulf yourself in the serenity and abundance of natural formations, flora and fauna. Bombala Walking track is a favourite that lands you right at Burwood beach. Take a swim in the ocean to cool down and feel like your miles away from the city even though you're in the heart of our beautiful city.
6. Take a stroll down iconic Darby Street
Be sure not to forget your wallet as you’ll find an abundance of things you will want to pick up from the number of homewares, clothing, book and retail shops. Known for its unique character and long stretch of top class cafes Darby Street, second only to Beaumont Street, hosts the busiest and most popular stretch of shops in town. Whether you're a fashion lover or after new plants or ornaments for your home, Darby Street has something for everyone.
7. Take a dip in the Bogey Hole
The Bogey Hole is a top attraction of our coastal city. On a summers day the rocks are laid with numbers of sun goers tanning themselves while the waves crash against the rocks edge and smash up over the side. Crystal clear water, unobstructed ocean views, remote and more like a Croatian beach than anything you would find anywhere else in New South Wales.
8. Take a day drip out to the Hunter Valley vineyards
The Hunter Valley is just a short drive from Newcastle and is the perfect day trip from the city. The Valley is made of hundreds of acres of beautiful country with top class wineries and restaurants. Drive along the famous Lovedale loop or head out to Polkolbin, anywhere you choose to go in the region you’ll find a winery hidden in the hills that takes your breath away. Enjoy a long lunch, its the birthplace of Australian wine and an absolute must for any wine lover.
9. Visit the Art Gallery
Looking for a rainy day activity or after something more cultural to take home from your trip to Newcastle? The Newcastle Art Gallery is a modern gallery filled with sculptural works, prints, photographs and paintings. Workshops for the children are available and the Gallery is conveniently located right in the heart of the City just off bustling Darby Street.
10. Go quad bike riding or 4WD on the Stockton sand dunes
Explore the landscape and set out on the white sand for a unique experience and whole lot of fun! As you quad or 4WD across the soft white sand keep an eye out for whales and realm in the long stretches of unobstructed beaches. Your adrenaline will be pumping as you drive along the largest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere!