I confess I’ve been to Newcastle many, MANY times… before kids; to see bands and go to parties, staying up late, sleeping in, and hitting the road without actually seeing much of the town. Even with kids in tow we’ve always stayed harbour side, and again, we never really got to know it at all. Last school holidays we found ourselves ‘up the road’ in Gloucester, an hours drive from Newcastle, and decided to do a 2 day pit stop in Newy (as the locals refer to it…) and get to know it a bit better.

We made our base at the Novotel Newcastle Beach (which is across the road from the beach) and when we weren’t eating/sleeping, we were at the beach! We spent an entire morning at the rock pools at Merewether Beach, collecting starfish, sea snails, seaweed, shells… and the whole afternoon at Newcastle beach, at the Ocean baths, where we found a shark egg, swam, spotted whales not even 40m off shore (a local in the know explained the slapping of the tail fluke we observed was likely to be a bull whale scaring off a shark that may have been trying to attack a calf! Exciting stuff!) had an ice cream and played in the sand. Perfect!

The beach esplanades feature wide footpaths, and are scooter/bike friendly, so we spent a bit of time scooting between beaches, and even down to the lighthouse at the end of Nobbys beach to watch a huge tanker come into the harbour. There is a pretty flash new walkway (The Anzac Walk) from the top of Strezlecki lookout all the way down to Merewether beach which is worth checking out too.

The food scene is flourishing in Newy… cafe culture has taken off in a huge way; and it’s not hard to track down an excellent coffee, or a great meal. We had perfect breakfasts at the Merewether Surf House and The Edwards (our all time fave!), authentic pizza at Napoli Centrale, and delicious seafood at Scotties, Newcastle’s original fish & chip joint (which operates a cute kiosk for take aways and courtyard eating, SUPER kid friendly, as well as a more up market restaurant) Spoilt for choice.

Two days was not long enough. We’ve fallen in love with this beautiful, family friendly town…our to do list still has much to be checked off; A visit to Hello Naomi cakes, a swim at the Bogey Hole (which was closed for reno’s whilst we were in town), a walk up Darby street to check out the shops… We’ll be back!

Huge thanks to Sophie and Jes for all their excellent local knowledge and tips! If you don’t already follow them on Instagram, check them out!


Novotel Newcastle Beach
5 King St, Newcastle


Scotties Fish Cafe
36 Scott Street
Newcastle East

Merewether Surf House
Henderson Parade, Merewether, Newcastle

The Edwards
148 Parry St, Newcastle West

Napoli Centrale
173 King St, Newcastle





















15 thoughts on “NEWCASTLE, NSW

    1. Thanks Christine! It helps when you love the subject matter (and if they stand still for more than 2 seconds!) x

  1. Newcastle… I always thought about going there for the weekend to check out the sights. Thanks for bringing this back up on my radar! Lovely photos 🙂

    1. Thanks Silke! It’d be a perfect weekend away with girlfriends…beaches! coffees! and then cocktails…a brilliant plan!

  2. As newbies to NSW EARLY THIS YEAR, we are yet to visit Newcastle. It is definitely on my list and this post is certainly making me want to get there ASAP.

    1. Thanks Anna! We’re spoilt for choice here in Australia…so many wonderful places to visit!
      How to find time to get around to see them all?

  3. Newcastle is seriously underrated as a destination. David and I have been there quite a few times in the last few years. There is a great railtrail just south of the city called the Fernleigh Track. We have always enjoyed ourselves. The city is large enough to be interesting and small enough to be without hassle.

  4. Love to see the areas where you haunt. Love the photos. Enjoy the kids. They are small today and gone off and married tomorrow. All mine are now adults but I again get the young ones as the grandkids are coming along. Thanks for sharing. Brings back memories. 🙂

Comments are closed.