Couples guide to Newcastle

Couples guide to Newcastle


09 July 2021
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Explore the best of Newcastle with this 3 day / 2 night itinerary.

Discover burgeoning small bars, dine at innovative cafes and restaurants and stay in the city’s first five star hotel.

Day One

Cue Silverchair on your playlist as you arrive into Australia’s coolest coastal city; Straight Lines or Tomorrow if you want to go waaaay back. Newcastle is where it all began for the band’s then three teenage friends.

Make for The Edwards, owned by former Silverchair bass player Chris Joannou. Novocastrian born-and-bred Joannou is also co-owner of The Criterion Hotel and lauded eatery Flotilla but the much-loved Edwards is where his hospitality journey began.

Having literally risen from the ashes of a fire which saw it closed for just over a year, The Edwards is housed in a former dry cleaning business owned by Joannou’s parents in the post-industrial streetscape of Newcastle’s West End.

Both the food and welcome are as warm as a summer’s day at this local fixture. Try the Spanner crab omelette, XO sauce, ginger and shallot or tuck into a signature Eddies burger on the farm to plate menu washed down with a local ale.

Suitably sated, check into one of the elegant rooms at the five star Crystalbrook Kingsley. Situated in Newcastle’s landmark ‘Roundhouse’ building, Newcastle’s first five star hotel offers sustainable luxury in the city’s former council administrative headquarters.

As the sun sinks head for the striking rooftop bar Romberg’s for a drink and then wander hand in hand over to the heritage listed Civic Theatre next door for a show.

Day Two

After breakfast at The Kingsley’s rooftop Roundhouse restaurant head for Nobbys Beach.

Ben from Newy Rides will be waiting with a glass of locally made Dirt Candy wine in hand. His ‘Essentials X The Burbs’ cycle tour starts with a ride along Nobbys Breakwall, skirts the harbour and takes in street art including Fintan Magee’s large-scale Shadow at Museum Park.

Ride on to the harbourside village of Carrington for a craft beer or gin tasting at either Styx Brewery or Earp Distilling Co. (itineraries change) and finish with authentic Texan BBQ served up from an orange bus.

Insider tip: Exploring on two wheels is a terrific way to get your bearings and meet the locals.

After some downtime, make your way to Signal Box, another of Newcastle’s foodie finds.

Housed in an historic working railway signal box Signal Box’s minimalist steel and concrete dining pavilion pays homage to its industrial past while a rooftop space offers city vistas and glimpses of the old signalling and lever gear.

The repurposed space now offers a contemporary Modern Australian bistro menu where almost everything is made from scratch. Think kingfish ceviche or perhaps a hearty vegie curry made from fresh local produce served with coconut yoghurt and flat bread. Wash it down with some of the Hunter Valley’s best wines. 

From the hotel it’s a flat 10-minute stroll along the Market Street Lawn precinct. Alternatively catch the Light Rail one stop from Civic alighting at Queens Wharf.

Before you hit the sheets, make sure you call reception and ask for a late checkout in the morning. 
Day Three

Rise and shine and make for the Newcastle Beach, the start of the glorious 6km Bathers Way. (From The Kingsley, jump on the light rail stopping at Newcastle Beach)

Follow the footpath along the coastline, taking in rolling Pacific Ocean vistas, passing King Edward Park, Bogey Hole and the former Shepherds Hill military complex.

Finish the walk when you see the steel silhouettes. No trip to Newcastle is complete without visiting this spectacular 450m walkway, that was built in 2015 to mark the centenary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli.

Insider tip: Look closely at the steel silhouettes, they're inscribed with the family names of almost 11,000 Hunter Valley servicemen and women who enlisted during World War One.

After the walk, make your way to the popular Cooks Hill cafe, The Autumn Rooms. Choose the leafy rear courtyard or head upstairs overlooking the bustling streetscape where light pours through the windows.

The menu ranges from dishes like ‘Morning Greens’ topped with a Cornucopia biodynamic egg or house made crumpets with poached pears, walnut praline and creme fraiche.

Expect great coffee, award-winning tea (the ginger bread chai is a winner). If you’re feeling celebratory (you’re on holidays after all) order a Moscow Mule

Afterwards browse Darby Street’s boutiques (explore Boho Luxe Trader, Abicus and Steel and Anchor to name but a few).

Head back to Kingsley, check out and head home bidding adieu to Newy - till next time that is.

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