1. Darby Street
Come for the cafe culture, stay for the cute waiters.
2. Bar Beach
A glorious strip of sand on which you can surf, snooze and sunbathe all day long.
3. Nobby’s Lighthouse
It’s actually pretty irrelevant, but we like that it makes our coastline unique. You can keep walking along the pier behind the lighthouse to see all of Newy’s coastline.
4. Merewether Suburbs
It’s like it’s been infested with interior designers who surf on the weekends…we think it’s all those hipsters nesting (see 16).
The house featured here is accepting offers over $3 million, if you’re interested.
5. Newcastle Night Markets
One of the most delicious ways to put yourself in a good, hearty food coma. Think street food, artisan stalls and craft beers.
6. Street Art
The walls seem to have been adorned with street art throughout the Hunter St area. Newy may have nabbed the idea from Hosier St in Melbourne, buuut we still love it.
7. Hunter & King St
They usually have a few market stalls on a Saturday morning. Everyone comes out for a morning coffee and a veggie shop, before spending the day on the beach.
8. Christchurch Cathedral
Whilst Newcastle isn’t particularly religious, the Cathedral makes a rather majestic addition to the skyline. Especially after hours, as the spotlights make it the highest visible point.
9. The Bogeyhole
If you’re a foreigner you’re probably thinking ‘bogey hole…whaaaat?!’, but the Bogeyhole is actually a sea bath. Lieutenant Morriset had convicts build it in 1820 for his own personal use; but now it’s well loved local hideout.
10. The Foreshore
The Foreshore is a great option if you’re one of those awful people who hate sand and won’t step foot on a beach (why are you in Newcastle?). But seriously, Newy’s Foreshore is a great option when you don’t want to get your feet wet. From here, walk along to The Brewery, or…
11. Customs House
This is a pretty historic building, and inside you’ll find a bar/restaurant type thing. If they don’t have a function on, it’s a great place to sit outside & watch the sun go down.
It just sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? Honeysuckle’s dining precinct is far less rowdy, far more upmarket. It’s a great place to eat (if you have loads of money), and pretend you own one of the yachts sailing by.
13. Queen’s Wharf Tower
It’s an awesome vantage point, but you’re better off walking up before you’ve visited The Brewery. The stairs look deceptively few in number.
14. Sunday Farmers Market
They do have wonderful fresh seasonal produce, blablabla, but they also have a Mini Dutch Pancakes Stall AND samples in the cheese tent. So many samples. If you need more than that you are impossible to please.
Newcastle doesn’t even seem to realise how good it’s baristas are. Check out Goldbergs on Darby, Ground Floor on Hunter St and Eurobar on Beaumont for their best brewers.
Whence you find artisan coffee, you find hipsters. Naturally, they come with their own beards, checkered shirts, and occasionally an old VW Bug. Top marks for effort.
17. 4WD on Stockton Beach
This is why we love Newcastle. You can be all hipster in one of the quirky little cafes, or you can be driving around Stockon Beach on a quad bike.
(Or, you can stop stereotyping and do both.)
18. Terrace Bar
One of Newy’s best kept secrets.
19. Bathers Way Walk
This makes for a challenging run, but you see lots of Merewether yoga-mums power walking their prams up The Hill too. There’s an awesome view from the top, which makes the blistering hill sprint kind of worth it.
20. Merewether Surfhouse
We’re just going to put this out there, on the end of the coastal walk you’re able to find delicious $10 pizzas on the beachfront. It’s basically the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Go forth, and conquer.
The surf’s so good in Newy there’s actually an annual event for it - Surfest returns every February!
Is this bad? Let’s be honest, I don’t care. Those not surfing are usually looking at the surfers. If ya know what I’m saying.
23. Nelson Bay
Because look at it. It’s technically Port Stephens, but it’s only a car drive away.
24. The University
The University itself is ranked 9th in Australia, and one of the best Universities under 50 in the world. The student body of 35,000 helps keep the city fresh, except for Wednesdays (that’s student night).
25. International Student Base
Of that 35,000, over 6,000 are international students - Olá!
26. Sweet Traditions, The Junction
The lolly Gods rained down on this store…The Junction has loads of great restaurants, but none of them sell Vimto, Hula Hoops or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The lady behind the till is always lovely too.
There are tiny shops crammed with old books all over Newcastle, and that combined with the coffee makes it a bookworms dream.
28. It’s not Sydney.
If you ask Novocastrian locals, this is probably one of their favourite things about this city.
It has enough going on to keep you occupied, but it’s also quiet enough for you to hear your own thoughts. You can escape to the beach for the weekend, without having to elbow small children for towel space (ahem, Bondi). Darby, Hunter and Beaumont St have adapted to integrate the European cafe culture, which is far from the hustle & bustle of Sydney.
This city has been built into one of Australia’s best kept secret cities, and it’s going to bloom within the next 10 years. Watch this space.
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