From the city to the coast to the glorious countryside, the Newcastle region is a place of beauty and intrigue.
With the Pacific Ocean to one side and the Hunter River to the other, Newcastle is an urban hub that is more than just a seaside town; it’s a destination that people from all over are flocking to. And for a good reason. Spanning from Merewether’s surf-ready beaches to the stylish streets of the CBD – you will find crashing swells and rolling hillsides, and everything in-between.
Australia’s second-oldest city is a dream; stylish eateries, hip bars, quirky boutiques and a diverse arts scene that comes dripping in culture. Add to the mix stunning beaches, coastal walks and historical architecture – and you have a place that’s well on its way to becoming one of New South Wales must-visit destinations.
A short two-hour drive north of Sydney, Newcastle packs a whole lot in – meaning, you will want to pack an overnight bag because our list of things to do in Newcastle is long and varied.
Legendary surf beaches to seaside pools, one of the best things to do in Newcastle is to take a dip into the deep blue. From the wetlands of Nine Mile Beach in the south to the urban setting of Newcastle Beach in the north, surfing culture reigns supreme. But nothing is quite like a swim in an ocean bath. Newcastle Ocean Baths, with its beautiful art deco façade, and Merewether Ocean Bath, with its two large pools in a rocky outcrop, are two of the area’s finest.
The kind of place where you can rely on seafood being fresh, pub meals being generous and vegan options aplenty, the Newcastle region has rightfully earnt its place as a foodie hotspot. Open-air cafes, waterside dining, gastropubs, health bars, on-trend eateries, market stores and global eats – there’s no shortage of choices when it comes to eating out. Meander down Darby Street or Newcastle’s Foreshore, but The Landing Bar & Kitchen, Lulu’s Café and Poke, Momo and Hubro are all a must.
The beaches of Newcastle may be one of the regions biggest drawcards, but there are so many things to do in Newcastle that will get your heart rate pulsing. Quad-biking the sand dunes, hot-air ballooning over the Hunter region, sky-diving along the coastline, climbing high in the treetop adventures or mountain biking in state parks. But, for those who like to stay in the deep blue, surfing lessons, wildlife encounters, kayaking and sailing are all high on the agenda.
Foreshore parks, sweeping playing fields and lush reserves and garden spaces add to Newcastle’s in-demand lifestyle. Every edit of things to do in Newcastle has a round-up of greenspaces to explore; from Belmont Wetlands State Park to Glenrock State Conservation Area to Blackbutt Reserve and the foreshore parks that hug Newcastle city’s shoreline. The best way to take it some of it is via the coastal walks, including The Bathers Way.
Once a coal mining port, Newcastle has gone from industrial drab to cultural cool. Over the past ten years, the city has welcomed an influx of boutiques, modern galleries, live music, creative spaces, and street art, making Newcastle a haven for art, music, and theatre lovers. From the Civic Theatre in Newcastle to Curve Gallery to The Lock-Up to Newcastle Museum – you can get lost in a sea of culture.
Family-friendly hotels to insta-worthy holiday properties that boast views of the coastline, Newcastle has a line-up of accommodation that will have you booking your next stay, long before you have checked out. The best part, though? It’s all within easy reach of dining hotspots, beaches and lush parklands that make this seaside destination what it is.
Sun-kissed beaches and foreshore parks to swoon-worthy eateries and hidden bars – there are many things to do in Newcastle.