Situated in the Australian state of New South Wales, Newcastle is a harbour city with beautiful stretches of coastline. Apart from having pristine beaches making it ideal for sightseeing, walking and surfing, Newcastle is at the mouth of the Hunter River. Sydney is just 162 kilometres north of Newcastle, making it an ideal location. Famous for coal production, Newcastle has a rich maritime history and many coastal attractions that are sure to delight, no matter what you enjoy doing. Some of the main attractions in Newcastle include the following:
1. The Fort Scratchley Historic Site
Considered as one of Newcastle’s most beautiful vantage points, Fort Scratchley is a significant heritage site. Here you can see across the Pacific Ocean to Nobbys Lighthouse, the harbour, and headland, as well as across to the Ocean Baths. At the Fort, you can learn more about the area’s military heritage and take an eerie guided tour through the network of tunnels. You can also sit back and relax, enjoy a picnic and the views, and watch dolphins and whales frolic in the harbour.
2. Bathers Way and the Newcastle Ocean Baths
Stretching from the reserve at Glenrock to Nobbys Lighthouse and Ocean Beach, Bathers Way is a stunning five-kilometre coastal walk. Here you can swim and enjoy the scenery, take a pleasant stroll or even enjoy a picnic. The track is marked with indigenous and convict heritage markers, so it’s well worth the exploration.
With a historic facade, which hails from the art deco era, the Newcastle Ocean Baths are just breathtaking. Constructed before the first world war, these baths are fondly remembered by many locals as the place they first learned to swim.
3. The Tree Top Adventure Park
This adventure park is for those who like to meet outdoor challenges. The adventure park, set in the treetops, has 96 different activities that you can enjoy. These include climbs, jumps, scaling across suspension bridges and jumping on flying foxes, all of which are some 20 metres up and overlooking the forest floor.
4. Blackbutt Reserve
Spread over more than 180 hectares, just six kilometres from the heart of Newcastle, Blackbutt Reserve is home to many animals, nature trails and ecosystems. Features here include wildlife exhibits – koalas, emus, kangaroos, birds and wombats – and environmental education, along with recreational activities.
5. Nobbys Lighthouse
Built-in the 1800s from stone, the Nobbys Head Lighthouse stands 35 metres tall. Originally an oil-burning light, this beacon could be seen from 12 metres away. However, due to the oil not being reliable, this was replaced with a coal-fired light at a later date. The lighthouse is a beacon signal for vessels sailing into the Hunter River and is a beautiful historic landmark that will delight history buffs.
Of course, there are hundreds of other attractions in Newcastle, so if you’re a surfing fan, then take the time to visit Merewether Beach. This is the home of Mark Richards and Martin McMillan, surfing champions, and is now a Surfing Reserve. There are also numerous markets, arts and craft displays and stores and museums to visit, meaning there’s something for everyone in Newcastle.