Must Do Experiences in Newcastle

Must Do Experiences in Newcastle

06 May 2024

Newcastle is stacked with loads of unique and off beat experiences. But we get it, sometimes planning that ultimate getaway can feel like a lot.

To make it super easy to maximise your bliss and your bucks, we've pulled together the best so you can mix and match your way to a memorable Newy getaway. 

Architecture, Street Art & Hidden Secrets Tour

A casual-paced guided tour with Newcastle Afoot, guests can hear and see Newcastle's vibrant history, exciting future, and love of big and bold murals, while walking the laneways and eclectic streets reaching out to the sea and harbour. Described as historic, cultural, and quirky — these tours are known for showcasing Newcastle at its best.

Hot tip: These intimate small-group tours frequently sell out. So, pack sneakers and book ahead.

Discover Sailing Experience

Hop aboard one of the club's small inshore keelboats and over three cruisy hours you'll get to see another side of Newcastle Harbour in this intimate and hands-on sailing tour. As part of the day's crew, get set to learn basic sailing skills, all the lingo, plus some sweet manoeuvres, all while enjoying sweeping cityscape views.

Hot tip: Tours run on weekends from 9am to midday.

Adventure Tour

CoastXP have four incredible tours departing from Newcastle, and conveniently, their classic Adventure Tour runs year-round. So, whenever you're going to be in town, simply book an adventure to cruise around the region's rugged coastline — keep an eye out for whales, seals, dolphins, turtles and seabirds regularly popping up to say hi.

Hot tip: Whale-watching season typically is June through to November, and whale cruises are epic.

Spirit School

At Earp Distilling Co. get hands-on and interactive, this immersive experience has you distilling your very own spirit from start to finish. Learn the tricks, select your botanicals, mix the cuts, and blend your flavours. But the best bit of course, tasting your bespoke creation after bottling it in one of the ultra-chic ceramic bottles.

Hot tip: Book a table after the class to enjoy their sensational menu and award-winning gins.

Beginner Surf Lessons - Philippa Anderson Surf School

Perfect for first-time surfers of any age, beginner lessons at Phillipa Anderson Surf School are run by qualified surf coaches who will help you build your confidence and get you 'popping up' in no time. Including all the essentials like sunscreen, rash vests, softboards and wetsuits, this is an approachable way to experience Newcastle's unique surf breaks.

Hot tip: Lessons run through the warmer months — mid-August through to mid-June.

Newcastle City Sights

Over 15 incredible minutes, this unique helicopter adventure with Aero Logistics will take you out towards the coast, travelling along Newcastle's picturesque foreshore. Once you've reached Nobbys Headland it's all about that iconic coastline before heading inland to seek out architectural features and city sights.

Hot tip: Minimum of 2 people per flight, so maybe tee up a pal or partner to join in the fun.

Bathers Way Walk

Spectacularly scenic, the Bather's Way rewards walkers and runners with sweeping views of Newcastle's iconic coastline, passing local legends the Bogey Hole, King Edward Park, Fort Scratchley, Nobbys Lighthouse, and four incredible beaches along the way. It's a must-do for active visitors and families.

Hot tip: A stack of great cafés are dotted along the path for yummo snacks and coffees on the go.

Hike at Glenrock State Conservation Area

At just over a 6km return, Yuelarbah Trail is perhaps the most popular hiking trail at Glenrock State Conservation Area. Starting with a raised boardwalk path, the trail winds past Flaggy Creek, trickling waterfalls, and Leichhardt’s Lookout, before reaching the quiet and calm of Glenrock Lagoon and Beach.

Hot tip: Pack a beach picnic and refuel before returning along the same trail.

Skate at Empire Park

Opposite the rolling waves of Bar Beach, Empire Park's Skatepark boasts an epic street skate and bowl combo and is a regular host to major skate comps. Perfect for both budding skaters and skilled pros alike, the 'gold bowl' has earned a solid reputation for its smooth, fast flow. South Newcastle Beach Skatepark opening soon!

Hot tip: Pack your beach gear for a quick dip and cool down after a sweaty skate session.

Follow the Independent Art Gallery Trail

Newcastle is home to a host of independent art galleries boasting diverse creative styles and featuring acclaimed regional and national artists, year-round. Download the Independent Galleries map to create your very own gallery-hopping adventure, and be sure to book a well-earned long lunch along the way.

Hot tip: Newcastle Light Rail is a great way to maximise gallery time and minimise tired legs.  

Soak up Live Music

Rogue Scholar is a local favourite, open Thurs to Sun. Boasting a variety of free live music experiences every night, from a weekly open mic night to pub choirs and silent discos, Rogue Scholar is an intimate, character-filled venue. Stop by to experience Newcastle after dark and discover new and upcoming talent.

Hot tip: Casual eats and their very own Untapped Beers are perfect accompaniments to the vibrant atmosphere.

Interact with Supernova

Designed to inspire and engage curious minds of all ages, Supernova is one of three permanent exhibitions at the Newcastle Museum welcoming visitors with free entry year-round. Supernova celebrates science, maths, and engineering through a series of interactive and educational displays and is a favourite of stem-loving kids and adults alike.

Hot tip: Newcastle Museum has a dynamic calendar of visiting shows. Check online and book ahead for those.