Newcastle has, in the past, often been regarded seen as an unsophisticated town due to its previous existence as a steel town and originally being the first domain to where the most taxing convicts were sent in when they were shipped over to Australia. Today it is the sixth largest city in the country, and has many adorning features which have caused it to be a major tourist destination. Located on the east coast of Australia, around two hours drive north of Sydney, Newcastle is blessed with the same temperate climate and good surfing as this city. Being the gateway to the Hunter Valley, one of the country's largest wine growing regions, has also promoted Newcastle's reputation, as well as its ever-increasing innovative arts scene.


The city's change in reputation occurred mostly after the tremendous earthquake which hit it in 1989 causing mass devastation to the city, thus a great deal of it had to be built again. There is still a great deal of evidence throughout Newcastle of the destruction that this natural disaster caused, and the best way to view the city in its entirety is to use Newcastle's tram. This leaves from the railway station on the hour, every hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. In reality it is not a true tram, rather a bus which has been made to look like a tram, but it still offers an informative overview of the city's sites and architecture.

The city's shore is lined by a white sand coast which is gently pounded by surf. The most popular surf spot is at Bar Beach, which is one km south of the city, but the water at Newcastle Beach is often filled with swimmers and surfers who have little fear of sharks. For those that do, the ocean baths are a good alternative and they still provide a backdrop of the shore. Nobby Beach is just north of these baths and is another popular destination for swimmers, surfers and sunbathers alike. The Nobby's Head peninsula makes a terrific sea walk along the wall up to the lighthouse, and the Bathers Way walk takes you from Nobby's Beach along to Merewether Beach with informative signposts along the way.

[ The Wetlands Centre] is a massive swamp that is home to over one hundred different types of animals and birds. You can hire a canoe to travel around the forty five acres which make up this unique attraction, or you can walk along the many trails available which also include observation decks and boardwalks. Self-guided or organised walking tours are available, and there are picnic and barbeque spots set aside in picturesque locations.

Hot air balloon trips are one of the best ways to take in the magnificent landscape of the vineyards which make up the Hunter Valley, albeit a little expensive. Details of these are available from the Tourist Information Centre or your can pre-book through [ The Hunter Valley Ballooning Company]. Other air sports available include paragliding and hand gliding, for information regards these check [ The Air Sports Company].

Wine tours are available throughout the Hunter Valley, which produces grapes suitable for red, white and rose wine. With so many vineyards to choose from it is best to ask locally for recommendations or to ask other enthusiasts. The Tourist Information Centre has details on all tours available, as do many of the hotels in Newcastle.


The Junction is an upmarket area of Newcastle which is filled with boutiques and designer shops, whereas Darby Street in Cooks Hill has a more bohemian feel to it. Hunter Street is one of the main streets in Newcastle and you will find the majority of brand and chain shops along this street. Due to the residents' love for surfing you will a great deal of surf shops selling boards, wetsuits and clothes along here as well. South of Newcastle is Garden City, which is one of Australia's largest shopping centres. There is also another shopping centre, which is smaller than this one, at Charlestown which is a short drive north form Newcastle.


Queen's Wharf, on the waterfront, has been developed into the trendy area of Newcastle. Bars, restaurants and shops line the front and there is also a mini-brewery. Beaumont Street in the Hamilton precinct is home to Newcastle's Greek and Italian restaurants, and it also has a flourishing pub scene with cafes scattered in between. Darby Street is a popular hangout for the locals as the cuisine here is especially diverse, and the Pacific Street end of Hunter Street has one of the best atmospheres in the city. Seafood dominates many of the menus of Newcastle's restaurants, and al fresco dining is also popular. Live music can be readily found; many of the hotels, and some of the pubs, have frequent nights featuring local talent.

[ The Newcastle Civic Theatre] is one of Australia's best and most famous regional theatres and has regular shows features world-class talent.

Tourist Information

Newcastle Tourist Office363 Hunter StreetNewcastleNSW 2308Australia


Newcastle's international airport won Australia's Regional Airport of the Year Award last year for its cleanliness, amenities offered and the effectiveness of its transfers. Due to its location of only twenty-five minutes drive from Newcastle, getting to the city from this airport could not be easier. Shuttle buses meet all flights and for a very reasonable price you can quickly and effectively be transferred to Newcastle. International flights are available to most major destinations across the world, as well as domestic flights to the main cities and towns in Australia.

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