Find inspiration around every corner in Newcastle

Find inspiration around every corner in Newcastle

23 February 2024

Offering a thriving arts culture, Newcastle has long nurtured the creative and the curious.

Browse art galleries, admire the city’s ever-expanding collection of world-class street art and explore its historic fort – keeper of Newcastle’s storied past. 

Outdoor art gallery

In Newcastle, art is all around you – all you need to do is look up. Unleash your curiosity and you’ll discover a city of extraordinary urban artworks.

Take a walk through the streets of Newcastle and you’ll see that the city has spent the better part of the last decade transforming itself visually – from an industrial hub to a vibrant and creative destination, where projects like The Big Picture Fest have transformed the city into an outdoor art gallery.

Encounter large-scale murals from renowned locals like Mitch Revs, Jasmine Craciun, Bronte Naylor and Jordan Lucky, and national and international artists like Fintan Magee, Claire Foxton, Rosie Woods and Georgia Hill, to name a few.

The Artist's City

Stroll the streets of Newcastle and see through the eyes of an artist following the self-guided walking trail or browse the city’s many excellent galleries and museums.

Cooks Hill Galleries showcases artworks from a stable of Australian artists ranging from contemporary to colonial, while Cstudios in Newcastle’s west end specialises in contemporary and fine art.

A select group of Australian artists are represented at Blackstone Gallery, artist collective SMAC Studio is found in inner city Tighes Hill while Newcastle Art Space (NAS) is where artists create, make and share.

Once home to inmates, the Lock-Up is now an award-winning independent arts space showcasing local and contemporary Australian art. Another of Newcastle’s most significant heritage buildings - complete with preserved padded cell and windowless exercise yard - it operated as Newcastle Police Station from 1861 until 1982. Inside its once austere walls you’ll find art exhibitions, workshops, creative talks and more.

Follow the art lovers guide to Newcastle

Unleash your inner artist

The colourful creations of talented Newcastle artist Mitch Revs adorn many a wall throughout the city not to mention his namesake Mitch Revs Gallery where you can book into a Decked Out session (kids and Adults only classes available) to paint a skate deck.

Drink and draw classes are also held at the contemporary LEDA Gallery while Hudson Street Hum offers a choice of creative workshops ranging from portrait drawing, landscapes in watercolour, moss embroidery and pyrography (wood burning).

Cultural Charms

A keeper of Newcastle’s storied past, historic Fort Scratchley stands proudly on Flagstaff Hill. Built in the 1880s to ward off the threat of a Russian attack, guns were never fired in anger until the Japanese shelled Newcastle in a surprise attack in 1942. Explore the fort’s labyrinth of tunnels on a guided tour with passionate volunteers who bring the fort’s history to life.

With her show stopping good looks, the heritage-listed Civic Theatre is the place to catch a fabulous line-up of local and national acts. Considered one of NSW’s finest theatre buildings designed by Henry Eli White, architect of Sydney’s State and Capitol Theatres, be sure to admire the theatre’s grand ornamental dome.

At Nobbys Lighthouse on the Nobbys-Whibayganba headland, take in 360-degree vistas, heritage buildings and the creative works of artists at Lighthouse Arts- an arts trading store sells works by local creatives ranging from books to ceramics.

Learn about Newcastle’s industrial past and discover a rotation of fascinating exhibitions with a visit to Newcastle Museum. Housed in the historic Honeysuckle Railway Workshops, the buildings date back to the 1800s that have been transformed into a modern education and museum space. Visiting in school holidays? Check out their program of events 

Top Tip: Newcastle Art Gallery, designed by local architect Brian Pile with its geometric forms and brutalist aesthetic, is currently closed and undergoing a long-awaited expansion project. An additional 1600 square metres of exhibition space will be added!

Explore more cultural attractions

Art + Culture Festival

Get set for ten days of art, culture and creativity in the centre of Newcastle with New Annual set to return 27 September - 6 October 2024. 

It's the biggest arts and cultural festival of the year with a range of exciting, thought provoking and interactive experiences to discover. Immerse yourself in ground-breaking contemporary dance, aerial acrobatics and Indigenous workshops. 

Learn more