Newcastle Travel Guide

Search Hotels


Discover iconic surf beaches, cool inner-city bars and dining, and a relaxed pace of life in Newcastle.

Newcastle, New South Wales

Famed for its iconic surf beaches, relaxed lifestyle and cool inner-city rebirth, Newcastle is an Australian east coast gem. This former mining town is today renowned for restaurants and bars nestled in heritage buildings and laneways. You can also get out and about at one of the many beaches or natural wonders that wrap around this gorgeous region.

Beachside bars and fine dining

Dine at a beachside bar, sip a craft beer at an inner-city brewery or explore one of Newcastle’s foodie precincts. Newcastle is a meeting place of land, surf and city. Start by enjoying a salty breeze and panoramic view of Merewether Beach at Merewether Surfhouse, a local institution that is home to an Italian restaurant and cocktail bar. Near the popular Bar Beach you’ll find The Junction, an historic inner-city pocket home to a variety of bars and restaurants. Taste your way from the Junction Hotel to Asian eateries, grill houses and contemporary cuisine. Sample more delicious flavours at acclaimed Subo, Newcastle’s first hatted restaurant. Newcastle is famed for its bars and craft breweries. Taste some local beer at The Grain House, or Earp Distilling Co for well-crafted gin. For more local flavours browse the Newcastle City Farmers Market every Sunday.

Coastal adventures

There’s plenty to discover in Newcastle. Take a stroll along the Newcastle Memorial Walk and you’ll discover some of Newcastle’s secret charms. This trail winds from the iconic Nobbys Lighthouse down to the historic Merewether Baths, the largest open ocean baths in the Southern Hemisphere. Step back further in time at Fort Scratchely. Perched on the headland, this historic fort and its underground tunnels are open to tours. For rare local artefacts and steam train memorabilia, visit the fascinating Newcastle Museum housed in the old Honeysuckle Heritage Workshops. There’s also plenty to explore at the Newcastle Art Gallery, home to a huge collection of classic and contemporary artworks.

Surf beaches and sand dunes

Surrounded by spectacular coastal scenery, Newcastle is no stranger to memorable outdoor adventure. Roll out a towel at one of the many local beaches including Nobbys, Dixon Park and Merewether. Merewether Beach is one of the world’s iconic surfing strips, stretching between Dixon and Burwood Beach. A short drive north of Newcastle, you’ll find the incredible Worimi Conservation Lands. Home to the towering Stockton Bight Sand Dunes, this ancient area is highly significant to the Worimi Aboriginal People. Explore the ancient area and 30 metre-high dunes a range of ways, from 4WD trails to quad-biking and camel tours. Meet some local animals at Blackbutt Reserve, a tranquil parkland of sweeping bushland only 6km from the city centre. Home to koalas, emus and kangaroos, this natural enclave also features picnic, barbecue areas, wildlife exhibit and kiosk.

How do I get to Newcastle?

Newcastle is easily accessible. Only a two-hour drive from Sydney along the Pacific Highway, you can also fly into Newcastle Airport. The airport services regular flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and is only a 30 minute drive from the centre of town. Trains and coaches also run regularly from Sydney on trips that are around three hours.

Unlock exclusive rewards as a Choice Privileges member

Join for free to get instant access to member-only rates, deals and partner offers.