Things to do in Newcastle

Activities, attractions and tours

Newcastle Attractions

One of the oldest cities in Australia, Newcastle punches well above its weight for its size. A one time industrial heartland, it has reinvented itself as a trendy and creative destination with a thriving gastronomic scene. Of course, there’s incredible beaches with an ever-growing surf scene backed by plenty of sunny weather. But recently they have added a whole new choice of hip bars, shopping options and a real chilled out atmosphere. Much of the regeneration has centred around the old wharves that were once used to ship steel around the world, with warehouses becoming hot new restaurants and drinking dens. Newcastle is well worth a place on any Australian itinerary.

Areas & Neighbourhoods in Newcastle

Stockton - To the north of the city, this area has stunning golden beaches that stretch right the way up to Nelson Bay.

Nobbys Head - A small island connected to the mainland by a pier. Great views of the harbour and up the coast towards Stockton.

Fort Scratchley - A historic site that houses a military museum. It’s been refurbished in recent years and is just next door to the Newcastle Ocean Baths.

Bar Beach - Regarded as one of the best beaches in town, although when the sun is shining it can get a little busy.

Things to See in Newcastle

Newcastle is known for its heritage architecture - the railway station and post office are particular favourites. Walk over the pier to Nobbys Head to enjoy some great views of the harbour or climb to the top of the Queen’s Wharf Tower for views out across the whole city. The museum at Fort Scratchley is well worth a visit and the Newcastle Region Art Gallery showcases work by some of the best Australian artists. Hang out at the foreshore, a large open space with bars and cafes to enjoy, or spark up a BBQ in King Edward Park.

Things to Do in Newcastle

You can’t help but notice how big the surf scene is here, with six beaches in the city and reliable waves. With plenty of surf schools where you can arrange lessons or rent gear, it’s hard not to be inspired to get in the water. Take a dip in the Merewether baths, the largest ocean baths in the southern hemisphere or learn more about your surroundings at the Newcastle Museum, in the former headquarters of the Great Northern Railway. You can also pay a visit to Nobbys Lighthouse, which was the third to be built in New South Wales, opening back in 1854. Road trip up the coast or head inland to explore some bush walking, cycling and riversports. The Hunter Wetlands Centre and Blackbutt Reserve are just two of the top attractions to visit with stunning wildlife.

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