From famous Australian artworks to a splendid Spanish baroque theatre to pulsating music venues, you’ll discover plenty to experience in Newcastle. Two hours’ drive north of Sydney, NSW’s second-biggest city has launched many success stories, including painter and sculptor William Dobell, Tap Dogs creator and choreographer Dein Perry and rock band Silverchair, to name just a few.
With more than 6,100 works, Newcastle Art Gallery is home to the second-largest collection in NSW, including an impressive range of Aboriginal bark paintings. Dobell’s Portrait of a strapper (1941) is regarded by the artist as one of his finest portraits. Brett Whitley’s Summer at Carcoar (1977) is one of the gallery’s most-loved works and won the prestigious Wynne landscape prize.
For an intriguing three hours, Newcastle Bicycle Tours will take you on a discovery of the city’s street art, small galleries and cultural spaces. Since 1975, Cooks Hill Galleries has displayed and sold a fine selection of collectable works. For cutting-edge creations, the annual This is Not Art celebrates experimental and emerging arts. Visit the Lock-Up, a cultural centre of art, music and ideas.
Live music is big part of Newcastle’s cultural life, with exciting venues around the city. The elegant Spanish baroque-inspired Civic Theatre Newcastle is popular for concerts, theatre and comedy. Check out the events calendar for festivals, including and Newcastle Jazz Festival. For a journey into the city’s past and enthralling exhibitions, visit the Newcastle Museum.