Easy accessibility would have to be one of the main reasons why Sydneysiders love visiting Newcastle. Approximately a three hour drive north of Sydney, Newcastle is located just off the M1 Pacific Motorway. Whether it’s a day trip or a more leisurely stay, if you have the time, take the coastal Pacific Highway as a pleasant alternative.
If you don’t want to drive, coach companies also provide regular connections. Newcastle is also part of the New South Wales City Rail network. Frequent daily return services operate from Sydney with CountryLink trains and their coach network connecting Newcastle via Broadmeadow station.
Flying is another option for those in a rush, with direct flights available from Sydney. Newcastle Airport is the fastest growing regional airport in Australia and is only 30 minutes from the city centre. Getting around the city is not a problem as NewcastleTaxis provide a 24 hour, seven day service, including the airport.
Newcastle’s excellent food and dining scene which offers fine restaurants, waterfront dining, chic cafes, cellar doors and boutique breweries has resulted in the city becoming one of Australia’s regional foodie destinations. Why not plan to visit the three day Food & Wine Expo at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, held during the last week of August.
Fresh local produce, organic foods, handcrafted clothing, artisan accessories plus local arts and crafts are all available at the city’s many markets. The Hunter Street Mall has night markets on the second and fourth Friday of each month. For chic boutique shopping, the unique East End is the place to go.
As Australia’s second oldest city, Newcastle has many historic hot spots. Visit Fort Scratchley, built in 1882 to defend the city from the threat of a Russian invasion; with its labyrinth of tunnels, experience how the installation helped defend Australia during World War Two. Alternatively, go on an East End Dark History Ghost Walk. Historic Watt Street comes to life each evening through an electric, interactive multimedia light display set to transport visitors through time. See heritage listed buildings, historic townhouses and Victorian terraces along Newcastle’s oldest street brought to life through colourful cinematography, lavish light ups and interactive installations.
The Newcastle Civic Theatre, complete with 1920’s décor, provides the theatre lover with a large selection of plays from comedy to drama, year round. There is also a large live music scene from the intimate ambience of Lizottes theatrical restaurant to the sounds of hip hop, orchestral and jazz. Pair fantastic food, quality wine and craft beer with bands at some of the many pubs around the city.
If you love the outdoors, try the coastal walk past three pristine beaches that are interlinked by Bathers Way, from Nobbys in the north to Merewether in the south. Total walking time at a medium pace is approximately three hours, ideal for a long walk on a temperate summer evening or a romantic stroll after dinner.
Whether it’s just a day trip, a getaway for a weekend or perhaps longer, the State’s second largest city has so much to offer.
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