Newcastle Ocean Baths, Newcastle
Ocean Baths
Newcastle

Although Newcastle is the second-largest city in NSW, this hub of creativity, quirky cafes and cool swimming spots is more of a laid-back coastal town at heart. Stop in for a night while you make your way up the Mid North Coast, or out to the Hunter Valley, or enjoy an extended stay in this intriguing and unique place where country meets the coast.

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Places to stay

For boutique stays and cool conversions, Newcastle is THE city for stays near the sea. If you're looking to station yourself smack bang in the middle of town, The Lucky Hotel is a hip yet grand hotel with a pub on the ground level so you’ll never be too far from the action. Newcastle is also the perfect place to rent an Airbnb with areas like The Hill and Cooks Hill offering up architectural terraces and cottages that hark back to the city’s history but with a modern twist. If you fancy a surf shack over a quaint cottage, Merewether is an excellent location that’ll position you close to the beach without being too far from all the eateries and cool shops in The Junction. For a different kind of beach stay, head a little further north of Newcastle, and you’ll stumble across the sleepy but stylish town of Port Stephens. As well as the many holiday homes and beach-side cabins, you’ll also find chef Rick Stein’s newest luxury venture - the coastal oasis that is Bannisters. For wine over water views, venture to the Hunter Valley and stay amongst the vines at Vinden Estate Wines or The Carriages.

Rydges Newcastle - Rydges Newcastle
rating - 4.0   1281 reviews
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$ 224

Earn 672 Qantas Points

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Travelodge Hotel Newcastle - Hotel Exterior
rating - 3.5   1900 reviews
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$ 168

Earn 501 Qantas Points

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The Executive Inn Newcastle - Hotel Pool & Spa
rating - 4.0   426 reviews
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$ 193

Earn 576 Qantas Points

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Mercure Newcastle Airport -
rating - 4.5   286 reviews
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$ 144

Earn 432 Qantas Points

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Things to do

Newcastle is a big city with a coastal vibe and a thriving culture to explore. Dunking yourself underneath the pristine waters at one of the city’s many swimming spots should always be the first order of the day (no matter what time of year you’re visiting). Grab your board and head out for a surf at Merewether, plonk yourself down on the sand at Nobbys Beach or pay the charmingly retro Newcastle Ocean Baths a visit - there is no shortage of places to swim along this part of the coast.

For those wanting to while away an afternoon or stay for an evening in wine country, the Hunter Valley and its magnitude of cellar doors, like Krinklewood, Peppertree or Tempus Two, are just over an hour away by car or tour bus. This coastal community of creatives and thriving small enterprises is always finding new ways to reinvent and reinvigorate itself. Come soak up the coastal vibes and small-town style of this intriguing and innovative city. 

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Where to go

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Food and drink

It will come as no surprise that the vast number of Newcastle eateries are as trendy and forward-thinking as its many other creative outlets. Turn lazy mornings into even lazier lunches at Bolton Street Pantry, The Autumn Rooms or Coco Monde. Saturday mornings can also be spent enjoying the Hunt & Gather or Olive Tree Markets for a snack and a peruse. To get a taste for the city’s coastal spin on contemporary dining, book a table at local favourites like Sabo, Grain Store and Ginger Meg’s.

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Fashion and shopping

Love to shop? Newcastle is a treasure trove of crafty homewares, independent boutiques and antiques for vintage lovers of any age. Islington is a great area for a spot of shopping where you might find anything from a one-off leather bag at Hide + Seeker to a perfectly weathered leather chair at Islington Antiques & Interiors. Didn’t spend enough time shopping? In the heart of the city, Hunter and Darby Street are a must for local wares and truly individual shops. 

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Getting around

From the airport: Newcastle Airport is located approximately 25 minutes drive from the town centre, and is serviced by taxis, shuttle bus services and rental cars.

In and around the city: buses and taxis service the Newcastle centre. Take a drive or join a tour to expand your horizons to the neighbouring regions.

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