Join the locals for a dip in Newcastle's famous ocean baths at Merewether Beach and Newcastle Beach or, if you prefer to ride the waves, check out the action at Nobbys and Bar Beach as well. Merewether, an iconic Newcastle beach, is a National Surfing Reserve that's been a breeding ground of many great surfing champions, including four-times world champion, Mark 'MR' Richards.
Newcastle is a vibrant cosmopolitan city, located between a working harbour and beautiful beaches on the north coast of NSW. It's a great base from which to explore the local area which includes many natural attractions that are within easy driving distance of the city.
At Blackbutt Reserve, explore a range of habitats and see koalas, kangaroos, wombats and bird life, just 6km from the city centre. Stockton Beach, a 20-minute drive, is famous for its sand dunes which are part of the largest moving sand dune system in the southern hemisphere. You can explore them by 4WD or, for a real adrenalin rush, try sand boarding. At the Hunter Wetlands Centre, 12km from Newcastle city centre, you can hire a canoe and go paddling as you explore a network of ponds that is a habitat for a diverse range of waterbirds.
Port Stephens is a 40-minute drive from Newcastle. As well as beautiful waterways, Port Stephens is a great place to see dolphins in the wild and take a whale-watching cruise. Meanwhile, if you fancy a trip to a Hunter Valley vineyard, it's an hours' drive from Newcastle.