48 hours in Newcastle for families

48 hours in Newcastle for families


Looking for a fun filled short break that both you and the kids will enjoy?

We got you covered! 

Here's the best way to spend 48 hours Newcastle - From beach to bush, and keeping your taste buds (and kids) happy at the same time. 

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9:30am - Welcome to Newcastle

Start at Nobbys Beach - where surfers suit up for an early morning wave.

Head south along Shortland Esplanade (the Bathers Way) where hopeful pelicans await breakfast from fisherman at the Cowrie Hole.

Just a bit further on watch swimmers crawling through the water at the Newcastle Ocean Baths with its distinctive art deco facade.

Stop for coffee overlooking Newcastle Beach at Estabar or Liquid Gold and you’re ready for a great day exploring Newcastle.

11:00am - Museum or whale watching

Grab some fish and chips from Scotties, the Kiosk Newcastle Beach or Scratchleys and share a chip or two with the seagulls.

Afterwards head for the Newcastle Museum at Honeysuckle. Exploring the city’s indigenous Awabakal roots to a history forged by convicts, coal and steel.

*Kids will love the hands-on science centre Supernova and Mininova Gallery.

If you want to get out on the water book a coastal sightseeing or whale watching cruise (June-Nov) with CoastXP departing from Honeysuckle Foreshore.

3:00pm - Firing cannons and parks

Book in for a tour of the tunnels at historic Fort Scratchley standing proudly on Flagstaff Hill.

A resounding boom echoes across the city daily (aside from Tuesday when the fort is closed) from the historic fort as two-pound cannons are fired at the same time the ball on Customs House drops.

Afterwards Newcastle’s magnificent King Edward Park awaits. Let the kids loose on the playground while you take in the stunning coastal vistas. 

At dusk make for Strzelecki Lookout and take a stroll along the magnificent clifftop Anzac Memorial Walk with its 360-degree vistas of Newcastle’s coastline to the Hunter Valley beyond.

5:30pm - Delicious dinner awaits

Enjoy a sundowner or two at one of the many bars lining the harbour at Honeysuckle followed by dinner at family friendly Antojitos (kids will love the caravan cubby house), Parry Street Garage or Asa Don in King Street with its charming courtyard dining.

Rascals and Newy Burger Co. meanwhile serve up fabulous gourmet burgers the whole brood will love.

7:30am - Natures calling

Wake to the blast of the ship horns coming into Newcastle harbour.

After breakfast at one of Newcastle’s many cafes (Three Monkeys, the Autumn Rooms, Equium Social, Ground Up and The Edwards are but a few terrific for families) make the 10-minute drive to Blackbutt Reserve, Newcastle’s beating green heart.

Take a stroll through the bush, meet native wildlife, be dwarfed by soaring gums and listen to a cacophony of bird calls.

There are two playgrounds at Blackbutt – Carnley Reserve Adventure Playground and the newer Richley Reserve Mega Adventure Playground with its rope courses, bridges, swings and slides and an adventure tower for everyone from toddlers to tweens.

*You can see a reptile show at 11am on weekends and throughout school holidays for just $3 per person, or book for a private reptile encounter (charges apply).

11:30am - Treetops adventure

Enjoy a picnic lunch at Blackbutt (or use one of the free electric barbecues) then head for the Treetops Adventure Park at Minmi (around a 20-minute drive away).

Kids as young as three can enjoy a treetop adventure with the family with flying foxes, ziplines, aerial walks and suspension bridges offering a bird’s eye view of the forest canopy.

3:00pm - Afternoon stroll and icecream

Back in Newy take a stroll along the Bathers Way and enjoy an ice cream at the beach

Estabar sells gelato while any of the beach kiosks sell ice creams. An ice cream van also operates from Nobbys Beach carpark most weekends.  

*Bar Beach is home to the awesome Empire Skate Park. Watch the cool kids drop into the 3.3m deep golden bowl.

6:00pm - Good food and good byes

Before heading home make your way to the inner city harbourside suburb of Carrington and enjoy a craft beer and pub meal at the Criterion, book a table at Napoli Centrale in King St for a traditional Italian pizza or head for the Merewether Surf House overlooking the rolling waves – playground for both surfers and dolphins. 

You’ve only just scratched the surface so make plans for your next adventure back to Newcastle.