The traditional land of the Awabakal and Worimi People, Newcastle is the second-largest city in NSW and is bursting with vibrancy, colour, and life. Newcastle offers up so much diversity and is a place that keeps giving with every visit. Offering up a sense of connection to nature and the coast with a laid-back coastal lifestyle, pristine beaches and stunning views. The café culture, art scene, range of bars, eateries, galleries, and places to visit almost brings the best of Sydney and Melbourne together in the one place and at the same time offers up a uniquely Novacastrian edge. It’s a place you fall in love with and wonder why you haven’t visited more often.
The new Northconnex out of Sydney makes getting there quick and simple and if you’re coming from Regional NSW the local Airline, Fly Pelican, gets you straight into the city heart.
Start your day exploring the streets of Newcastle, its full of incredible architecture of differing styles and the city is proudly preserving its heritage while allowing modern buildings to sit side by side. Make your way to a local favourite, Antojitos – a Californian Mexican style street food restaurant. Simple, affordable, and pulsing with energy and fun. The shopfront is an old Chinese grocery store and inside you're transported to an authentic cantina.
As you continue to explore the streets of Newcastle you’ll spot one standout piece of modernism architecture, formerly the Council HQ, but now the very new, very cool Crystalbrook Kingsley. This is Newcastle’s first five-star accommodation offering and is the perfect base for a visit. It's right opposite the Newcastle Art Gallery and the fit-out is amazing, spectacular even.
Romberg’s is a bar up on the top floor of the Kingsley and is the new, very stylish place to be. Make a booking for later afternoon so you can watch the sunset over the city skyline. They make a range of signature cocktails; the Coastal Margarita is one to try with a cool twist on the essential salt element using locally sourced ingredients fresh from the nearby ocean. You can spend a few hours here talking and just soaking up the atmosphere.
While you’re enjoying the views, check out another local offering, by Earp Distillery – their Portside Gin, and treat yourself to a classic Gin and Tonic. A Newey local that produces several different spirits. You’ll spot the bottles easily, a clean pure white ceramic bottle amongst the huge range at the bar. There is also a distillery nearby you can visit and even do a tour.
Right next to the bar is the Roundhouse, serving up distinctly modern Australian Cuisine with views out over the beach and city skyline. Expect great service, great food and a great atmosphere. If you’re after something more casual then not far away is Foghorn Brewery on King Street, the first local craft brewery and a spot once again popular with the locals. Book yourself in for a craft beer dinner with a locally sourced menu matched with the craft beers made on-site.
Heading out after dinner make your way for some evening cocktails to one of Newcastle’s speakeasy bars. There’s several of them dotted in and around the city centre and they are always fun to find. Coal and Cedar is a perfect example, with almost no signage, no doorbell, not even a visible door and next to a barber’s shop discretely located on Hunter Street. The bar is intimate, the atmosphere is welcoming, and the cocktails are on point. Newcastle just keeps surprising.