Newcastle Travel Guide
Newcastle (originally known as Malumbimba to its indigenous peoples) sits on Australia’s eastern coast, approximately 160 kilometres north of Sydney. It was once a place where only the most dangerous convicts were sent for hard labour in the coal mines but is now one of Australia’s most desirable cities in which to live, work, play and holiday. While Australians like to think it is one of their best kept secrets, our Newcastle travel guide is proud to bring tourism and travel information to guide you through your stay in Australia’s second oldest city.
You will love the balmy climate of this vibrant, cosmopolitan city with its excellent dining and nightlife, its unparalleled beaches and Australia’s most famous and finest Hunter Valley wineries. Its famous university means it exudes a youthful atmosphere as well as ensuring a thriving cultural scene with its eclectic music venues, theatres and galleries. But the city is also proud of its heritage and boasts many well-preserved 19th century historic buildings.
There is a large, attractive harbour dotted with restaurants, cafes and bars and fringed with parkland, offering all the usual facilities for young and old alike. Presiding above the harbour is Fort Scratchley, built during the Crimean War to guard the city from invaders. On the south of the harbour is Nobbys Head with its active Lighthouse. To the south of Newcastle lie Port Stephens and Nelson Bay, the ‘blue water paradise’, famous for their fishing, surfing, diving and, of course, dolphins. At certain times of the year you can also see the migrating hump back whales.
In fact Newcastle is a surfers’ paradise and, not surprisingly, has produced some of the world’s top class surfers. Its Pacific Ocean coastline affords miles of idyllic beaches for swimming, surfing, sailing and many other water sports, or simply soaking up the sun which shines down in abundance on this part of Australia. Hang gliding is another popular pastime in the area while sand-boarding is the sport of the day on the dunes of Stockton Beach.
Only ten minutes from the city centre is Blackbutt Reserve which offers facilities for close encounters with koalas and kangaroos, wallabies and wombats as well as a vast and varied bird life. Nearby Lake Macquarie is the largest coastal salt water lake in the country, while a little distance to the north is the Kooragang Nature Reserve with its wetlands and mangrove swamps, a bird lover’s paradise. Fabulous beaches, breath-taking sights and a throbbing nightlife – could you really demand anything more from a holiday destination?