Originally home to the Awabakal and Worimi Aboriginal people, Newcastle is a bustling industrial city on the coast of New South Wales. It lies where the Hunter River empties into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by sun-drenched golden beaches. From 1801 to 1822, it served as a penal settlement before becoming the largest coal-exporting harbour in the world.
Things to do in Newcastle
Enjoy a stroll along Bathers Way, a picturesque coastal walk that extends between Nobbys Beach and Merewether Beach. At the northern end of Nobbys Beach is a 19th-century lighthouse built to guide vessels into the Hunter River. While exploring the site, take note of the three lighthouse cottages, which provided accommodation for defence personnel during World War II.
If you continue south along Bathers Way, you’ll arrive at Fort Scratchley, which was built in 1882 to defend the city against a potential Russian attack. It has been transformed into a museum, with its narrow, underground tunnels waiting to be explored. Sweeping views across the Pacific Ocean and the Hunter River can be enjoyed from the fort and it’s a popular spot for observing migratory whales.
One of Newcastle’s most photographed attractions is Bogey Hole, an ocean pool built by convicts in 1819 for Major James Morisset. Listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register, it is particularly impressive during big swells. Bogey Hole lies on the edge of King Edward Park with its rose garden and children’s playground.
Getting around Newcastle
Newcastle Airport is a 30-minute drive from the city centre and has flights to destinations across Australia. Regular trains connect from Sydney to the Newcastle Interchange, with light rail services continuing from here to the city centre. Buses also travel throughout Newcastle and connect most of its attractions.