Newcastle is one of those cities that’s got it all – great beaches, rich culture and of course, plenty of sightseeing activities to suit everyone. We’ve searched high and low to find the very best places to see and places to go in Newcastle.
If you want to spend your time at the beach, Newcastle’s pristine golden beaches are among the best in Australia. For history buffs, the city boasts many historical sites to help you travel back in time and wine lovers can use Newcastle’s location as the perfect base for taking a tour around the many wineries scattered throughout The Hunter Valley.
Whichever type of vacation in Newcastle you’re looking for, Hunter Valley Tours is here to help plan your trip with our helpful guide to Newcastle.
Best Things to See and Places to Go in Newcastle
Blackbutt Nature Reserve
Blackbutt Reserve is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Newcastle. The reserve spans over 182 hectares of natural bushland providing visitors with many nature trails, wildlife exhibits, play areas and rest spots to soak up the atmosphere.
While at Blackbutt Nature Reserve, you can see many animals including koalas, wombats, emus and wallabies. Entrance to the park is free and paid parking is available on-site.
Newcastle Art Gallery
Newcastle Art Gallery was Australia’s first purpose-built regional art gallery and officially opened its doors in 1977. The collection is housed inside a 1970s geometric brutalist building with an almost 7000-piece collection ranging from Australian artworks from colonial times to modern-day paintings.
If you want to learn about Newcastle’s natural environment, Aboriginal life, the history of the area and the region’s major industries, then Newcastle Museum is a must-see!
Located in the historic Honeysuckle Railway workshops, the museum has 3 permanent exhibitions:
- A Newcastle Story – explore Newcastle’s past, present and future
- Fire and Wind – showcasing the Hunter Valley’s industrial roots
- Supernova – people of all ages can learn science, maths and engineering in a fun and engaging way
Newcastle Museum also hosts multiple temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so you’ll see something new every time you visit.
Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia
Take a short drive from Newcastle to Hunter Wetlands Centre. As Australia’s oldest community-owned wetland centre, this diverse wildlife sanctuary stretches out over 43 hectares and is home to over 200 wildlife species.
In the sanctuary, you can take family-friendly walks, picnic, orienteer, cycle, fish, birdwatch or simply sit in nature taking sights and sounds of the vibrant wetland ecosystem that’s bursting with life.
The Bathers Way
As one of the most popular coastal walks in New South Wales, Bathers Way stretches six kilometres from Merewether Baths to Nobbys Beach.
Along the way, you can check out the coastal view from the top of Strzelecki Lookout or discover the much loved and photographed stretch of sand leading up to Nobbys Lighthouse. There are also a number of cafes and restaurants to give you some extra energy for your journey.
Newcastle Memorial Walk
You can combine your trip to The Bathers Way with a stroll along the Newcastle Memorial Walk. The 450-metre long bridge and boardwalk offer stunning panoramic views along the coast from Stockton Sand Dunes to the Hunter Valley.
The memorial was officially opened in 2015 and is dedicated to the memory of fallen soldiers from the First World War. The memorial is adorned with steel silhouettes of soldiers and is inscribed with the family names of almost 11,000 Hunter Valley residents who enlisted during the war.
Fort Scratchley Historic Site
Established in 1882, Fort Scratchley Historic Site was originally built as a coastal defence installation to defend Newcastle against an attack from Russia. While there, you can explore the network of tunnels during a guided tour of the fort.
You can also experience the daily field gun firing at 1pm, excluding Tuesdays. The 1pm time gun coincides with the ball drop which was used to adjust navigation instruments aboard ships.
Yamuloong Centre was established in 1991 to provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal history and culture as well as explore the bush tucker trails which span over seven acres.
On the trails, you can find native Australian bush plants, the majority of which hold significance to the Aboriginal people of the area. During your visit, you will also have the opportunity to participate in Aboriginal dance and hear traditional stories of the Awabakal people.
As one of the city’s most important heritage buildings, The Lock-Up is located in Newcastle’s original police station and has been reimaged as a multidisciplinary contemporary arts space and inner-city creative hub.
Within the space, you can find a gallery, heritage listed cells and an event area in the old exercise yard. The Lock-Up’s busy program includes art exhibitions, events, performances, talks from local artists and workshops.
Combine These Great Experiences in The Hunter Valley Wine Region with a Wine Tour
The Hunter Valley is home to some of Australia’s best wineries with its vast wine region stretching over a total of 2,605 hectares. The rich soil, warm and humid climate and centuries of perfecting the growing, aging and bottling processes are why Hunter Valley wine is renowned for its quality.
Pokolbin is one of the main wine regions of Hunter Valley with many visitors visiting Pokolbin on wine tours from the nearby city of Newcastle. On your wine tour from Newcastle to Pokolbin, you’ll find no shortage of world-class wineries, cellar doors and restaurants, making it a not-to-be-missed destination while exploring Australia’s oldest wine region.
Wine Tours in Pokolbin from Hunter Valley Wine Tours
The Pokolbin region of The Hunter Valley may be small in size, but its influence is huge in the world of wine and wine lovers usually have Pokolbin on the top of their list for wine tours.
Located less than an hour’s drive from Newcastle, the area is home to some 150 vineyards with plenty of local options for accommodation, restaurants, galleries, boutique shops, concert venues and gift shops.
The best way to enjoy the views and sample the tastes of what the region has to offer is to book a wine tour with Hunter Valley Tours. Thanks to our close partnerships with the local wineries in Pokolbin, we can offer you the perfect wine tour from Newcastle to Pokolbin.
With 3 different packages to choose from, we will make the planning of your tour easy and hassle-free by creating a full itinerary of some of the best wineries Pokolbin has to offer. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy every minute of it.
Where to Eat and Drink in Newcastle
Wondering where to eat in Newcastle? Whether you’re just stopping by or visiting for a few weeks, the options of places to eat in the city are endless with everything from rustic food to modern fusion spots. No matter if you’re traveling on a budget or you’re ready to indulge in the finer things in life, there’s something for everybody to enjoy in Newcastle. From waterfront restaurants to new hipster hangouts and popular street food eateries, the list of where to eat in Newcastle is never-ending.
Head to Honeysuckle Wharf and Queens Wharf for a mix of boutiques, restaurants and cafes offering amazing views over the Hunter River. To experience Hamilton’s lively bar scene take a trip to Beaumont Street where you will find bustling pubs and craft beer hangouts.
Be sure not to miss Hunter Street, Scott Street and King Street for award-winning restaurants that are sure to satisfy the tastebuds of even the most difficult to impress diners.
For a full list of amazing dining options in Newcastle visit, https://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/north-coast/newcastle-area/restaurants
Where to Stay in Newcastle
No matter how long you’re staying or what your price range is – whether you want to be in the heart of downtown or resting in nature – there’s a place for you to call home in Newcastle.
Discover B&Bs with views looking out over the vineyards, spend a night or two in a budget hostel in the bustling city centre or wake up to a fresh sea breeze at a wide range of hotels along the coast for every taste and budget. You can even pitch a tent on New South Wales’ longest beach at Stockton Beach Holiday Park – the choice is yours!
For bookings refer to Visit NSW’s helpful list of accommodation in Newcastle.
Getting to Newcastle
Newcastle is located 150km north of Sydney and is easy to reach by car, plane, train and bus. There are four major highways connecting Newcastle to elsewhere in Australia including the Pacific Highway, New England Highway, F3 and the Golden Highway.
Flying to Newcastle
For those flying into Newcastle, the airport is well serviced with regular daily services from all major cities in Australia including Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Gold Coast, Ballina and Melbourne. From the airport, you can make use of the airport shuttle service or take a 30 minute taxi ride to the city centre.
Reaching Newcastle by Train
There are a number of Intercity and NSW TrainLink Regional trains that stop at Newcastle Interchange for those wishing to travel by rail.
Getting around Newcastle
To get around Newcastle, there are many local transport options such as taxis, public buses and ferry services; but if you are feeling active, there are also Electric bikes available to hire from 19 docking stations across the city.
Contact us to Schedule a Wine Tour from Newcastle to Pokolbin
Hunter Valley Tours is here to organise your unforgettable wine tour from Newcastle to Pokolbin. If you’re looking to book a wine tour, get more information, or have any questions, then you can contact us today by calling 61456737888 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.