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A-Z Guide of Things To Do in Newcastle, NSW

Home > Sydney > Cafes | Family | Fun Things To Do | Museums | Walks | Lists
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun! Find me on instagram: @australianrecipesbythebay
Published February 10th 2022
Put on your walking shoes & start exploring
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Walk along the ANZAC Memorial Bridge


Newcastle is a coastal city that is located 2 hours north of Sydney, and is surrounded by the Hunter Valley to the west and Port Stephens to the north. The city has an industrial feel to it, from its history as a steel-making city and as part of a coal-producing region, but it has more than meets the eye. Check out this A-Z Guide of things to do to get you started and find your own adventure! Happy exploring!

ANZAC Memorial Bridge is located on the Newcastle Memorial Walk, which can be accessed from Strzelecki Headland. The bridge opened on ANZAC Day in 2015 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli. The bridge is 160 metres long and is part of the Bathers Way Coastal Walk, below.

Bathers Way Coastal Walk is a 6 kilometre path that starts at Nobby's Beach and ends at Merewether Beach, with spectacular views along the way. Be aware that it contains stairs and hills, so it isn't a flat walk. This popular walk is where you will find the locals each weekend!

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A few stairs to tackle - but look at the views!


Civic Theatre in the CBD was built in 1929 and has a wide range of shows and events.

Dog Friendly Beach can be found at Horseshoe Beach, just around the headland from Nobbys Beach, on the Hunter River. Watch your pooch make new friends as they have a swim and race along the sand. This beach is also a good spot to watch the huge coal ships go past.

Eating at local cafes, pubs and restaurants is a highlight of visiting Newcastle, as there are so many places to explore! Enjoy the multicultural delights on Beaumont Street in Hamilton, the cute cafes on Darby Street in Cooks Hill and the waterside pubs and cafes along the Hunter River - just to name a few places to start!

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Walk along the Hunter River and stop for breakfast at Lynch's Hub


Fort Scratchley is a museum that is located on the hill above Nobby's Beach. It was built in 1882 to defend the city against a possible Russian attack. Take a tour and learn about the history of this fascinating building.

Green Hills Shopping Centre in East Maitland is a large shopping centre in the region, along with Kotara and Charlestown shopping centres.

Hunter Valley Gardens is a highlight for locals and visitors, especially during the Christmas season when they have rides and Christmas lights. There are 8 kilometres of walking paths winding through 14 hectares of gardens. This stunning venue is "must" for all garden lovers!

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The Border Garden at the Hunter Valley Gardens. Image: Hunter Valley Gardens website


Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters is located 45 minutes north of Newcastle at Anna Bay in Port Stephens. This family friendly venue offers a unique experience where you can paddle in the outdoor pools with stingrays, or get in the water and be able to touch them.

Jellyfish will be coming soon to the venue above!

King Edward Park is a grassy parkland and playground, which is popular for picnics.

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Fun for kids at King Edward Park Playground


Lake Macquarie is a beautiful region located south of the city centre and the lake itself is twice as large as Sydney Harbour!

Merewether Ocean Baths is an outdoor beach pool that was opened in 1935.

Newcastle Museum contains the story of Newcastle, including the history of steelmaking, how immigrants came to the region, famous bands who started in Newcastle and war-time history. Catch the Newcastle Light Rail to get there, with a stop located right out the front.

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Explore the Newcastle Museum and learn about the city's history


Olive Tree Market is held at Civic Park in the CBD once a month, with local designers and artists selling their works.

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary is located 1 hour north of Newcastle at One Mile and helps injured and sick koalas back to health, so that they can return to the wild. Walk along the boardwalks and view them high in the trees.

Queens Wharf is where you can catch the ferry across the river to Stockton. This is a popular activity with families on the weekend, to cross the river and play at the South Stockton Playground, which has a skate park and flying fox.

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Catch the ferry from Queen's Wharf (take your bikes and scooters)


Richley Reserve Mega Adventure Playground is located in Kotara and is one of the largest playgrounds in Newcastle.

Stockton Sand Dunes are the largest moving sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere and part of the Worimi National Park. See here for ways to explore them!

The Newcastle Light Rail is a bright red tram that runs parallel to the Hunter River between Newcastle Interchange and Newcastle Beach.

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Catch the Newcastle Light Rail to Newcastle Beach


Ubers can help you get around the city!

Valentine is a suburb of Lake Macquarie, if you are looking for romance!

Williamtown is a suburb 20 minutes north of Newcastle, which has the RAAF Base and the Fighter World museum, with a display of fighter jets.

X-citing events happen all year long in Newcastle!

Yachts can be seen on Lake Macquarie every weekend - why not learn to sail or go out on a sailing charter and enjoy the scenery!

Zoo's in the region include the Hunter Valley Zoo and Oakvale Wildlife Park & Splash Bay, in Port Stephens. Both venues have interactive areas where kids can feed the kangaroos.

From A-Z, there's no shortage of things to do in Newcastle! Which letter of the alphabet will you be visiting first?

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Meet the kangaroos at Oakvale Wildlife Park

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Why? Explore the city and discover hidden gems!
When: See individual websites for details
Where: Newcastle, NSW
Cost: Explore for free!
Your Comment
Awesome article, Sue - well-deserved Silver!
by Elaine (score: 3|9006) 233 days ago
A very complete list Sue. I think the dog friendly beach is my favourite
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|5401) 232 days ago
A very innovative article Sue,
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4381) 232 days ago
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