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Sydney's little sister, Newcastle, has come of age. She might just be an hour up via the coast, but it seems she snuck down and stole Sydney's motorhead beau the Supercar Races previously held at Homebush.
The first of these supercar championships, the Coates Hire Newcastle 500, is on the 24th to the 26th of November 2017 and will then be held annually in Newcastle for the next five years. It is a great boon to the town, bringing in $57 million to the region and some 81,000 visitors from both Australia and overseas.
And for better (for tourists) or worse (for the locals), the 2.6 track is right in the eastern heart of the CBD, whizzing past some of Newcastle's most significant buildings and iconic attractions.
For those locals or tourist wanting to experience the thrill of the race, without being jostled around with thousands of other on the six grandstands, there are plenty of places where you can watch the race and be wined and dined for the day.
The following venues mostly provide views over the racetrack as well as having plasma screens and live feeds whilst allowing you a little more room to move. They will require booking in advance. It should be noted that these are not the official corporate events for this race which have already been booked out. Rather they are local places and support the local economy.
Please note that the dining venues are ticketed all day events and running continuously during the races from Friday 24th, Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th Nov 2017 from 11 am till 5pm.
The Custom House Hotel is trackside. They are offering a food and beverage ticketed and seated event at $220 a person which includes all drinks and rotating supply of all day tapas. Ticketed events – $220.00 per person / per day (inclusive of GST) 11am till 5pm. From 5pm, the venue will be open to the general public for both the Restaurant & Bar with live entertainment in The Beer Garden (18 years and over only). Bookings are only available for groups of 4 guests or more.
Customs House Hotel 1 Bond Street, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300 CONTACT DETAILS
Rustica is one of Newcastle's best restaurants and famous for its Mediterranean style seafood. It has huge glass windows overlooking Newcastle Beach but on race days, all eyes will be on the track, which is only three metres away from the supercars.
They are offering food and wine packages each day of the event ranging from $300 on the Friday to $450 for the Saturday and Sunday. Expect magical food including suckling pig, crackling rolls, Port Stephen oysters and seafood paella. The package also includes Mount Pleasant wines and craft beer.
Paymasters is an 1879 heritage listed restaurant located on the Foreshore Park, with a balcony overlooking Newcastle Harbour and the racetrack. It provides a haven from the bustle of the day by allowing you unlimited access to come and go as you please. The price includes unlimited canapés such as tempura prawns and dukkah crusted goats cheese, plus your choice of anything you like from a menu, which includes wagyu beef burgers and creamy garlic prawn linguini. The price includes a complimentary race book but does not include beverages. These are available from the bar and at normal prices - for example $10 for a glass of Hunter Valley wine and $5.50 for a Boags. $100 for the Friday (opens at 11.30- 5), $180 per day on the weekend with early opening at 10 am until 5pm (Sunday is downstairs only.) *Super Cars Admission Tickets to be purchased prior to the event from Ticketek
48 Watt Street is an exciting event space built in a 1905 historic church with iconic features such as grand vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows. Their Supercars Trackside Experience includes a full food & beverage package including low and slow American BBQ from Ray's Road House served from 11am until 6pm and preservative free beer from Six String Brewing Company. There is a live music event on the Friday featuring popular, New Zealand band, Shihad. You will get a fantastic view of Watt Street and braking zone for turn 2. I believe you are technically outside the race area (but please check, as I believe the course has changed) so no race ticket is required. Friday only which includes entertainment is $362.10 with much steeper prices over $600 and $700 for Saturday and Sunday. The three day pass $1,229.10
Tickets available through Oztix. For more information click here.
Peace and quiet in Newcastle at Surf Club Mereweather Beach Newcastle, Photo Nadine Cresswell-Myatt
Obviously, Newcastle is going to be incredibly noisy and accommodation options are also getting much slimmer with the race on the horizon. So, if you are having difficulty finding accommodation in Newcastle for the event, there is accommodation available in nearby areas Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens and Hunter Valley.
Also while in Newcastle, try to get some of the beautiful beaches. I stayed in Merewether Beach recently and it is a must visit with its beach swimming pool not dissimilar to the one in Bondi. It offers coastal walks with so many breathtaking views and great coffee and drinking spots.