A guide to fun nights out in Newcastle for any mood 

Cocktails by the beach, live music, pub dancing or a night fuelled with lots of snacks? Whatever your perfect night out looks like, Newcastle has an option for you. Check out our guide.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Jun 2023 -
min read

For the pub lovers  

In some Newcastle suburbs, it feels as though there’s a pub on every corner. Cooks Hill’s Delany Hotel is a well-loved Newy institution, known for its great pub food and relaxed vibe. Here at The Del you’ll find late-night parties upstairs and a quintessential uni pub party vibe. The Prince of Merewether offers more of a relaxed beach energy with classic pub specials and major sport matches on the TVs. Most Fridays through Sunday there are DJs upstairs and live music gigs downstairs. 

Crowd enjoying DJ set at Prince of Merewether, Newcastle

The Prince of Merewether, Newcastle

A little deeper into the suburbs and you’ll find corner pub, The Bennett. Nestled in the back streets of Hamilton, this relaxed pub has an olive tree-filled, retro-style courtyard destined for whiling away the day. The Bennett has all your pub mainstays – pub food classics, live music, Sunday sessions – with an air of the ‘70s via big yellow outdoor umbrellas, neon lights and lots of baby pink touches. 

The Bennett Hotel - Credit: The Bennett Hotel

The Bennett Hotel - Credit: The Bennett Hotel

For the dancing & music fans 

The music and dance scene thrives in this seaside city; gigs and parties are frequent and well-regarded. Palm Springs-style The Lucky Hotel is a legendary, classic-pub-dancing venue. On Fridays find live music pumping, and every Saturday there are DJs too. Plus, the outdoor courtyard is perfect for late-afternoon beers and catching up with friends over a Palm Springs Mule and tuna tostadas.  

Group of friends enjoying bar at Uptowns Bar, Newcastle

Uptowns Bar, Newcastle

Islington’s Wickham Park Hotel, affectionately known as The Wicko, has been dubbed Newcastle’s home for blues and roots. The pub has live music Saturdays and Sundays and hosts gigs such as the annual Newcastle Blues and Roots Festival. For a completely different experience, try Uptowns Bar, a 90s and 00s nostalgia bar with both old-school gaming consoles and live DJs. Depending on the evening it can be a rowdy dance floor or a quiet spot for a beer and a round of Mario Kart. 

For the cocktail enthusiasts 

There are plenty of places to see drinks shaken and stirred in Newcastle, with hidden and much-loved bars dotted all over the city. If a lavish experience is your go-to night out then pull up at the Merewether Surfhouse, a three-level bar and restaurant overlooking Merewether Beach. Take a seat on the outdoor terrace and soak in the million-dollar view with a glass of Champagne in one hand and a Sydney Rock oyster in the other.  

Patrons enjoying drinks at Coal & Cedar, Newcastle

Coal & Cedar, Newcastle

Up and over the hill in the city there’s Coal & Cedar, a New York-style speakeasy. This cocktail bar is dark, sophisticated and a good spot to settle into. Find an extensive whisky range and the kind of staff who’ll create a drink based on an over-the-bar brief. There’s also Rooftop at QT, perched atop the newest hotel in Newcastle – QT Newcastle – and enjoying inner-city views. The bar is Tokyo-esque, with Japanese-style interiors, a range of Japanese whiskies, Harajuku Highballs, gyoza and other Japanese snacks.   

Rooftop at QT Newcastle - Credit: QT Newcastle

Rooftop at QT Newcastle - Credit: QT Newcastle

For the brewery & distillery fanatics 

There are lots of options to explore in Newcastle if you appreciate a well-made, craft drink. At the 1883-established distillery Earp you can book in for a guided spirit tasting, gin blending class or gin school class where you become a distiller for the night. When you’re not doing any of that, absorb the distillery in action, gin flight or a simple cocktail at the ready.  

Earp Distilling Co., Newcastle - Credit: 1883 Spirits Pty Ltd

Earp Distilling Co., Newcastle - Credit: 1883 Spirits Pty Ltd

If beer and beach is more your thing, head to award-winning brewery Modus Merewether. This brewery has 36 taps pouring Modus’ core range, its non-alcoholic options and pours from its specials menu such as sours and IPAs. The space operates on 100% green energy with walls and bars crafted with earth from bushfire-ravaged regions and tiles made from recycled shampoo bottles. Back in the city, there’s FogHorn Brewhouse, a 1,800-litre capacity brewery set in a historic Art Deco building. Here beer goes straight from tank to glass, alongside handmade pizzas and other pub classics.  

 Salmon ceviche tostada and beer at Modus Merewether, Merewether

Modus Merewether, Merewether - Credit: Modus Merewether

For the food-obsessed 

From yakitori to gelato, late nights in Newcastle are full of snack options. You can start the night with Ginger Meg’s which serves up dumplings and $12 cocktails (on Wednesdays and Thursdays). The dark and moody pan-Asian cocktail bar space has booths to cosy into, a great-value $60 set menu and Sunday lunch yum cha if you need somewhere to recover after a night of dancing. Parry Street Garage is also great for dinner antics. Head to this chic industrial garage for Italian-inspired dishes including woodfired pizza, carpaccio and crudo. While the space is roomy and high-ceilinged, when filled with Saturday night punters its buzz is infectious.  

Ginger Meg's, Newcastle

Ginger Meg's - Credit: Ginger Meg's

If tacos are more your thing then book into {antojitos} for a pre-dancing treat. This casual Californian-Mexican taqueria is well-loved for its authentic street food including burritos and carnitas, and makes for an excellent spot for sinking Coronas and specialty drinks like Horchata. Every April Newcastle Food Month takes the city by storm – a 30-day food festival of culinary events from pop-up restaurants to wine tastings. Nighttime feature events include the Le Dîner en Blanc Newcastle where (hundreds of guests gather for a huge dinner party with everyone wearing their best white outfit), a Mediterranean seafood degustation, Italian cheese and wine workshops and lots more. 

Pizza maker in front of woodfire at Parry Street Garage, Newcastle

Parry Street Garage, Newcastle

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