Discover the historic cityscape, remote beaches and budding culture of the port town of Newcastle. Explore the old buildings and museums of Newcastle’s downtown area, then branch out into the surrounding countryside to find beaches and a wide selection of wineries.

At over 200 years old, Newcastle is one of the oldest cities in Australia. Throughout its history, it has served as a convict-miner colony, a shipping hub and an important centre of industry for the region. Start out at Newcastle Cathedral, where you can get a great aerial view of the city from the steeple of the hilltop church. The red-brick cathedral is one of the city’s oldest buildings.

Learn about the history of this age-old port city at the Newcastle Museum. Discover the city’s humble origins as the site of a colony for convict-miners. While the colony itself has not survived, a 19th-century jail designed by some of Newcastle’s earliest architects is on display at the Lock-Up Cultural Centre. The building has been repurposed as an art gallery, so you can experience Newcastle heritage while exploring the city’s contemporary culture.

Spend an afternoon enjoying Newcastle’s beaches. Survey the waterfront from Nobby’s Head, which looks out over the city and the port. Surfers should head to Dudley Beach, a long, exposed stretch to the south of town. Families should visit Nobby’s Beach, which has calmer waters and is more centrally located. Otherwise, relax in one of the ocean baths.

Explore the area’s natural beauty at Blackbutt Reserve, a 182-hectare (450-acre) bush park. Discover trails, wildlife exhibits and panoramic views just 8 kilometres (5 miles) from town.

Newcastle is a 2-hour drive from Sydney and a 90-minute drive from the Hunter Valley, famous for its vineyards and quaint villages. Take a wine-tasting tour and sample some of Australia’s finest wines. With its outdoor attractions and intriguing past, Newcastle is a destination not to miss.

Known for

Family-friendly, Hunting and Libraries

Top hotels in Newcastle

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Rydges Newcastle (formerly Crowne Plaza Newcastle)
Rydges Newcastle (formerly Crowne Plaza Newcastle)
4.5 out of 5
Wharf Rd & Merewether St, Newcastle, NSW
NZ$210/night
25 Aug. - 26 Aug.
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,409 reviews)

Located in the heart of Newcastle, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Newcastle Civic Theater, Nobbys Head Beach, and Newcastle Beach. Merewether Beach ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,409 reviews)

"Great location with lots of cafes and restaurants within easy walking distance."…"

Reviewed on 11 Aug. 2019

Rydges Newcastle (formerly Crowne Plaza Newcastle)
Image for Best Western Plus Apollo International Hotel
Best Western Plus Apollo International Hotel
4.5 out of 5
290 Pacific Hwy, Charlestown, NSW
NZ$125/night
25 Aug. - 26 Aug.
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,269 reviews)

Located in the heart of Charlestown, this luxury hotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Charlestown Square and within 3 mi (5 km) of Westfield Kotara and Blackbutt Reserve. ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,269 reviews)

"Superb value - excellent location, very clean and spacious room. Attentive, friendly staff."…"

Reviewed on 16 Aug. 2019

Best Western Plus Apollo International Hotel
Image for Ibis Budget Newcastle
Ibis Budget Newcastle
2.5 out of 5
3-5 Thomas Street, Wallsend, NSW
NZ$73/night
25 Aug. - 26 Aug.
3.6/5Good! (243 reviews)

Situated in the entertainment district, this motel is 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from Sarina Beach and 2.8 mi (4.6 km) from University of Newcastle. John Hunter Hospital ...

3.6/5Good! (243 reviews)

"Basic hotel - but that's what we paid for! Room clean and tidy & suitable for a 1 night stay"…"

Reviewed on 18 Aug. 2019

Ibis Budget Newcastle

Popular activities in Newcastle

Nobbys Head Beach
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Nobbys Head Beach

Overlooked by a 19th-century lighthouse atop a rocky headland, this beach and its long breakwater wall are perfect for sunset strolls and romantic moments.

Merewether Ocean Baths
Image for Merewether Ocean Baths

Merewether Ocean Baths

Bring your family to swim laps and enjoy the sun in these two pools filled with saltwater delivered by ocean waves.

Newcastle Museum
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Newcastle Museum

Upload your portrait to the Face Wall, see a 19th-century locomotive and play with fire in the steel manufacturing simulation of this fascinating museum.

Top activities in Newcastle

Unlimited Sandboarding Port Stephens
Image for Unlimited Sandboarding Port Stephens

Unlimited Sandboarding Port Stephens

NZ$29

Sandboarding, Port Stephens You have to experience sandboarding in Port Stephens. The thrill of sliding down the spectacular Stockton Sand Dunes is so much fun! From our meeting point at Birubi beach, you will board our custom built off road vehicles to start your adventure on the short, bouncy ride into the largest moving sand mass in the southern hemisphere.

Worimi Sand Dunes ATV Tour
Image for Worimi Sand Dunes ATV Tour

Worimi Sand Dunes ATV Tour

NZ$115

Take on the sands of Stockton Beach with an ATV ride that carries you across some of the biggest dunes around. This outing lets you challenge yourself on the high, shifting slopes for an adventure that's both casual and exhilarating.

Hunter Valley Wine Tour with Cheese, Choc & Liquer Tastings
Image for Hunter Valley Wine Tour with Cheese, Choc & Liquer Tastings

Hunter Valley Wine Tour with Cheese, Choc & Liquer Tastings

NZ$142

Visit boutique wineries guided by local experts and learn about the wine making process while tasting over 15 different wines. Indulge in local produce and sample gourmet cheeses, chocolate and fudge. Find your favorite and buy some to take home.

Encounter Tour
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Encounter Tour

NZ$100

The Encounter Tour is a nature-based CoastXP immersion experience. The tour focuses closely on the annual Humpback Whale (Megaptera Novaeangliae) migration between the months of June and November each year.

Newcastle True Crime Tour
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Newcastle True Crime Tour

NZ$36

Embark on a tour around the oldest and most historic areas of Newcastle whilst learning about the city's dark, often violent past. Retrace the steps of infamous criminals and venture down prominent alleys and nooks, listening to the captivating tales that proves truth is stranger than fiction.

Wine, Cheese, & Chocolate Tour
Image for Wine, Cheese, & Chocolate Tour

Wine, Cheese, & Chocolate Tour

NZ$79

Spend some time exploring the beautiful Hunter Valley—Australia’s oldest wine region. Follow your expert and friendly guide on a tasting circuit that takes you to 5 different vintners, a cheese maker, and a chocolate factory—all in a day.

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