Is Newcastle a good place to live

Newcastle Australia: Cultural working town with surfing beaches

Newcastle is characterized, among other things, by the interesting contrast between the world's largest coal export port with its huge cargo ships and the ornate Art Deco buildings, in which there are rustic antique shops, cozy cafes and innovative art galleries. The second largest city of New South Wales and the seventh largest in Australia can also boast the longest shifting dunes in the southern hemisphere in Stockton and the sandy and surfing beaches close to the center. The entire urbanized region comprises around 320,000 inhabitants, of which around 165,000 of the sports-loving citizens known as Novocastrians live in the city proper. The University of Newcastle's open-minded student scene and its location on an attractive peninsula in the north of the Sydney region also have a positive influence.


Activities & sights



The original residents of the Newcastle region belonged to the Awabakal tribe. In 1770, James Cook sailed past the coast. On an expedition in September 1797 one discovered big ones Coal deposits and a natural one Deep sea port at the confluence of the Hunter River with the Tasman Sea. After 2 years the first coal stocks were exported and after a further 2 years the King's Town prison campwhich was nicknamed Hellhole for a reason. Convicts who were difficult to integrate had to cut wood and mine coal under harsh conditions until the camp was closed in 1802. A second attempt was made 1804 with the establishment of a new town, which was later named Newcastle, and of repeat offenders under the supervision of a rough Military rule duration. Between 1815 and 1818 conditions improved with the construction of various essential facilities. The first free farmers moved 1822 a, whereupon the military and most of the prisoners left the settlement.

The first railroad in Australia and for the transport of coal was opened on December 10, 1831 1847 Newcastle was officially named a city. Started with the move in of BHP Billiton 1915 the industrialization, where steel mills, copper mining and soap making were extremely important. During the Second world war In 1939 several localities were amalgamated to form the City of Greater Newcastle. The Japanese also attacked the vitally important industrial area in 1942 with little damage. A significantly larger accident took place on December 28, 1989, in which a earthquake 5.6 destroyed numerous buildings, killed 13 people and injured over 160 people. In 1999, BHP Billiton closed its steel mills and on June 8, 2007 they set up strong ones Floods renewed damage. To this day, however, Newcastle has been able to recover and is now not only boasting of that oldest seaport in Australia, but also with a distinct cultural scene.


Museums, culture & art

The city center has several historical buildings and various important cultural institutions. A good starting point is the tourist information office on Honeysuckle Drive im Maritime Center, a maritime history museum. The nearby Newcastle Museum (Workshop Way) has rotating exhibitions and permanent collections. If you follow the promenade to the east, you get to the 40m high vantage point on the Queens Wharf Tower. The 3km long circular hiking trail called Newcastle East Heritage Walk leads at the end of Wharf Road to the old Customs House, the Convict Lumber Yard, Fort Scratchley, the Newcastle Ocean Baths, the old train station and other historical attractions. That built in 1882 Fort Scratchley (Nobbys Road) was used for defense during World War II. Today it serves as a vantage point of the Signa shipwreck and as a military museum, in whose tunnel the history is explained. Not far away is the Lock Up Cultural Center (Hunter Street) with an integrated police museum and the John Paynter Gallery.

Another highlight is that it is only a few minutes' walk away Christ Chruch Cathedral (Church Street). In the cathedral, which is surrounded by Victorian terraced houses, you can climb the stairs for a fee to enjoy the view over the city and look out for the snow-white obelisk (Wolfe Street). Newcastle has a distinctive arts and culture scene with numerous public, commercial and private Galleries delight. On the way through the city center you will also see colorful street paintings and graffiti again and again. The Newcastle Art Gallery (Laman Street) offers the large art collection with works by Aborigines, Europeans, Australians and Japanese or the changing exhibitions. From here you can quickly get through the Civic Park to the Watt Space Gallery in the University House to the north and the City Hall from the 1920s. Directly behind it is the Civic Precint with the popular Civic Theater (Hunter Street). Newastle has other active ones theatre and the now closed Victroia Theater (Perkins Street) from 1876, which is the oldest purpose-built theater in Australia. Anyone interested in military aviation history can reach the Fighter World Aircraft Museum in Williamtown 27km north of downtown.


Shopping & Markets

As Newcastle is the seventh largest city on the 5th continent, there is a good selection of shopping areas and markets. The east end of the Hunter Street in the CBD has become the main shopping street. It goes from her Darby Street Head south on Cooks Hill for chic boutiques and art galleries. A good kilometer further south is the upscale shopping district at the intersection of Union Street and Kenrick Street The junction with the Junction Fair Shopping Center. On the other hand, if you follow King Street, which runs relatively parallel to Hunter Street, to the west, you come to Marketown Shopping Center in Newcastle West, where there are cheap supermarkets, electronics stores and other necessities. The Beaumont Street in the Hamilton district, on the other hand, is known for unusual clothing, second-hand goods and retro items. There is also a large selection in the 230 shops of Westfield in Kotara, 7km southwest of downtown, and in Charlestown Square on Pearson Street in the suburb Charlestown, about 10km south of the CBD.

Alternatively, there would be the regularly held Markets a great option for shopping. Cheap clothing, local products and souvenirs are available at the popular Hunter Street Markets (Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) along Hunter Street Mall in the CBD. Three regular markets are held on Saturdays, including the Hamilton Clocktower Market (every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.) on James Street Plaza in Hamilton (corner of Beaumont & James Streets). A motley mix of food, books, plants and other goods are displayed on the Wallsend Markets (3rd Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) in Wallsend (Wallsend Park, Cowper Street). Local artists sell interesting handicrafts on the Olive Tree Markets (1st Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) in The Junction (Union Street). Every Sunday it's time for the big one Newcastle City Farmers Market (Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) in the Newcastle Showgrounds (Cattle Pavilion, Brown Road, Broadmeadow), which is particularly recommended for gourmet, wine and art lovers. Bargain hunters should check out the flea market called Islington Market Not to be missed (last Sunday of the month) in Wickham (Wickham Park on Albert Street). Retro products, on the other hand, are on the Adamstown Lions Markets (Sunday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.) in Adamstown (corner of Glebe & Brunker Rds).


Culinary, restaurants, pubs & cafes

Both in the CBD and in Newcastle East there are high-class restaurants, simple eateries, cheap fast-food outlets, cozy cafes and lively bars. However, the promenade of Honeysuckle on the shore area has a particularly high density of culinary facilities, where you can dine or drink with a view of the harbor. A little further south, Darby Street in Cooks Hill is ideal for visiting one of the numerous cafés or a food establishment. The downtown shopping district, The Junction, also has a good selection of restaurants and coffeehouses. Finally, we recommend Beaumont Street in Hamilton, which is known for its Mediterranean cuisine, quiet cafes and lively pubs.



Newcastle is known for its numerous Live concerts and underground bands, including Silverchair and The Screaming Jets. The music scene, which is dominated by various rock genres, is particularly supported by the University of Newcastle. Information on current events can be found in the U-Turn and The Post magazines, which are available free of charge in the city center. Among the most popular Locations belongs to the Queens Wharf Hotel (Wharf Road) located on the waterfront in the CBD with its own beer production, regular live music and DJs. In the Crown & Anchor Hotel (corner of Hunter Street & Perkins Street) you will be entertained with live music and DJs. The Irish Pub in the Northern Star Hotel (corner of King Street & Darby Street) entertains its guests on weekends with danceable music. In addition, the nightclub at the King Street Hotel (Steel Street) is open Wednesday through Saturday. The largest venue for rock live concerts is the Cambridge Hotel (Hunter Street), where regional, national and international bands perform. The Junction Hotel (Corlette Street) is also chic, with live music on Friday and Saturday. On Beaumont Street in the Hamilton borough, the Kent Hotel hosts karaoke, quizzes, live music nights and the at Gays and lesbians The trendy UNITY nightclub in the Sydney Junction Hotel also has regular events up its sleeve. Furthermore, the weekends are celebrated in the G Nightclub of the Gateway Hotel in Islington (Maitland Road) with drag shows and a good mood.


Nature & parks

The attractively designed bank area along the east coast borders directly on the CBD with meadows, playgrounds and the one popular for weddings King Edward Park at. This small city park has picnic areas, BBQs, a rose garden and can serve with fabulous views over Newcastle and the sea. If you follow the east coast further south, you will reach the one between Merewether Beach and Dudley Beach Glenrock State Conservation Area. Here, the Leichardt Lookout with a view of the Glenrock Lagoon, hidden swimming spots, small waterfalls and walking paths are the highlights. Less than 10 kilometers west of the city center, this is particularly family-friendly Blackbutt Reserve in Kotara, which is ideal for walking, pausing and playing. You also have a good view of the city, you can find out about the local wildlife with the help of displays and keep an eye out for the fruit bat colony.

Many visitors are also drawn to the largest system of shifting dunes in the southern hemisphere, the 33km long one Stockton Sand Dunes in the north, which can be explored on foot, with a four-wheel drive or on a quad bike tour. Alternatively, take care of that Kooragang Nature Reserve & Wetlands to the northwest with wooden paths, bike paths and historical sites as well as the Hunter Regional Botanic Gardens in Heatherbrae for a change. A commercial animal park with a good range of leisure activities has been set up in Shortland and the pretty one is in Wallsend Blue Gum Hills Regional Park. On good days you have a really unique view of the city from Mt Sugarloaf Lookout in West Wallsend. If a normal walk in one of Newcastle's nature reserves or parks is not enough, the 250km network of trails is ideal Great North Walk Recommended, which stretches along the coast between Sydney and Newcastle.



Newcastle's beaches and historic bathing sites, which are extremely close to the center, are really something to be proud of! They can be explored on the beautiful Bathers Way (5km each way in approx. 3 hours), which runs between the lighthouse at Nobbys Beach in the north to Merewether Beach in Sünden. On the route you can watch surfers, information boards explain the regional history and with a bit of luck you can even see whales (July to November) or dolphins (all year round). Merewether, Newcastle, Nobbys and Bar Beach are particularly popular for surfing and fishing. The guarded one makes the northern beginning of Bathers Way Nobbys Beach at Nobbys Head, at the end of which you can walk along the pier built by prisoners in 1846. In addition to good views over the harbor and Stockton Beach, there are picnic areas, a kiosk and, in the warm summer months, surfing beginners and kite surfers. The sheltered one is right next to Nobby Beach Horseshoe Beach in Newcastle Harbor as an ideal place for families and anglers.

Further south, the also monitored historic ones opened in 1922 Newcastle Ocean Baths with its characteristic Art Deco facade. Next door is the man-made and quiet canoe pool as well as the patrolled one Newcastle Beach with kiosk and picnic facilities. That’s next Bogey hole in King Edward Park, built by convicts in 1820. Cozy seating, kiosks, and lifeguards make the family-friendly Bar Beach Newcastle's most popular bathing area, which you can look down on from the Strzlecki Lookout. Bar Beach is followed in the south by the beaches that are popular with surfers and also monitored Dixon Park Beach and Merewether Beach at, the venue of the big Surfest (see Festivals & Events).

If you go a few minutes further south, you will pass the historic one Ladies Rock Pool and at the listed Surf House to the two monitored pools of the largest marine bathing facility in the southern hemisphere, the Merewether Ocean Baths. More beautiful beaches extend north of Newcastle. However, he has the most here Stockton Beach with a playground, BBQs and kiosk, where both children and surfing beginners can let off steam. Incidentally, scenes from the Australian film Mad Max were filmed here. On the other hand, the Shipwreck Walk (approx. 2km) leads along the Stockton Breakwall, which gives a small impression of the 100 or so shipwrecks off the coast.


Festivals & Events

As the second largest city in New South Wales, Newcastle organizes a corresponding number of regular events. The Surfest, Mattara Festival and This Is Not Art are of particular importance. In addition, the large Newcastle Entertainment Center hosts various events and concerts throughout the year. The most important regular events are briefly listed in the following overview.

  • March: Surfest (Sport - 13 days - Largest surfing competition in Australia with over 200 participants - Merewether), Shore to Shore (Culture - March 16 - Celebration of Irish culture at the RX Theater - CBD) and Newcastle Regional Show (Agriculture - 3 days - Agricultural show with tradition since 1902 - Broadmeadow)
  • April: Seascape and Beyond Art Exhibition & Fundraiser (Art - One Weekend - Charity Exhibition - Merewether)
  • May: Cultural Stomp Festival (Culture - May 1st - Celebration of cultural diversity, environment and justice with music, art, market, food and discussions - CBD)
  • July: Shoot Out Boulder 24 Hour Filmmaking Festival (culture - meeting for the production of 7-minute short films within 24 hours)
  • August: Newcastle Jazz Festival (Music - 3 days - Jazz musicians from all over Australia)
  • September: Mattara Festival (Culture - 9 days around the Labor Day weekend - Traditional family event since 1961 with several agricultural, sports, music and art events as well as markets) and This Is Not Art (Culture - September to October - One of the most important art festivals in Australia, which deals with new media and arts. Over 400 local, national and international writers, actors, thinkers and musicians show their talents at a total of five sub-festivals: Electrofringe (media art - 5 days), Sound Summit (independent & innovative music - 4 Days), Crack Theater Festival (performing arts - 4 days), Critical Animals (discussions - first weekend in October), and National Young Writers' Festival (literature - long Labor Day weekend).
  • October: Rainbow Festival (culture - 9 days - festival of gays, lesbians, transgener and the entire queer scene)
  • November: Italian Film Festival (Culture - 3 days - Festival of traditional Italian way of life)
  • December: Carols by Candlelight (Music - One evening in December - Singing Christmas carols - King Edward Park)

More activities & sights

Due to the close proximity to the sea and the numerous beaches, there is a lot to offer Water activities in Newcastle (see Beaches) such as swimming, surfing, kite surfing or fishing. You can also ride a sandboard, quad bike or 4WD in the 33km long moving dunes of Stockton Beach. It also became one over time Cycle path network expanded. Particularly good routes run from Newcastle to Williamtown and from the city to the Shortland Wetlands (round trip) and to the Hunter Boitanic Gardens (round trip). Another tour by bike takes you to Newcastle's best dining areas. The tournaments of the local sports teams also provide excitement and exciting entertainment. The Newcastle Knights (rugby league) and Newcastle United Jets FC (soccer) play at Hunter Stadium (New Lambton). The home stadium of the Hunter Jaegers netball team is the Newcastle Entertainment Center (Broadmeadow) and the Newcastle North Stars ice hockey team is the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium (Warners Bay). For a cricket match, the No. 1 Sports Ground (CBD) is the right address. Horse races are held at the Newcastle Jockey Club (Broadmeadow).


Popular tours & activities

Here you will find all typical local activities for every taste and budget. Browse through our extensive range and plan your dream trip today. Have fun!

Helpful information


Arrival & onward journey

Newcastle is located approximately 160 kilometers north of Sydney and is connected to the automobile Reachable from the center of the metropolis via the M1 in around 2 hours. The Pacific Highway runs as a motorway connection called the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway (F3) in the south to Sydney and in the north along the coast to Queensland. The western inland can be reached via the New England Highway (to Toowoombah), from which the Golden Highway (to Dubbo) branches off. The Central Station for buses was built directly behind the train station in Broadmeadow. State buses from Transport for NSW cover destinations around the city and across the state. The following private providers also operate in the region: Hunter Valley Busses (connections to the west and the airport), Port Stephens Coaches (connections to Port Stephens, Sydney and the airport), Rover Coaches (connections to Cessnock and the surrounding area), Busways North Coast (links to various locations in NSW) and Sid Fogg's Coaches (links to Hunter Valley and the Central Coast).

The two Train lines North Coast (Sydney - Brisbane) and North Western (Sydney - Armidale & Moree) from NSW TrainLink serve Broadmeadow Train Station, which is approximately 4km east of the CBD. NSW TrainLink also provides buses to various locations outside of Newcastle. The Newcastle & Central Coast Line (Sydney Central Station via Newcastle Station to the Central Coast) and Hunter Line (Newcastle via Maitland to Dungog / Scone) belong to Sydney Trains and also connect Newcastle to the train network. The Newcastle Airport is located approximately 25km north of the city center. Several airlines have direct flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Ballina / Byron Bay and the Gold Coast. The airport can be reached by car, rental car, taxis or the Hunter Valley Buses and Port Stephens Coaches companies.

The public transport are largely organized by Newcastle Transport. They were made up of trams, buses and ferries. The ticket system is structured like in Sydney (see article Public Transport Sydney) and can be used with a contactless Opal card. The buses operate in the city center and connect the individual parts of the city from here. With numerous routes they cover the regions of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. It serves key locations such as the University of Newcastle, John Hunter Hospital, shopping malls and green spaces. The Night Owl Service was launched on Friday and Saturday nights for night owls. The modern trams run from the CBD via the Civic Theater and the University of Newcastle City Campus to Newcastle Beach. You can also take the ferries to Stockton from Queens Wharf and explore the suburbs by the sea. Alternatively, scenic hiking trails are available, such as the popular Bathers Way from the harbor to Merewether Beach. It is also possible to get to know Newcastle by bike. There are shops and certain bike stations where you can rent a bike. If all else fails, there are still those operating in Newcastle, Lake Maquarie, Port Stephens and the wine regions Newcastle taxis (13 33 00) available.


Tourist Information

City maps, tips and more information about Newcastle and the surrounding area can be obtained from the Newcastle Visitor Information Center, which is located in the former Civic Railway Station at 430 Hunter Street in the CBD. In addition, several touchscreen visitor information kiosks have been installed in the city where you can find out more.


Further information

Under the item Shopping & Markets, detailed information is given about the respective shopping areas, where you should find all products or services from A to Z. Of course, the city also has numerous petrol stations, large bank branches, pharmacies and other essential facilities.


Picture gallery: Great impressions of all highlights

You will find a wide variety of motifs in our unique Newcastle picture gallery. Gain authentic impressions and enjoy a piece of Australia from home. We wish you a lot of fun!

First impressions in the video