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Newcastle, Australia

Newcastle is at the mouth of the Hunter River, approximately 150 km north of Sydney in the Hunter region of New South Wales, Australia. The city is the focal point for the diverse Hunter region that encompasses beaches and mountains, restaurants and wineries.

Newcastle is a great place for surfers, wine buffs, bushwalkers, and anyone interested in Australian history. Similar to its English namesake, Newcastle was an important center for the coal mining and iron ore industries. Newcastle is Australia's oldest seaport, currently the second most important in the country in terms of overall tonnage, and significant for coal exports.

Many Novocastrians take an avid interest in sports, as participants, spectators or both. The local NRL Rugby League team, the Newcastle Knights are widely followed. Newcastle also hosts soccer, baseball, ice hockey, netball, and various other sporting teams. Hunter New England... Read more

Newcastle, Australia

Destination:

Newcastle is at the mouth of the Hunter River, approximately 150 km north of Sydney in the Hunter region of New South Wales, Australia. The city is the focal point for the diverse Hunter region that encompasses beaches and mountains, restaurants and wineries.

Newcastle is a great place for surfers, wine buffs, bushwalkers, and anyone interested in Australian history. Similar to its English namesake, Newcastle was an important center for the coal mining and iron ore industries. Newcastle is Australia's oldest seaport, currently the second most important in the country in terms of overall tonnage, and significant for coal exports.

Many Novocastrians take an avid interest in sports, as participants, spectators or both. The local NRL Rugby League team, the Newcastle Knights are widely followed. Newcastle also hosts soccer, baseball, ice hockey, netball, and various other sporting teams. Hunter New England Health and The University of Newcastle are the city's primary employers.

To the north is Stockton beach with miles and miles of uninhabited beaches that stretch up to Nelson Bay. The wreck of the Signa can be seen from Fort Scratchley, which was Newcastle's maritime defense during the world wars. Travel westward to the wineries and taste some of Australia's best wines. Barrington Tops National Park in the northwest has beautiful freshwater rivers and rain forests, a good place to spot a platypus.

  • Newcastle Visitor Information Centre, Honeysuckle Wharf, ☎ +61 2 4929 5948, e-mail: tourism@ncc.nsw.gov.au. M-F 9 AM-5 PM, Sa-Su 10 AM-3 PM.

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Newcastle, Australia: Port Information


Large cruise ships dock at the Channel Berth at the Carrington terminal.
There is shuttle service that will transport you to Queens Wharf.
Smaller vessels may dock at Queen's Wharf. From there, you can explore the city on a bus, taxi, rental car, rickshaw, etc.
Currently, the new cruise terminal is under construction.

Get around Newcastle, Australia


The actual city center itself is fairly walkable. With the current construction works for a new light rail lasting until 2017, public buses are the best way to get around Newcastle city. The Sydney Opal card is used here and used in exactly the same way. The shopping centers, John Hunter Hospital and the university are served by several bus lines.

Google Maps works for transit in Newcastle, as do several 3rd party smartphone apps that Transport NSW recommend.

There are taxis available, although you will likely need to call for one. Hamilton station has a Taxi rank which often has a few taxis waiting for the Sydney train. Uber may not have any drivers here, and GoCatch has just a handful. Newcastle Taxi Co-operative can be reached under 131008.

There is a single ferry service between Queens Wharf and Stockton Wharf.

Riding a bicycle is possible, and infrastructure is slowly being built but takes some time to discover. Select areas around Wickham, Islington, and along Honeysuckle Drive have some infrastructure, quiet streets, a gentle terrain along waterways that can be quite pleasant to ride through. Other areas which have some infrastructure are around Adamstown and Kotara Shopping Centre. It is possible to ride to & in the surroundings of the John Hunter Hospital, University of Newcastle but these are up significant gradients. Even so, much riding will occur on roads shared with motor vehicles.

Car hire

  • Europcar, 66 Hannell St, Wickham, ☎ +61 2 4940 0053. Closest rental outlet to the city center and also has an outlet at the airport.
  • Budget, 107 Tudor St, Hamilton, ☎ +61 2 4927 6375. Bit further out from the CBD (not far from the Broadmeadow Train Station) and also has an airport outlet.
  • Thrifty Car Rental, 272 Pacific Hwy, Charlestown NSW 2290, ☎ +61 2 4942 2266, e-mail: reservations@thrifty.com.au. Located on the Pacific Highway
  • Newcastle Car & Truck Rental, 851 Hunter Street, Hamilton, NSW (Cnr Hunter & Selma Streets), ☎ +61 2 4940 0377. All sorts of vehicles to hire for all sorts of uses

What to see in Newcastle, Australia


Landmarks

  • Christ Church Cathedral. See Newcastle's Cathedral. Tour the inside, with a guided map.
  • Heritage architecture. in and around the city. Notable buildings in the CBD area include the courthouse (top of Bolton St), former Customs House, Newcastle Railway Station, and Post Office (cnr of Hunter St and Bolton St).
  • Nobbys Head. Nobbys island is connected to the mainland by a pier built using convict labor (completed in 1846). The pier is accessible to pedestrians and is flanked by Nobbys Beach. It provides an excellent vantage point to take in views of the harbor and Stockton Beach across the water.
  • Queen's Wharf Tower. Suggested as resembling a large phallic symbol but has great views across the city.

Museums and art galleries

  • Newcastle Museum, Workshop Way, ☎ +61 2 4974 1400. T-Su 10 AM-5 PM. Opened in 2011, this museum is spread across three historic railway workshop buildings with permanent exhibitions on local history, the BHP steelworks and coal mining, and interactive science. Free.
  • Fort Scratchley, Nobbys Rd, ☎ +61 2 4974 5005. W-M 10 AM-4 PM. A historic site which now houses a military museum. The fort defended Newcastle in 1942 when a Japanese submarine surfaced shelling the city. Fort Scratchley has recently been refurbished and is open to the public, great views to the north and over the city are a highlight as well as the history. Just east of the fort is Newcastle ocean baths a great place to swim and meet some local characters.
  •  The Lock Up Cultural Centre, 90 Hunter St, ☎ +61 2 4925 2265. W-Th 10 AM-4 PM, F-Su 10 AM-5 PM. Incorporates a Police Museum and the John Paynter Gallery, which hosts resident artists all year round. Gold coin entry.
  •  The Maritime Centre, 3 Honeysuckle Dr, ☎ +61 2 4929 2588. T-Su 10 AM-4 PM.
  •  Newcastle Art Gallery, 1 Laman St, ☎ +61 2 4974 5100, e-mail: artgallery@ncc.nsw.gov.au. T-Su 10 AM-5 PM. Well worth a visit. The gallery houses a high-quality collection of works by Australian artists and also stages its own and traveling exhibitions. Free.
  •  Miss Porter's House, 434 King Street, Newcastle West NSW 2302, ☎ +61 249 270202, e-mail: mph@nationaltrust.com.au. 1 pm-4 pm second Sunday of each month. Built by the Porters in 1909, the family lived in this freestanding Edwardian terrace until 1997, when they left it to the National Trust with all its contents intact. It is now a living snapshot of pre-1950s life in Newcastle. Miss Porter’s House is a living home, offering you today, a rare and privileged visit into other lives and other times. Built in 1909 by Herbert Porter, the terrace was home to the Porter family until 1997. The property was left to the National Trust by Miss Hazel Porter with its contents intact, providing today’s visitors with a vivid experience of the twentieth-century inner-city life in Newcastle. Miss Porter’s House is filled with 1909-1940 furnishings and personal items which tell the story of the family over more than a century.

Parks and gardens

  •   The foreshore. Large grassed open spaces on the old goods marshaling yards at the eastern end with playground equipment for children. Bars, cafes and restaurants overlooking the harbor starting from Queens Wharf where live music can be listened to on the outdoor area over the water (Hunter River)but very little grassed areas.
  •   King Edward Park. A great place for a picnic or a BBQ. Nice views of the ocean.
  •   Mount Sugarloaf lookout, West Wallsend NSW 2286.

What to do in Newcastle, Australia


  •  ANZAC Walk, 43 High St, The Hill NSW 2300. A short bridge connecting Strzelecki lookout with Bar Beach along the ridgeline, honoring the ANZACs who fought in WWI. free.
  •  Hunter Wetlands Centre, Wallsend Rd, Sandgate, ☎ +61 2 4951 6466. 9 AM-5 PM. A regenerated 45-hectare wetlands area adjacent to Hexham Swamp. There are walking trails, a bicycle trail, a canoe trail, picnic and barbecue facilities, and a visitors' center.
  • See some live music. The TE Guide provides weekly entertainment listings and appears in Wednesday's "Post" free newspaper and Thursday's Newcastle Herald in print and online. The online version is not always kept up to date, so it is best to get hold of a print copy. Alternately, look for Uturn streetpress, which is widely distributed to shops and libraries around town.
  •  Blackbutt Reserve. A 182ha reserve in suburban Newcastle. A natural bushland area which is full of native animals, picnic areas, wildlife exhibits, bushwalking trails, children's playgrounds. Don't miss the flying fox colony on the Rainforest trail. Main entrance is off Carnley Avenue, Kotara. Other entrances - Lookout Road, New Lambton Heights (on bus route) & Richley Reserve off Freyburg Street, New Lambton. On foot from Kotara train station, enter by the small trailhead opposite Grinsell Ave. on Carnley Ave., and stay to the right in the trail system to reach the info booth and animal displays at the Carnley Avenue entrance.
  •  Fernleigh Track. A 15.5 km long cycling/walking/running trail that starts in the Newcastle suburb of Adamstown and ends in the Lake Macquarie suburb of Belmont. It follows the remains of a railway line that used to run from Adamstown to Belmont down the coast.
  • Newcastle Regional Library, Laman Street, Newcastle. A large local library which also hosts exhibitions. This Library is a stunning War Memorial in a unique setting and style. Note also the curious bikestands outside the front steps. The Local Studies Library on the second floor will answer most questions about Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. A small library well done.
  • Bar Beach. Regarded by many as the best of a range of beaches that ring the city. Surfing and Kite surfing available.
  • Nobbys Beach. One of the safer beaches to swim at, fairly close to the city and Newcastle train station.
  • Newcastle Beach. Another good beach next to the city center.

Ocean baths

No visit to Newcastle during the warmer months would be complete without taking a dip in the ocean baths. On sunny days you can sunbathe on the Grandstand on the Fort side of the Baths.

The baths are also open during the winter, for the more adventurous. The Newcastle baths are home to the "Newcastle Pirates", a winter swimming club not unlike the Icebergs or Polar Bears of other places.

  •   Newcastle Ocean Baths. Close to the city center, these historic baths were opened in 1922.
  •   Merewether Ocean Baths. The largest ocean baths complex in the southern hemisphere. Free.
  •   The Bogey Hole. Carved out of the rock by convicts, this ocean pool at the bottom of King Edward Park is a great place for a relaxing dip.

Festivals and events

  • Mattara Festival. A week-long series of events that commences each year during the Labour Day long weekend in late September/early October. The Mattara festival notably includes the Mattara Hillclimb, a car race held in scenic King Edward Park. The festival also features a grand parade, concerts, family entertainment, and market stalls.
  • This Is Not Art Festival. Held in the same long weekend each year, and showcases the talents of young and emerging artists, writers, media makers and electronic musicians from around Australia.
  • Surfest, e-mail: info@surfest.com. Australia's largest surfing contest and festival.
  • Carols by Candlelight. Held each December in many of Newcastle's parks.
  • Cultural Stomp, Civic Park. A one-day celebration, bringing people together to celebrate the region's cultural diversity. Forums, panels, music, art, films, spoken word.

What to eat and drink in Newcastle, Australia


Eat

Most of the city's restaurants and cafés can be found along three main eatery strips: Honeysuckle Drive in Honeysuckle, Darby Street in Cooks Hill and Beaumont Street in Hamilton.

Budget

  • Asa-Don, 179 King Street, Newcastle, ☎ +61 2 4929 1035.
  • Civic Lunch Delights, 389 Hunter Street, Newcastle, ☎ +61 2 4929 4241.
  • Darby Street Take Away, 98 Darby St Cooks Hill, ☎ +61 4929 3406. A real value-for-money greasy spoon/sandwich bar. The "international burgers" are recommended.
  • Hooi's Recipe, Shop 1 55 Joslin Street Kotara, NSW, ☎ +61 249523333. Excellent place for Malaysian, Chinese and Thai food. Price is reasonable and good service too. There's noodle special for dinner on Sunday till Thurs. A place that is highly recommended.
  • House of Peking. (Hotel Jesmond, Jesmond) is excellent value for Yum Cha.
  • Pide Fez, 126 Darby Street, Cooks Hill, ☎ +61 2 4929 4394.

Cafés

There are numerous options along Beaumont St in Hamilton and Darby St in Cooks Hill. At Three Monkeys (Darby St Cooks Hill) coffee can be ordered by the bowl. Euro Patisserie, 68 Orchardtown Rd, New Lambton, tel: 4957 7188, is deservedly popular for their award-winning cakes and pastries.

Other suggestions:

  • Goldbergs, 137 Darby St, Cooks Hill. A busy Darby St stalwart, offers large meals and a good location for people-watching.
  • Long Bench Café, Darby St, Cooks Hill. Open until late.
  • Rolador. Hamilton Train Station Carpark.
  • Suspension Espresso, 3 Beaumont Street, Islington NSW 2296 (Turn right out of Hamilton Station and walk about 2 minutes down Beaumont Street), ☎ +61 2 4962 2717. 06:00 - 17:00. Very good coffee near Hamilton Station. Great for waiting for the train back to Sydney.

Mid-range

  •   Benjamas, 100 Darby Street, Cooks Hill, ☎ +61 2 4926 1229. Thai cuisine
  •   Bocados, 25 King Street, Newcastle, ☎ +61 2 4925 2801. Spanish cuisine
  •   Delucas Pizza, 159B Darby Street, Cooks Hill, ☎ +61 2 4929 3555. Italian classics
  •   Oma's Kitchen, 16 Watt Street, Newcastle, ☎ +61 2 4927 5151. Bavarian German style cafe, with authentic dishes such as Bavarian sausages, pork knuckle and lebekaese at somewhat high prices. Real German beer available. 
  •   Moor, 33 Hunter Street, Newcastle East, ☎ +61 402 37096, e-mail: moor.newcastle.east@gmail.com. North African and Spanish dishes

Splurge

  • Bacchus, 141 King Street, Newcastle, ☎ +61 2 4927 1332.
  • Restaurant Mason, 3/35 Hunter Street, Newcastle, ☎ +61 2 4926 3470, e-mail: restaurantmason@gmail.com.
  • Sprout Dining, 2 Honeysuckle Drive, Honeysuckle, ☎ +61 2 4023 3565, e-mail: info@sproutcatering.com.au.
  • Subo, 551D Hunter Street, Newcastle West, ☎ +61 2 4023 4048, e-mail: subo@live.com.au.

Drink

Coffee

  • Dark Horse Espresso, 20-24 Greenway Street, Wickham, ☎ +61 449 540 463. Funky little cafe connected to a furniture shop in an industrial area, serving Campos coffee.
  • Glee Coffee Roasters, 155 Darby Street, Cooks Hill, ☎ +61 432 034 703.
  • One Penny Black, Corner Hunter and Morgan Streets, ☎ +61 421 506 651, e-mail: onepennyblack@live.com.au. M-F 7 AM-5 PM, Sa-Su 7 AM-4 PM.
  • Sprocket Roasters, 68 Hunter St, ☎ +61 2 4009 1237, fax: +61 2 4023 3907, e-mail: info@sprocketroasters.com.au.
  • Suspension Espresso, 3 Beaumont Street, Islington, ☎ +61 2 4962 2717.

Bars and clubs

  • Queens Wharf Brewery. On the foreshore. A popular spot for a drink. The pub sells its own beers and has harbor views. During the day and M and Tu nights, the atmosphere is relaxed, whilst W-Su evenings can get very busy. There's also entertainment (generally DJs, top 40 cover bands, R&B soloists) on W-Su evenings. There is a large outdoor (beer garden style) area on a jetty over the river - a great way to relax on a sunny day.
  • Silo Lounge Bar. Located in the new Honeysuckle development on the Harbour. A drawcard is the selection of Belgian beers available.
  • Northern Star Hotel, 112 Beaumont St, Hamilton, ☎ +61 2 4961 1087. An Irish pub in the middle of Hamilton's restaurant strip. The Northern Star regularly functions as a music venue - check the blackboard out the front to find out what's on.
  • Kent Hotel, 59 Beaumont Street, Hamilton, ☎ +61 2 4961 3303. A busy pub on Hamilton's restaurant strip. Check out the popular trivia night (each Wednesday, starts at 7.30PM).
  • Beach Hotel, Fredrick Street, Merewether. A Newcastle institution. The place to be on Sunday night is sitting on the front deck overlooking Merewether Beach at sunset with a locally brewed Bluetounge Beer.
  • Gateway Hotel, Maitland Rd, Islington. The local establishment frequented by Newcastle's gay & lesbian community. The venue features a rotating mix of local and Sydney DJ's, special events, drag shows, and feature performers, featuring a nightclub (Club G), main bar and bistro.
  • Cambridge Hotel, 789 Hunter St, Newcastle West, ☎ +61 2 49622459. Newcastle's premier live venue plays host to the best national and international touring bands. Enjoy cheap drinks and great music while meeting friendly locals.
  • The Clarendon Hotel, 347 Hunter St, ☎ +61 2 4907 6700. Voted best pub style accommodation in Australia in 2009, this venue is a great place to have a drink or a meal at their restaurant that offers good food at reasonable prices. They also host the Sundae Fundaze event several times a year with a number of world-class dance music acts.
  • MJ Finnegans Irish Pub, Cnr. Darby and King street. One of the most popular night spots on Friday and Saturday nights. Not really an Irish pub anymore.

Shopping in Newcastle, Australia


  • For locally made clothing with a quirky, hip look, try High Tea with Mrs. Woo, 74 Darby Street, Cooks Hill, ☎ +61 4926 4883. Darby Street is also a good place to browse in the boutiques, although the options here aren't cheap.
  • Retro/Second-hand clothing: Newcastle has a range of interesting second-hand stores. some of which are priced very competitively when compared with their Sydney counterparts.
  • Patsan Dance Music Specialist, 301 Hunter Street, ☎ +61 4925 3996.
  • Newcastle City Farmers Market, Newcastle Showground, Brown Road, Broadmeadow (Close to Broadmeadow Train Station), ☎ +61 2 4930 5156. 8 AM-1 PM (most Sundays).
  • Hunter Street Markets, Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle, ☎ +61 2 9999 2226. Every Th-Sa 9 AM-3 PM. Also runs whenever a cruise ship is in town.

Safety in Newcastle, Australia


Dangerous tides occur mainly in summer.

Language spoken in Newcastle, Australia


English is spoken in Newcastle.

LOCAL TIME

2:49 pm
June 16, 2019
Australia/Sydney

CURRENT WEATHER

13.36 °C / 56.048 °F
light rain
Mon

14.8 °C/59 °F
moderate rain
Tue

16.66 °C/62 °F
overcast clouds
Wed

12.9 °C/55 °F
sky is clear
Thu

12.11 °C/54 °F
sky is clear

LOCAL CURRENCY

AUD

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1 CAD = 0 AUD

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