With beautiful beaches, artistic delights and thrilling sports, Newcastle is a wonderful destination two hours’ drive north of Sydney. Discover the world-famous Merewether Beach and enjoy fabulous events, from concerts and shows to motor racing and Surfest, the biggest surfing festival in Australia.

Enjoy tasty experiences, too. A delicious range of waterside bars, cafes and restaurants is on the harbour foreshore promenade, a stroll from fascinating cultural attractions such as the Newcastle Museum and the Newcastle Art Gallery , which curates one of Australia’s finest public art collections.

Merewether Beach, Newcastle, NSW

A great way to explore the spectacular coastline and spot whales is the Bathers Way, a scenic walk from the 1858-built Nobbys Head Lighthouse to Glenrock State Conservation Area. You’ll wander past the art deco Newcastle Ocean Baths and the Bogey Hole, a rock pool hewn by convicts in 1819.

Find out more about the city’s intriguing history and heritage on guided tours, including Aboriginal-led tours, heritage walking tours and harbour cruises. There are regular tours of the Fort Scratchley Historic Site, Australia’s only coastal fortification to fire upon a World War II Japanese submarine.

Two convenient ways to travel between the historical attractions and the gorgeous beaches are the Newcastle Coastal Explorer and Newcastle’s Famous Tram, a replica 1932 tram. Alternatively, bring your bicycle or hire one and pedal from the heart of the city to the beaches and along the coast.

Humpback whale encounter with CoastXP near Nobbys Lighthouse, Newcastle, Australia

For more outdoor adventure, soar on zip-lines at the TreeTop Adventure Park or learn to surf at the Surfest Surf School. Wildlife experiences include koalas at the Blackbutt Reserve, waterbirds at the internationally recognised Hunter Wetlands or whale watching with CoastXP and Nova Cruises.

Accommodation options suit various budgets, from backpacker hostels to luxury hotels. You can pitch your tent at beachside campsites in the Stockton Beach Holiday Park next to Stockton Beach, which is the longest beach in NSW. The beach begins on the northern side of Newcastle Harbour.

The city celebrates its creativity with events all year, such as the Newcastle Jazz Festival in August and the Olive Tree Market, a monthly contemporary art and design market. The sporting calendar is also jam-packed with events, from Surfest in February to the Newcastle 500 supercars in November.

Newcastle Airport

Fly into Newcastle Airport

Newcastle Airport is only 25km from the city centre. Choose from a range of transport services on arrival, including car rental, limousine and door-to-door shuttle buses. Public buses operate from the airport to the city, Stockton Ferry Wharf, Nelson Bay, Greenhills and Raymond Terrace. There are also public transport options to the Hunter Valley. Please check the timetable.

Newcastle Airport offers direct flights to and from east coast cities and Adelaide.

Jetstar flies direct to and from Melbourne, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane. QantasLink operates direct flights to and from Brisbane. Virgin Australia flies direct to and from Brisbane and Melbourne.  FlyPelican operates direct flights to and from Adelaide, Dubbo, Mudgee, Ballina-Byron Bay, Canberra and Sydney. Regional Express also flies to and from Sydney.

Things to do and places to stay

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