Top things to do Newcastle and Hunter
The beachy little city of Newcastle offers a host of activities and attractions for visitors. See below for some favourites.
Visit the new Honeysuckle Precinct
The regenerated harbour foreshore area, along what's known as the Honeysuckle precinct, is a great place to visit for a walk and some oceanside dining. There's a path all the way along the harbourfront where you can stroll or cycle, taking in the atmosphere and watching the busy harbour at work. There are modern new hotels and restaurants with a variety of choices for trendy waterside drinks or dining. This area is also home to the commanding Crown Plaza Hotel Newcastle, perched in one of Newcastle's finest harbourside positions, right on the water. Honeysuckle is one of Australia's biggest urban renewal projects and is where the old sea warehouses meet modern and revitalised Newcastle. It's a great mix!
Take to an ocean pool
Newcastle is blessed with some really great beaches, right in the centre of the city too which is a huge bonus for locals and visitors alike. For those that fancy a salt water swim but don't wish to be pounded by the waves, you can't beat a dip in one of the atmospheric ocean pools. Offering spectacular views of the sea, spending a summer's day poolside can't be beaten. This is a great option for families with children, providing a much safer swimming environment than the sea. Choose from the art deco 1930s Ocean Baths, the huge Merewether outdoor pool with its backdrop of surf (the largest ocean pool in the Southern Hemisphere), or you can even take a dip in the unique 'Bogey Hole' which was hand built out of the rock by convicts.
Head to Darby Street for brunch, shopping or dinner
Darby Street is located in Cooks Hill, a quaint inner-city area of Newcastle. It's a funky and happening strip, with a plethora of good cafes and restaurants, as well as a variety of interesting stores for a spot of shopping. It's a bit stylish, touched with a dash of grunge and is where you can find some great designer clothing, good coffee and quirky nic nacs to buy. Head here for a weekend brunch over the papers followed by some casual strolling along the fig tree shaded street. Or come for some atmospheric evening dining and choose from the wide range of different cuisines.
Tackle some adventure on Stockton Beach
Just north of Newcastle and stretching for some 32kms, is the amazing Stockton Beach, home to huge, slow moving sand dunes. Feeling more like the Sahara than an aussie beach, this place offers some unique sightseeing and fun activities. Go sandboarding down the mammoth sandhills, an exhilirating rush and great fun for all ages. Or take a Four Wheel Drive adventure tour, and go offroading like never before. Spot some dolphins or whales off the coast. There's even camel riding along the sands.
Tour the Hunter Valley Wineries
Newcastle is the capital city of the Hunter region, which is home to the world renown Hunter Valley vineyards. Australia's oldest wine producing province, the Hunter is famous for its Semillon and Shiraz varieties and its picturesque countryside. With over 120 wineries, 60 restaurants, golf courses, spas, activities and numerous gorgeous places to stay, the Hunter Valley is a must do on any traveler's itinerary. Driving out of Newcastle, the unique Hunter countryside greets you within about 20 minutes (just a 45 minute drive from Newcastle Airport and you can be in the heart of wine country!). There are numerous day trips available, where you can be ferried around cellar doors and restaurants without the worry of driving. Local tour guides can take you to the top spots while you can sit back and enjoy. If you have the time though, we recommend you stay a few days in the heart of the Hunter Valley to enjoy all that it has to offer.