Newcastle, Australia is one of the most popular resorts on the mainland as it has undeniable advantages for the most diverse leisure activities. From its gorgeous beaches and seafront promenade to its parks and squares, you’ll find recreation and walking, galleries and exhibitions, and breweries and distilleries. The city has a rich historical and cultural heritage, ancient architecture, and a unique national character.
Overview of the city
Newcastle is situated on Australia’s east coast, at the mouth of the Hunter River and buffeted by the Tasman Sea. It is the second-largest city in the state of New South Wales, second only to Sydney, which is 162 km away.
The city was founded in 1804 as a penal colony for British convicts. Newcastle’s rapid growth and development was helped by the discovery of rich deposits of high quality hard coal which are still mined and exported today. Newcastle was named after the city of the same name in Britain, which at the beginning of the 19th century was already a major center of coal mining. Today the city mines not only hard coal, has a well developed automotive and chemical industry and shipbuilding.
As for the weather, Newcastle has a subtropical climate with an ocean influence. Summers are humid and really hot, while winters are quite warm. The average annual temperature ranges from +18 to +27°C. Due to such weather conditions, tens of thousands of tourists, including many professional surfers, visit Newcastle all year round.
Newcastle offers excellent conditions for tourists. This place is great for surfers and surfing professionals, nature lovers, wine connoisseurs, the history of the city, aviation, as well as those who love outdoor activities – hiking, cross-country skiing, etc. One of the favorite activities for visitors to Newcastle is watching the ships in the city’s harbor. The waterfront here, studded with restaurants and bars, is a great place for romantic evening strolls.
Thanks to Newcastle’s mild climate, there are plenty of beach holiday makers year-round. There are several excellent beaches around the city, including Stockton to the north. Because of the presence of coastal waves, Newcastle in Australia – a favorite place for surfers, there are even held international competitions. And for extreme lovers, Newcastle offers a hot air balloon flight over the city’s harbor, a visit to the bush, and sailing out to sea with a yacht to communicate with dolphins and whales.
The most interesting places in the city are considered the harbor and lighthouse Nobby, the waterfront and Honeysuckle complex, which has preserved the old shipyards. Near the harbor is Fort Scratchley, part of the city’s maritime defense during the world wars. Here you can see an exhibition of the history of the city and look at the wreck of the Norwegian bulk carrier “Sygna”.
Other historic Victorian buildings include Christ Church, the customs building, the city courthouse, the old fort, the post office, and the train station. Also of interest are the Maritime Center and the World Fighter Planes Museum, where tourists will be shown spectacular flights of American fighter planes from a nearby base.
Those who prefer eco-tourism should look out for Barrington Tops National Park, located in the northwest, which preserves pristine subtropical forests and rare species of flora and fauna. The city is also home to a wide variety of parks, theaters, galleries, museums, and concert venues. There are several squares along the coast where you can go roller skating, jogging, or just have a picnic.
Finally, on the west side of town you can visit and tour the wineries, sampling some of Australia’s best wines.
Accommodation and dining in Newcastle
Newcastle has a huge range of hotels and restaurants to suit all tastes. The most popular hotels in Newcastle are the Junction Hotel, Merewether Motel, Crowne Plaza Newcastle, Novotel Newcastle Beach, The Clarendon Hotel, and The Executive Inn.
Among the cafes and restaurants we recommend to pay attention to Subo, Paymasters, Meet, Blue Door Cafe, Bocados Spanish Kitchen, Sapphire Indian Restaurant. In Newcastle, Australia, there are many international cuisines, including Indian, Spanish, Mediterranean, French, Japanese, and American.
How to get there?
To visit the city, you’ll need to fly into Sydney International Airport, as Newcastle Williamtown Airport only serves domestic flights. From Sydney, the journey of 162 km to your destination can be made by plane, train, bus or car.
Air travel between Sydney and Newcastle is very scenic, but it is quite an expensive way to travel. A second option is to take a Sydney Seaplanes gyroplane from Sydney. This pleasure is also not cheap, but the quick service and convenient location of the company’s office become significant advantages. The third way to get to Newcastle from Sydney is by bus or train. This way is more budget-friendly, but time costs increase significantly.
Finally, you can rent a car. The travel time from Sydney to Newcastle is about 2 hours. Take the M1 (formerly known as the F3) Pacific Motorway from Wahroonga, near Hornsby on the Upper North Shore.
Newcastle and other cities in Australia
Australia, a country located on the whole continent of the same name. It is a warm, sunny country with its own individual features that set it apart from other countries. Apart from mainland Australia, the country extends to small coastal islands and one of the most famous islands, Tasmania. As you know, the development of the country followed the discovery of gold reserves, which successfully began to be extracted. According to this, small settlements began to form in the territory, which by now have become cities. Some of these cities will be described below.
Newcastle is home to New South Wales with a population of 140,000, the capital of the Hunter region, and is the second largest city in the Australian state. In the past it was an important center for the steel industry; today it is an important port. Newcastle is located about 160 km northeast of Sydney. It was inhabited by the original Awabakal and Worim tribes before Europeans arrived here. The first settlers came here in the late 18th century and founded a village. It grew slowly, was first called Coal River and later became Kingstown . It was not until 1804 that it was renamed Newcastle, and that year is considered the founding year of the modern city. As it was rich in coal deposits, the city was named after its British namesake, who was also famous for mining this black gold.
History of the city
History of the city
One of the reasons Newcastle was founded was to establish a penal colony. It was here until 1824 that the worst criminals, who could not be dealt with in Sydney, were put. Because of them, it was given the nickname “Hell” instead . Eventually it was recognized that Newcastle as a prison colony was too close to Sydney, so nearly 1,000 prisoners had to be moved to the more distant Port Macquarie. The main reason for building the city, however, was the river that carried coal from the Hunter Valley. After all, the town literally depended on coal mining and the local steel mills. At the time, Newcastle was an architecturally and geographically chaotic place. Buildings grew as profits grew, and urban development was largely dependent on chance.
Interesting places in the city
Nowadays, it is this confusion that attracts tourists to the city and makes Newcastle so interesting. The city borders the bay and the streets climb the surrounding hills. Although Newcastle remains an industrial city, it has a wonderful beauty and some unique charm. The main artery is Hunter Street, which is lined with buildings of various architectural styles. The courthouse is built in what is known as late free classicism. The court chambers are in high Victorian style, and the post office building is inspired by the Palladian Basilica in Venice . Christ Church Cathedral is the epitome of a masterful and impressive display of Victorian Gothic.
Interesting places in the city
In the city, you can visit the Newcastle Contemporary Art Gallery, which features works by Australia’s most famous artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. Among others, of course, are works by Newcastle natives such as William Dobell, Arthur Boyd or Brett Whiteley . Of interest on the waterfront is Queens Wharf Pier, which was rebuilt in the 1980s to mark its 200th anniversary. On the south side of the bay at the end of a long causeway stands the Nobbis Lighthouse . It is worth a visit just for the beautiful view of the skyline of old Newcastle.
If you go further, you can get to Stretchley Fort, which was built to defend against the Russians who came to Newcastle in the 1880s in search of coal. The fort was never used for military purposes until World War II. It was first shelled in the 1940s when the city was targeted by Japanese snipers. There are beautiful beaches on both sides of the entrance to the port, which are particularly popular with surfers. About 20 km to the south lies huge Lake Macquarie, named after the former governor, which is four times the size of Sydney Harbour. Due to its size, it is an ideal place for a variety of water sports. On the west shore is the village of Wangi Wangi where Dobell’s House stands. This house was once home to the famous local artist William Dobell.
The sunny town of Geraldton.
In Western Australia, just north of Perth, is the city of Geraldton, with a population of 26,000. It is washed by the waters of Champion Bay. With an average of eight hours of sunshine a day, Geraldton is often called the “Sun City”. People from all over Australia come here for its pleasant climate and great water sports opportunities.
As the winds are often strong, Geraldton is a popular place, especially for windsurfers. The center of the world for them is primarily the beach of Mohammed. The history of European colonization goes back to 1628, when a rebellion broke out on the Dutch ship Batavia. The ship eventually sank on the nearby islands of Houtman Abrolhos. As punishment, two members of the crew were left ashore. In 1721, another Dutch ship, the Zuytdorp, sank in the surrounding waters, of which few men survived, and they supposedly did not stay long. Champion Bay itself was first explored in 1849, and a lead mine was discovered shortly thereafter. This preceded the formation of the town of Geraldton.
The sunny town of Geraldton.
Over time, Geraldton became a port center for the lead trade. Today, the town is better known for its lobster factory and a large fleet of crawfish fishing boats. However, the city also has a number of interesting architectural monuments . Of the historic buildings, the beautiful Byzantine Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier, built between 1916 and 1938, stands out. But Geraldton has another, more modern cathedral, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, decorated with beautiful stained glass windows.
There’s also the Geraldton Maritime Museum , where the remains of shipwrecks are preserved. For a taste of the town’s history, there’s the old railway station with exhibits on display that give a fascinating insight into the region’s history, nature, and geology. Also worth a visit is the Point Moore Lighthouse with its distinctive red and white stripes. It was brought here from Britain in 1878 and has been in continuous use ever since.
However, the first lighthouse in Geraldton was the lighthouse keeper’s cottage from 1870. Today it is no longer in operation and is the home of the Historical Society. Geraldton Art Gallery is considered the finest gallery in all of Western Australia. It features works by local artists from private and public collections. If you want a unique panoramic view of the city and the ocean, the Separation Point or Mount Tarcoola Lookout is worth a visit.
In the North Queensland area is the town of Port Douglas, which has three and a half thousand inhabitants and was once a small fishing village . Later it was a place full of gold prospectors and sailors. Although today it is a popular resort, the town has managed to retain its peaceful rustic character.
Port Douglas is about 75 km from Cairns. It is located in an idyllic area with warm and sunny weather. Only two seasons alternate with each other here. The first, the rainy season, which lasts from December until the end of March, when the climate is hot and humid and nature takes on a fresh green hue . The second period, the drought, which lasts from April to November. During this part of the year, it is warm during the day and pleasantly cold at night. The water temperature in the Pacific ranges from 27 to 28 degrees Celsius.
History of the city’s founding
Port Douglas was founded during the gold rush of the 1950s . However, it was later eclipsed by the Port of Cairns, which became the most important port in the region. Today it is hard to believe that during the gold rush eight thousand people, mostly gold diggers and sailors, lived here. At that time there were about twenty inns and fifty pubs in the town. After 1886, the fever died down, people left the town, and the town fell into oblivion. Only a handful of residents were left, forced to leave the city in 1911. A devastating cyclone swept through and flattened most of the buildings.
A new era of prosperity began in the early 1980s with the construction of the luxurious five-star Sheraton Mirage Resort in Port Douglas. Since then, the first tourists started coming here and the town began to become a seaside resort. Today tourists have a wide range of accommodation, from basic to luxurious. The town is criss-crossed by a broad Macrossan Street, which is the main artery of the town. It is a typical example of a former ox-drawn carriageway. Today, however, it’s decorated with 19th century houses, banks, hotels, and luxury restaurants. There’s also a shopping center and gold jewelry stores. One of the most beautiful buildings of the 19th century is the Courthouse Hotel. It was one of the few that survived the devastating cyclone of 1911.
History of the city’s founding
There is an interesting church on the outskirts of the harbor that has a beautiful view of the sea instead of an altar. Every Sunday you can visit the market of the city park Anzac, where many tropical fruits are sold. Port Douglas also attracts beautiful beaches, water sports and unspoiled nature. The coast borders the Four Mile Beach, a 4 kilometer long sandy beach. Popular activities include surfing, kitesurfing, and hiking.
There is also a golf course. The city is a popular destination for language internships. According to Australian Traveler magazine , it was ranked #3 in the top 100 cities in Australia. Port Douglas is an ideal starting point for exploring the surrounding area. Quicksilver ships dock at the port, heading out to the Great Barrier Reef. These trips involve diving and snorkeling in the crystal clear sea. The local underwater world will be a great place for diving enthusiasts.