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About Newcastle

Newcastle is New South Wales’ second biggest city, situated on the east coast of Australia, two hours north of Sydney. It’s a beautiful coastal city, with an impressive mix of spectacular beaches, cafes and restaurants, and outdoor experiences.

We enjoy a humid, subtropical climate in Newcastle, which means warm summers and mild winters – much like the rest of Australia’s east coast.

During summer (December to February) we enjoy an average maximum temperature of 26C and low of 20C, while during winter (June-August) our average daytime temperature is a high of 18C and a low of 10C. For up-to-the-minute weather forecasts, please visit the Bureau of Meteorology. 

The Newcastle Visitor Information Centre is located opposite the Civic light rail stop at 430 Hunter Street, Newcastle. Professional, welcoming staff will happily share tips for discovering our city – from iconic sites to the best places to eat, shop and visit. You can pick up city maps, walking guides and other tourist information or purchase locally-made souvenirs and Newcastle inspired merchandise.

Getting here and around

Buses frequently run from Newcastle Airport to the city – you can either pay cash or use an Opal card, which is the prepaid travel card for all of NSW. Car rental is also available at the airport.

To travel on buses, trains or ferries in Newcastle you can pay using your debit/credit card, or you can use an Opal card. This is a prepaid travel card and can be bought from many newsagents and Post Offices in New South Wales. Alternatively, you can buy an Opal card online before you visit.

Yes, Uber is available in Newcastle, and we also have a great network of local taxis, available via 13Cabs.


The water temperature is pretty good all year round – peaking in January around 23C-26C, with a low of 16C-21C in July.

We have some awesome spots in Newcastle to catch a few waves. Merewether Beach, Bar Beach, Dixon Park Beach and Newcastle Beach are all popular with surfers. For those learning to surf, head to Nobbys Beach.

Check out our Newcastle beach guide

All of our beaches are child-friendly, however, Merewether and Newcastle beaches both have enclosed sea-water baths that are great for kids to swim in.

Check out our Newcastle beach guide

Top things to do

Newcastle has a rich and diverse history, with so much to keep the history buff intrigued for days on end. From Fire and Earth, Newcastle Museum’s permanent exhibition on the city’s industrial history, to Fort Scratchley (our coastal defence building, dating back to 1882), from the iconic Bogey Hole (sea bath, the city’s oldest European construction) to the Lock-Up (the city’s former police cells) and Convict Lumberyard, Newcastle has history seeping out of its pores.  Make sure you spend some time visiting the Anzac Memorial Walk – spectacular views, stunning architecture and close-to-home history combine for a truly memorable experience.

Check out our Fort Scratchley blog post to learn more about this fascinating place prior to your tour or head to our itineraries page and take yourself on a self-guided tour.

There are plenty of great spots to eat and drink in Newcastle. Darby Street in Cooks Hill has a cool, relaxed vibe and is home to some superb restaurants and bars. Beaumont Street in Hamilton is one of Newcastle's most vibrant 'eat streets' with its eclectic mix of sidewalk cafes, restaurants and thriving pub scene. If dinner and drinks with accompanying water views is more your thing, head to Honeysuckle. There’s also an awesome array of venues around the city centre. Take your pick, or check out our eat + drink section.

Newcastle has a great nightlife. There are plenty of bars and clubs in the city centre, Honeysuckle offers a stunning waterfront dining and bar experience, while Darby Street has a number of uber-cool places to explore. For more information, check out our Newcastle After Dark guide!

For trendy independent shops, head to Darby Street – there’s an eclectic mix of retailers and products that will have you reaching for the plastic. Alternatively, Newcastle’s home to an array of markets every weekend, where you’ll find the city’s creatives selling some wonderful, unique products.

If you love to run, you’ll love Newcastle. It’s the perfect way to explore the city.

From running along the beaches (if your calves can stand it!) to jogging along Bathers Way; there’s a run for everyone.  Every Saturday morning, three Park Runs are held in the city, at Carrington, Cook’s Hill and Blackbutt Reserve, while each April the NewRun takes place. There are also several triathlon and trail running events throughout the year.

Cruises visiting Newcastle arrive at Queens Wharf. From there you can enjoy a stroll along the harbour front to Honeysuckle, where there are plenty of places to stop for a meal or refreshments. Newcastle Museum is a 10-minute walk, Nobbys Lighthouse and beach and the Hunter Street Mall are all in close proximity.


We’re extremely proud to be a Supercars venue, with the final Coates Hire Newcastle 500 race of the season taking place towards the end of November each year. The 2.6km street circuit takes place in the eastern end of the city centre, Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle Beach, Nobbys Beach and Newcastle Harbour.

Surfest takes place every summer (usually February-March) at Merewether Beach. Surfers from across the world compete in the event that’s been a city staple since 1984.