Penal-colony-turned-cosmopolitan-hotspot, Newcastle is a city of great surprises.

Often overlooked in favour of neighbouring tourism hub Sydney, Newcastle has been referred to as Australia’s most underrated metropolis.

Just two hours north of Sydney, Newcastle teems with things to see, do and discover. A relaxed casual lifestyle and a thriving industrial trade have seen the city grow one of Australia’s most promising dining scenes.

Eating precincts dot the waterfront and suburbs, and highlight a diverse array of cuisines and dining options.

Newcastle East boasts a range of upmarket restaurants that enjoy sweeping coastal views. Hamilton’s Beaumont Street is lined with authentic Mediterranean eateries, sidewalk cafes and lively pubs. Darby Street in Cooks Hill is a bohemian hive, blending cafe culture with galleries and boutique shopping. While Newcastle’s most sophisticated dining area, Honeysuckle Drive has gained national attention for it dazzling collection of oceanfront restaurants and bars.

The opportunity to dine in impressive surrounds isn’t just restricted to the city centre.

Located under two hours away, amid a landscape of rolling green hills, the Hunter Valley showcases some of Australia’s most renowned vineyards, wineries and cellar-door restaurants. Spring is the perfect time visit the Hunter, as the days are lazy, the air is crisp and the events calendar is jam-packed.

Home to superstar bands like Silverchair and The Screaming Jets, Newcastle is also celebrated for its music culture. A large underground music scene nurtures local bands  in particular punk rock and hardcore acts. 

Venues like the Cambridge Hotel, Lizotte’s and Newcastle Panthers showcase the biggest names in national and international touring artists. While annual festivals like Fat As Butter, Sound Summit and Wollombi Music Festival highlight the area’s love of, and dedication to, music and all things cultural.

Music isn’t Newcastle’s only form of entertainment, a number of exciting showcases also frequently tour through the city.

Coming up in November 2012, the world-famous Wiggles take the stage at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, with Anthony, Murray, Greg and Jeff preforming in their last world tour together, The Wiggle Celebration Tour. The girls of Roller Derby Xtreme also arrive at the Entertainment Centre in November (on their first tour outside of the United States) for a rough and tumble display of action sport. 

Exciting dining opportunities and an impressive calendar of events and performances, coupled with a stunning landscape of beautiful beaches and picturesque valleys, make Newcastle a superb holiday destination.

Discover Newcastle