The beach and the city side-by-side, that’s just one of the amazing things about Newcastle. The fact you can be walking down the main street, turn left and the beach is suddenly there, still kinda melts my mind. Moreover, Newcastle has become a fantastic destination for food lovers, with trendy restaurants popping up overnight and alluring little coffee houses dotting street corners and hidden alleyways. Bright street art and cute boutiques, very big guns and cutting-edge tech, epic food scene and insane coffee game… Newcastle has it all and so much more!

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Rentals: Discover Cars
Transfers: Welcome Pickups
Insurance: Cover-More
SIM Cards: Simify

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Day One


First things first – coffee. Get yourself down to One Penny Black, one of my favourite Newcastle cafes. If it’s not too chilly, I recommend nabbing a seat outside and enjoying the fresh morning air. The decor here is lovely, with a rustic, charming and welcoming vibe. The service is fantastic and the food delicious, my favourite breakfast bite being the super-yummy avocado on toast with poached eggs (plenty of avo, lots of flavours!) Also, it’s important to note, the coffee is fantastic. Afterwards, take a stroll around the corner on Wolfe Street, heading up the hill, and down the laneway to your right, brightly adorned with street art of all shapes, sizes, and colours.

While Newcastle is a small place and easy to get around, you’re really going to enjoy it best if you can drive yourself from place to place and maximise your time. I’d recommend hiring a car for the trip, just the smallest, cheapest one is fine.

Hiring a car? We recommend booking it here

If you’re looking for a great way to get acquainted with Newcastle, climb aboard Newcastle’s Famous Tram for the 10:30 am or 12 pm tour. Now, guys, look, I get it… on paper (or webpage) it doesn’t sound like the heart-pumping activity your wanderlust dreams are made of but, I ain’t gonna lie, I really enjoyed the Tram ride! Owner and operator, Chris, does a great job of showing you around Newcastle in the historic tram, showing you great viewpoints, pointing out cool spots and sharing history too – It’s a great way to get the lay of the land, learn some stuff and do a bit of cool, nerdy sightseeing. Priced at $25 per adult ($5 per child) it’s actually really good value!

Update: Newcastle’s Famous Tram is now only available for group bookings but I’ve left this in here in case things change in the future.


At this stage of the day, I’d recommend you take in the very best views of Newcastle. Head up to Fort Scratchley, once a coastal defence installation (war/battle stuff) but now a really cool museum! Not only that, but the views up there are the very best Newcastle has to offer and, given entry is free, it’s a must-do. You can either wander around the grounds, soaking in the million-dollar views and the warm sunshine or join a guided tour, which is actually pretty cool cos you get to see some BIG guns and explore the tunnels.

Ready to unwind? Get your fine self over to the Merewether Surf House for lunch in the restaurant. Now, you guys, I’m going to have to insist you ring ahead and book yourself a seat along the windows, overlooking the beach and offering the BEST coastal views. The food here is to die for, honestly, the seafood is incredibly fresh, everything is cooked to perfection and is just so, so tasty. Amazing food, great service, ice-cold beers and unimpeded views of the water – it’s pretty much perfection.


Love food? Well, you’re going to love Subo. With its totally understated facade and simple fit-out, you won’t quite be prepared for the amazing food that’s coming your way. But, a word of warning, be sure to wear your stretchy pants because you aren’t going to want to pass up a single bite (actually, don’t do that, wear something better, this is a nice place.) Rather than being a hoity-toity ‘fine dining’ restaurant, Subo simply creates delicious, high-quality food in a relaxed setting that’s warm and welcoming. Subo serves, exclusively, a five-course set menu that varies with the season – a great way to sample the best, current, produce and experience Newcastle’s food scene.

Day Two


Another day, another breakfast! Start your second day in Newcastle the very best way possible, with a visit to Moor. I loved the chilled-out atmosphere at Moor, the kind of place you could sit for a little while, sipping coffee after coffee, soaking in the world around you. The breakfast menu boasts classic favourites, like bacon and poached eggs on sourdough, as well as Middle Eastern influences, like Shakshuka or their gorgeous brekky bowl. The coffee here is also fantastic, so be sure to show up hungry and in need of a good cup of get-up-and-go.

After breakfast, take a trip to Bogey Hole for stunning ocean views and, if the weather is warm enough, a swim. Also known as the Commandant’s Baths, Bogey Hole was originally constructed by convicts in 1820, for the private use of Lieutenant-Colonel James Thomas Morisset. Now, you can catch gorgeous ocean views from above and go for a dip that feels rather daring. I’d also recommend pausing on the walk down and stopping to take in the jagged coastline with waves crashing against it – a perfect spot for photos.

Bogey Hole Newcastle Best Views

If you find yourself in need of a pre-lunch, post-breakfast snack, head directly to Uprising. This fantastic local bakery produces a tantalising range of freshly baked goods, including amazing fresh bread, tarts, pies, and brioche concoctions that will melt your mind. I cannot, ever, in my life, turn down an opportunity to eat a citrus tart of any variety, so I had to try their lemon and white chocolate tart and, holy heck, it rocked my world. 10/10 would recommend.

Baked Uprising Newcastle Lemon Tart
There is a God.

Pro Tip: Don’t worry about running into traffic, because there isn’t really any! It’s great!


If you’re in the mood to stretch your legs and take in more of the waterside, I’d definitely recommend taking a bike ride along the waterfront and, if you fancy, around town too. We jumped aboard SwipeNRide Bikes, operated by BYKKO, on the waterfront side of Newcastle’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. We took a fantastic mid-morning ride along the water, stopping along the way, then heading up to Fort Scratchley. It was a really nice way to see things from a different angle and was actually really fun!

My next must-do recommendation for Newcastle is the incredibly cool, VRXP (Virtual Reality Experience).  This place is insanely fun and a really great way to experience something unique – trust me, you’ll want to be in there for hours! We were lucky enough to spend an hour and loved all the games and experiences we got to play, from meeting whales and jumping off buildings to flying around the world, fighting off an alien race and 3D painting a dark space while listening to Kendrick Lamar. Honestly, this was a real highlight experience for us!

Update: Unfortunately, VRXP has since moved to Adelaide (booooo!) but I’ve left this in here in case things change in the future.

After all the fun you’ll have had at VRXP, you’re going to be starving. Pop over to the Queen’s Wharf Hotel for lunch and take in the gorgeous water views, great food and cold drinks. The menu is decked with a range of tasty choices, like splitting a couple of pizzas, tucking into an assortment of seafood or splitting a few small dishes. We opted for the small dishes and spent a very relaxing hour watching the world go by.

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Queen's Wharf Hotel Newcastle


Wait until you’re good and hungry, then get yourself over to Rustica. This place has the coolest fit-out, with these amazing lanterns coming out of the ceiling like jagged shards of crystal. The menu here offers a range of Mediterranean options that will have your mind splitting in two, trying to decide what to get. The tapas are fantastic, honestly, just so good! We split three tapas and small plates, with a regional plate and dessert added on for good measure. The highlights were undoubtedly the incredible gnocchi (I’m still dreaming about it) and the insanely good chocolate fondant that, you guys, totally exploded with oozy, gooey chocolate when attacked with a spoon.

Pro Tip: It doesn’t take very long to get anywhere as everything’s close by, which makes getting around very easy and convenient

Where to stay

Need some ideas on where to stay in Newcastle? Here are three options with tips for three different trips (in no particular order):

1. Rydges Newcastle

Located along the water, the Rydges Newcastle offers gorgeous one-bedroom rooms with double doors that open to a modest balcony and gorgeous water views, perfect for sunset. Still easy walking distance to everything you’ll want to see, Rydges offers accommodation that feels like it’s in a space all its own. The one-bedroom apartment is plush and comfortable, sometimes a little too much, making it hard to want to leave the room. Leave the balcony doors open and a lovely water breeze comes in through the curtains.

We also loved the food, with the breakfast buffet offering good-quality favourites and a few fun extras, like fresh juice and DIY muesli stations (and soy milk ready to go! Yes!) and, for lunch, we really enjoyed the perfect plump ravioli. Even if you aren’t staying at Rydges, it’s worth checking the menu and popping in for lunch. Rydges Newcastle would be perfect for anyone taking a staycation or looking for somewhere special and comfortable to stay.

2. NOAH’s on the Beach

If you want great beach views, look no further than NOAH’s on the Beach. Newcastle’s only 4-star beachfront hotel features floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony. Located a short stroll from the CBD, harbour and a selection of great breakfast spots and restaurants, we loved that we could lay in with coffee (from a local coffee shop a stroll away) watching the surfers on Newcastle Beach. The staff were super friendly and knowledgeable and parking was free of charge under the hotel. We didn’t get to eat at the onsite restaurant but it looked good and has great views. NOAH’s on the Beach would be perfect for families, couples or business people simply because of the location.

Book NOAH’s on the Beach here

3. The Lucky Hotel

You’ll find The Lucky Hotel right in the heart of Newcastle, with a uniqueness all its own. The building dates back to the 1800s and is a super cool slice of Newcastle’s history. It’s been renovated and restored, with a quirky, uber-cool vibe. With the bar and restaurant downstairs, the hotel rooms above have direct and all-too-easy access to The Lucky’s great American BBQ menu. You’ll find yourself feasting on chips and burgers, scarfing down pulled pork and sticking your face directly into their amazing brownie bowl, in no time at all. The rooms are small and simple, offering the essentials (free wifi, anyone?!) and comfort to provide low-fuss lodgings for weary travellers. This spot would be perfect for younger guests or anyone in town to catch a gig or have a bad and boujee weekend.

Book The Lucky Hotel here

Best travel resources for your trip!

If you found this post useful, please use the affiliate links below. I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Rest assured, these are the products and services I love and use. Read the disclaimer for more information. Thanks for your support! – Matt.

Agoda – hotels – hotels
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Discover Cars – rentals
Simify – SIM cards
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TourRadar – tours
Welcome Pickups – transfers

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