The Outback, Broken Hill. Credit: Maxime Coquard;Destination NSW
View of New England. Credit: Destination NSW; Murray Vanderveer
Kiama, South Coast. Credit: Destination NSW; Murray Vanderveer
Arts & Culture
Art in Newcastle
Newcastle Art Gallery is one of the State's best regional galleries with a changing program of exhibitions. Coming up this year is Blue+White, Fully Figurative, Peter Maloney: a focus, RRapture by Julie Rapp and New to Video, featuring the gallery's growing collection of contemporary video works by leading artists.
Newcastle Arts & Culture
If you enjoy exploring local art galleries and museums, you'll find plenty to experience in Newcastle. Australia's second oldest city has a thriving arts and culture scene that has launched many talented artists, actors, singers, dancers and filmmakers. Well-known artists include painter and sculptor, William Dobell, actor,Rhys Muldoon, director of Bell Shakespeare, John Bell, and the band Silverchair, to name just a few.
A good place to start is at Newcastle Art Gallery which has the second largest collection in NSW after the Art Gallery of NSW. It has an impressive range of indigenous bark paintings, 20th century Australian and Japanese ceramics, and contemporary Australian art. Look out for Grace Cossington Smith's Trees' (c 1927) and Brett Whiteley's Summer at Carcoar' (c 1977). If you're visiting on the weekend, join an introductory one-hour tour at 11am to get started.
Newcastle Museum is also well worth a visit, with a busy calendar of events and exhibitions. Three permanent exhibitions provide insights into the city's history, the steel industry plus there's a hands-on science centre for kids.
Each night along Watt Street, City Evolutions lights up Newcastle's oldest street with interactive digital projections. Each of the projections details a story in Newcastle's history with interpretive signage along the street for self-guided tours. It's a fun way to see the city by night, especially if you're travelling with kids.
Also check out what's on at the Civic Theatre Newcastle, an art deco treasure where you can enjoy plenty of good music, theatre, musicals and comedy. And, for anyone who enjoys browsing through antique shops and bric-a-brac wares, wander along Maitland Road, Islington, as well as Darby Street and Cooks Hill. You might just snap up a beautiful bargain to take home.
It's ON! in NSW - Newcastle and Port Stephens
There’s always something going on in Newcastle. The largest surfing festival in Australia, Surfest kicks off in January, where you can see some of the world's top professional surfers compete. In February, Light Up Newcastle takes place, an evening walk around Newcastle’s harbour foreshore to raise money for the Seafarers Centre, as well as Newcastle's Maritime Centre. While you're in town, don’t miss Newcastle’s beaches. Walking distance from the heart of the city, they’re arguably some of the best city beaches in NSW. Australia’s second-oldest city also has a reputation for a thriving arts and music scene (it’s the hometown of Aussie legends Silverchair, for a start), an up-and-coming cafe and dining scene, and it’s just an hour’s drive to Australia’s oldest wine growing region, the Hunter Valley.