One perfect day in Newcastle, NSW

From the beach to the bars - and the nature walks in between - for a one-night stay, this New South Wales city sure has a lot to offer.

You already know Newcastle as the birthplace of Queen Jennifer Hawkins, but this post-industrial city is more than just what meets the eye. Today it’s all about street art, first-rate dining and even doughnuts. Here are our perfect 24-hours in Newy.

8am: Breakfast with a view

One thing that sets Newcastle above the rest is the awesome surf on its doorstep. Start your day at Estabar with a wholefood brekky and cup of Single Origin coffee. It’s situated right on the beach so you can soak up the vibes, and ready yourself for getting in that water.



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9am: Catch a wave

If you want to really engage with the scene here, a wave you must catch. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert though – book a lesson with Newcastle Surf School at Nobbys Beach. You can do a group or one-on-one class, or even undertake a Holiday Program where you’re tutored daily for 3–5 days. You’ll be a frother in no time.



11am: Doughnut time

You know the best way to reward yourself after a surf? The answer is always doughnuts. Doughheads has created quite the cult following in Newcastle, thanks to its monthly-changing menu of delightful doughnuts with toppings like lemon meringue, cookie dough and chocolate malt. They even have low-gluten options for the allergy-sufferers among you.



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12.30pm: Fish and chips at Scotties

There’s nothing like fish and chips by the seaside, and Scotties Seafood and Bar has been serving it up since 1950. Grab a seat outside in the piazza and dive into freshly cooked seafood with the beach just a hop, skip and a jump away.



2pm: Walk it off

One of the most interesting things to do in Newcastle is to walk the numerous historical trails around the city. Many boast informative signs along the way to keep you on the right track. After you’ve soaked up all that history, check out the street art walk too – Newcastle has a booming contemporary arts culture along with its more well-known industrial one.



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4pm: Swim in history

Still haven’t had enough of that beautiful water? Take a sunset dip at Newy’s famed Art Deco outdoor swimming pool, Newcastle Ocean Baths, built in 1922.



6.30pm: Dinner at Subo

Subo has been getting all kinds of attention of late, and that’s because it’s such a darn good restaurant. Beau Vincent’s five-course set menu might see you eating confit spiced duck on one night, and Japanese chawanmushi custard with popcorn powder on another. And the service from Suzie Vincent is as warm and expert as the food her husband sends over the pass. Just eat there already.



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9pm: Experience the music culture

Live music is everywhere in Newcastle; it’s as ingrained into this city’s culture as the epic waves. Head here to find out what’s on where while you’re in town.

11pm: Go to bed in boutique surrounds

Each of the nine super-styled rooms at Junction Hotel have their own personality, so you can find one that suits you to a tee. Newcastle also boasts a whole range of AirBnBs if you fancy an apartment to yourself (or how about a whole townhouse?). For stunning water views over the harbour though, you can’t beat Rydges.


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