To decide on where to go for my latest holiday, we literally googled “places to go in January in Australia” and Newcastle was one of the suggestions. I have explored very little of New South Wales (Australian state) and Newcastle promised good beaches, good wine, & good food- all things that I enjoy!
Newcastle is actually the 7th largest city in Australia so it is far from a quaint seaside town. It is clear that it is also experiencing rapid development as there are cranes all over the city building new high-rise buildings, and brand-new bars and restaurants are popping up everywhere. Despite this, old character-rich buildings are still scattered across the city and the atmosphere feels slow-paced and relaxed. I immediately understood why young people were flocking from Sydney to live here.
If you are like me and enjoy the street art, food, and coffee found in Melbourne, the wild and natural beauty of the beaches found in South Australia, the sleekness of the Sydney Harbour, and the outdoor-active lifestyle found in Brisbane- you too will love Newcastle.
Things to do-
Hunter Valley. One of Australia’s best wine regions is found less than an hour from Newcastle. There is an overwhelming amount of wineries but we loved Tempus Two, Peppertree, & in particular Tamburlaine.
Hire a bike. There is lots of cycling infrastructure throughout Newcastle. In particular the wharf area and just out of town there is the beautiful Fernleigh Track.
Visit the beaches. There are so many beaches around Newcastle. The Newcastle beach has heavy surf but also has the baths if you would like a calmer swim. The Port Stephen’s area is less than an hour away and has amazing beaches including Fingal Bay & One Mile Beach where you can hire surfboards. There is also Shoal Bay if you would rather a calm harbour.
Watch people battling the waves at the Bogey Hole. For some entertainment head down to the Bogey Hole which is a big rockpool just near Newcastle Beach. When a big wave comes in the swell hits the hole, and people try to hold onto the barrier. It is a very easy way to ‘waste’ an hour watching them.
Eat & Drink. Lots. There are so many options when in comes to dining out in Newcastle. Just a few shout outs- Antojitos for authentic, delicious Mexican street food. Bank Corner for good coffee. Papa’s Bagel Bar for (as you would suspect) Bagels.