When you hear Newcastle, it is fair to remember the United Kingdom. But did you know that right around the corner of New South Wales lies a harbour city called Newcastle with mesmerizing sightings that would blow your mind?
Major highlights of Newcastle include many beaches. Some of these beaches include Stockton Beach and Nobbys Beach.
Locals visit from across the continent for a walk on the beach, and to visit exciting locations such as the Art Gallery, Museum and the iconic Fernleigh Trail – located a few kilometres away. Here are 14 spectacular things to do in Newcastle!
1. Sunbathe At Newcastle Beach
Newcastle Beach is widely known amongst regular surfers for its inviting blue waves. The spacious stretch at Newcastle Beach is ideal for a sunbathing session during summer. On top of that, tourists can also dip in the open-air ocean pools and try some street food at the promenade. If you love scenic beaches, visiting the Beach is one of the best things to do in Newcastle.
Arrive early at dawn in time for the sunrise when the view is breathtaking, and the stretch is empty for the perfect view. Newcastle beach is about a 15-minute walk away from the Nobbys Headland – home to the famous family beach.
2. Discover Fort Scratchely Museum
Located in the suburb of Newcastle – close to the Nobbys Headland, Fort Scratchely once was a defence structure built in the late 19th century to counterattack Russian strikes. Today the installation stands as a museum for all those interested in Australia’s military history, how canons operate and tunnel-tour experiences.
The museum is open to tourists six days a week but on Tuesday. If you’re interested in World War findings and technology, visiting Fort Scratchely Museum is one of the best things to do in Newcastle. In addition, travellers can also view from above, the Hunter Valley River on their visit to the fort.
3. Have A BBQ At Blackbutt Reserve
Deriving from the exquisite Blackbutt Tree used for wood, the Blackbutt Reserve is the classic destination for picnics in Newcastle. Comprising 182 hectares of natural trails, native wildlife exhibits and special-sectioned picnic spots such as the Lily Pond Area, Dead Tree Area and the Rain forest Area. Travellers also have the privilege of feeding the native Emus through the kiosk at Blackbutt Reserve.
If you’re travelling with a family or a group of friends, it is informally mandatory to enjoy a BBQ at Blackbutt Reserve. Even if you’re travelling solo, visiting this natural wonderland is one of the best things to do in Newcastle.
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4. Tour Around Newcastle Memorial Walk
The Memorial Walk in Newcastle is an iconic sight that features World War II heroes of Australia. The site opened in 2015, in the celebration of 100 years following the arrival of ANZAC in Gallipoli. The walk is decorated with several steel soldiers and the names of honorary citizens who served the country back in the day.
If you love historic displays and looking to include a Merewether ocean bath into your itinerary, visiting Memorial Walk is one of the best things to do in Newcastle. Today the Memorial Walk area has become a youth-favourite as its open 24/7, and the pathway amidst the Bathers Way and Nobbys Beach is lively throughout day and night.
5. Take A Bath At Merewether Beach
If a local was to pick yet another location for surfing, Merewether Beach will be a top choice. In 2009, Merewether Beach was declared a National Surfing Reserve. Offering spectacular views from the coastal park of Dixon to Burwood Beach, Merewether is widely known amongst common travellers as a paradise.
The Merewether ocean bath is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Newcastle. It’s known as the largest ocean bath complex in the South. The shoreline is almost always occupied by surfers and tourists, and the clubs are believed to be some of the best in the region.
6. Relax In Nobby Beach And Visit The Lighthouse
When it comes to Newcastle and its awes, Nobbys beach never fails to pop in the context. Although the beach area is rocky and ribbed when compared to other beaches, it is one of the best beaches in New South Wales – including Sydney. Known as a BBQ picnic destination amongst local families, countless other travellers also visit Nobbys Beach just to witness the magnificent hilltop lighthouse.
Standing 9.8 meters in height, the lighthouse first opened in 1858. Today, the lighthouse is operated by the Newcastle Port Corporation. The Nobbys Headland is also a famous swimming location. If you’re not a surfer, visiting Nobbys Beach would be one of the best things to do in Newcastle.
7. Visit The Newcastle Museum
Originally found in 1988, the Newcastle Museum was initially built in Castlemaine Brewery, but in 2008, it relocated to Honeysuckle Railway Site, where it sits today. The Museum also hosts architecture related to locomotive and blacksmith shops. Currently, there are many premiering exhibits on due courses. However, some of the most amazing, permanent exhibits are the Supernova, Fire and Earth, A Newcastle Story, the art gallery faces the wall and many more.
Travelling families would find this site truly inspiring for themselves as well as their children. If you’re intrigued by Newcastle’s heritage and you love locomotives, visiting the Museum is one of the best things to do in Newcastle.
8. Learn War History At Christ Church Cathedral
The Cathedral of the Hill – also known as the Christ Church Cathedral or the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, this church is one of the most visited churches in New South Wales. Built in the 1800s, the Christ Church stands at 72 meters in height. Apart from breathtaking Gothic Revival architecture and arts, the cathedral is also home to a hall of war memorabilia. The memorial is dedicated to the Australian soldiers of World War I.
If you’re travelling to Sydney or the surrounding area, we insist that you visit the Christ Church Cathedral. It’s not only a place of worship but a den of knowledge about Australian History. Undoubtedly it’s one of the best things to do in Newcastle.
9. Take A Walk On Stockton Beach
Located close by the Hunter Valley River, Stockton Beach is another one of Newcastle’s gems. Due to various activities in the nearby cities, in the past decades, Stockton Beach endured erosion. However, today the situation is changing. Young travellers are flocking over to Stockton for 4WD adventure escapades, fishing and camping. The waves are interrupted by rips by the coast, hence surfing is not advised. But if you love long walks on the beach, Stockton is your place.
Apart from all the activities, travellers from across the continent visit Stockton Beach to see the fascinating aircraft and shipwreck sites. If you’re a young soul looking for adventure, visiting Stockton Beach is one of the best things to do in Newcastle.
10. Catch A Harbour Glimpse At Foreshore Park
Located close by to the Newcastle Harbour, Foreshore Park is yet another captivating destination in Newcastle. Famous amongst locals as a recreational picnic spot, you can also come across many goods markets here at Foreshore Park. Currently, the Harbour Foreshore Master plan is in play, where the authorities look to align the Harbour precinct with the urban coastal park. Foreshore Park has been assigned a new tree planting plan to reinvent this new outlook.
If you enjoy long walks and reclining over the green grass, visiting Foreshore Park is one of the best things to do in Newcastle. Plus, there are restroom and shelter areas, so comfort is not a worrying factor.
11. Cycle To Adamstown Through The Fernleigh Track
Situated close to Belmont, Fernleigh is a multi-use trail famous for cycling activities and walks. It connects both cities of Belmont – where the old railway line stood – and Adamstown running through a 15-kilometre length. The Fernleigh Track has tunnels that pretty much remind visitors of a typical railway tunnel.
Built in the early 1900s, Fernleigh got its name from the nearby local coal mine, and its sole purpose was to transport coal within Lake Macquarie and Newcastle. The highlight here is undoubtedly the tunnel – which during dusk, looks astounding.
If you’re not looking to walk or get many calories burned, you may want to skip Fernleigh for the moment. However, we believe visiting Fernleigh Track is one of the best things to do in Newcastle.
12. Journey via The Bathers Way Coastal Walk
Bathers Way Coastal Walk connects the beaches of Merewether ocean bath with Nobbys Headland to twelve other beaches. It stretches up to 6 kilometres and would take about 3 hours to complete the journey. Bathers Way form part of the Great North Walk to the point of Sydney. If you’re intrigued by the natives of Newcastle and the great historic shipwrecks during war-ridden times, the Bathers Way Coastal Walk would surely enlighten you with all the information you need.
The walk takes you up the hills and down the descent, and you can even pack up a picnic for the journey. If you love road trips, journeying via the Bathers Way Coastal Walk is a must-to-do.
13. Witness The Bogey Hole In King Edward Park
Just like the park in Brisbane, King Edward Park in Newcastle is a recreational location. It was built in 1850 as a navigation marker, but this coastal park soon gained public attention as a relaxation spot. Locals frequently visit here for walks. It offers spectacular views of Norfolk Island Pines and the rushing waves of the ocean.
When you head over towards the eastern cliff face you can witness the Bogey Hole – which was carved by convicts back in the 1800s. If you’re looking for a wholesome relaxation and beach-view experience, visiting King Edward Park is one of the best things to do in Newcastle.
14. Tour Around Newcastle City Hall
Located in the regional New South Wales, Newcastle City Hall is one of the most prestigious heritage-listed destinations in the Hunter Region. Built in 1929, the City Hall served as a hall for the council until 1977. A few years back, the Newcastle city hall was renovated to its former glory, reinstating its inter-war academic classical architecture to a better look with a modern hint.
Today it is a city centre that features concert halls with quality lighting, superior acoustics, and two types of gallery seating. If you’re visiting New South Wales, taking a tour of Newcastle City Hall is a must!
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