When it comes to planning a quick getaway, Sydney, despite all its charm, may not always be the ideal choice, especially if time is of the essence and you’re looking for tranquility without sacrificing the allure of sun-soaked beaches, top-notch dining, and a thriving café culture. Enter Newcastle, a destination located just two hours north of Sydney, offering an abundance of sun, sea, and sand, all without the urban hustle and bustle.
While Bondi Icebergs might be synonymous with ocean pools, Newcastle boasts its own collection of these aquatic gems. Merewether Ocean Baths, the largest among them, spans an impressive 100 meters in width, ensuring ample space for swimmers to enjoy without overcrowding. Then there’s the intriguingly named Bogey Hole, a hidden beauty carved into the rockface by 19th-century convicts. It’s a sight to behold and a magnet for water enthusiasts.
For those who cherish the wisdom of seeking fresh air and the outdoors, Blackbutt Reserve offers over 10 kilometers of walking trails, where you can encounter roaming peacocks, a bat colony, playgrounds, and even a free animal enclosure. Newcastle doesn’t fall short when it comes to leisure either, with craft beer breweries, boutique shops, and the expansive King Edward Park, featuring open fields and communal barbecues.
Honeysuckle, Newcastle’s waterfront entertainment hub, is brimming with bars and restaurants. You can lounge on the promenade and indulge in some people-watching or head to Nagisa, a popular spot serving excellent Japanese cuisine. If stunning ocean views are your preference, Estabar provides a vantage point overlooking Newcastle Beach, offering both indoor and alfresco dining. Meanwhile, The Wickham Boatshed provides a unique perspective on the city’s working harbor.
The Rum Diary Bar, an offshoot of a beloved Melbourne establishment, has found a larger yet intimate home in Newcastle, serving Caribbean cuisine, rum cocktails, and cigars. The city’s café scene stands shoulder to shoulder with that of larger Australian cities, and you won’t want to miss the pork belly benedict at Wil & Sons, located on the hip Darby Street. Newcastle is indeed the travel destination you never knew you needed, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement for those seeking a quick escape.