Things to do in New Castle
Welcome to the Newcastle NSW
It’s Australia’s 6th largest city and its second oldest. Built around a working harbour and fantastic surf beaches, its size and location make it as supremely liveable and welcoming as it is relaxed.
Whether you are here for a few days or a fortnight, there’s so much to see and do – it’s the kind of place you’ll visit and never want to leave. From the golden-sand beaches with incredible coastal walks to architectural wonders where the present pays homage to the industrial past of the city
So when evening closes in and you feel like kicking on, head to one of our famous pubs or clubs and let our city show you how to really have fun.
There's so much to see and do in Newcastle that it's hard to know where to start.
When the weather is warm, why not head for the surf, take in the harbour foreshore, catch a ferry to Stockton and back, wander through our beautiful parks or hire a bike and discover our amazing architectural heritage?
Or you could take a stroll along our beautiful tree-lined Mall in the hart of the city or explore King or Hunter Streets. We've got a terrific mix of over 600 retail outlets offering everything from the latest fashion and jewellery to books and gifts. When it comes to shopping, you won't find a friendlier or more relaxed place than Newcastle city.
And did we mention the food? The Hunter region produces some of the best food and wine in the country. So whether you're after a latte and focaccia at a friendly outdoor cafe or an elegant dinner for two (with a bottle of one of our famous reds perhaps), we're sure to have it covered.
Then if you feel like partying on, we have a terrific choice of nightclubs, bars and other entertainment spots where you can chat over a drink, listen to great music or dance til it hurts - whatever you preference you'll be in no doubt that you've found yourself in a great little city.
Whats on in NewCastle NSW Find things to do
Things to See and Do
The city is so large and the number of attractions so great, that it needs to be broken up into bite-sized chunks. This is the way I would approach exploring Newcastle. I have tried to make it simple by starting with the activities around the harbour, then moving to the end of the southern breakwater and travelling down the coast following the Great North Walk, and finally focussing on the sites in the CBD with historically interesting buildings. This may seem rather complex but it is manageable.
1. Around the Harbour
The Famous Tram
The Boat Harbour
Walking Beside Harbourside Park
Visitor Information Centre
Origin of Name
In 1804 a convict settlement was established on the Hunter River to exploit the coal deposits in the Hunter Valley. It was originally known as Coal River then Kingstown and then, in an act of imitation, Newcastle after the famous coal port in the north of England. The first official reference to Newcastle was made by Governor King in 1804.
NewCastle NSW Information
Australia’s second oldest city, 'Newie' as it is affectionately known, is just a two-hour drive north from Sydney in the eastern state of New South Wales. Like Sydney, Newcastle is bound by a harbour and glorious beaches, but its population of just under 300,000 makes it a quieter option for a weekend getaway or holiday. It is also the gateway to the Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s major wine regions.
Surfing at one of the many beautiful beaches
A tour of local foodie haunts and cafés
A relaxing coastal walk
How to get there
A two-hour drive from Sydney along Australia’s east coast motorway, the Pacific Highway, will lead you straight into Hunter Street in Newcastle’s city centre. Otherwise, you can take a scenic three-hour train ride into Hamilton or Broadmeadow Stations (with connecting shuttle buses to central Newcastle and beaches) from Sydney’s Central Station, Strathfield, Eastwood, Epping or Hornsby. Greyhound bus services leave regularly from Sydney's Central Station, Brisbane's Coach Terminal and Melbourne's Travel Centre, or you can fly direct to Newcastle Airport from a number of cities including Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Ballina/Byron Bay, Dubbo and Coffs Harbour.
OCD skate decks are the absolute best way to get around Newcastle and see the sites.
Mizuno has provided netball shoes to the Newcastle Netball Association for the last 11 years and are grateful for the ongoing support!
The 'go-to' women's wear shop in Newcastle is Ghanda - check out the store in Charlestown.
The place to be and see
Whats On in NewCastle NSW
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Nestled on Australia's spectacular NSW coast and surrounded by some of the state's most popular destinations, Newcastle is an all-round great choice as a safe and friendly place to live.
The city itself has a lot to offer - great weather, beautiful surrounds, an unbeatable lifestyle and a vibrant cultural identity that is truly its own. The city is recognised world-wide for its ongoing transformation and has come a long way since its 90 year history as the 'Steel City'.
There are lots of ways to get to know the city of Newcastle and plenty of information available to help you. Visit our Getting to know Newcastle page to get started.
When you choose the University of Newcastle, Australia for work or study, you will enjoy the area's stunning scenery and world-famous destinations, including the Hunter Valley Wine region, historic Maitland, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and Barrington Tops National Park. Newcastle is also the gateway to the state's north coast.
The city itself is an interesting mix of old and new architecture, dominated by the magnificent Christ Church Cathedral that sits atop The Hill, with views over the busy harbour, the city and coastline.
A thriving arts scene
Merewether Ocean Baths by local artist Trevor Dickinson
With the support of fantastic programs like Renew Newcastle, Newcastle is fast developing a reputation as the 'place to be' for the creative arts. We have the highest ratio of artists per head of population in the country.
On top of the thriving local scene, Newcastle has always been a popular destination for major international and national artists and shows touring Australia.
Venues range from world-class galleries, museums and theatres to shopfronts and the emerging small bar scene.