Introduction to Newcastle, Australia
Newcastle might not be as well-known or as sought-after as Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, but Australia’s second oldest and sixth largest city still has much to recommend it. Interesting historical and architectural sites; artistic and cultural gems; beautiful beaches bathed in sunshine; and more, Newcastle’s got it all.
After being discovered by Lieutenant John Shortland while he chased escaped convicts from Sydney, Newcastle quickly became one of Australia’s most important and infamous cities; a major exporter of coal nicknamed the ‘hellhole’ by notorious criminals who were sent here to mine materials as part of their punishments.
Although still considered a ‘coal city’, the Newcastle of today is anything but hell-like. In fact, this thriving modern metropolis is an absolute delight with much to recommend it. You’ll discover superb beaches; fine examples of historic architecture; fantastic bars and restaurants; trendy galleries and interesting museums; high-end shops and boutiques; and much more here, all topped-off by New South Wales’ glorious sun-soaked climate.
Architectural and historical highlights include Christ Church Cathedral – built between 1892 and 1979; and rebuilt after an earthquake in 1997 – and Fort Scratchley which, as the only fort on the Australian coast to fire at an enemy (the Japanese in World War Two), is one of the city’s most iconic historic sites. For a taste of Newcastle’s exciting arts and culture, the Civic Theatre – one of Australia’s great grand theatres; the bustling Darby Street Precinct; the Foghorn Brewhouse – which crafts and serves delicious local beers; the Art Gallery; and the Maritime Centre are all worth visiting.
To encounter natural delights, Blackbutt Nature Reserve, with its rainforest and animal exhibits; Hunter Wetlands Centre; and Glenrock State Reserve are all within reach. Or if you would prefer to simply relax and make the most of the sunshine, Dixon Park – popular for surfing and other water sports; Horseshoe Beach; Merewether Beach; Newcastle Beach – one of Australia’s best beaches; and Nobby’s Beach, a hot spot for swimming and sunbathing, are sure to appeal.
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Explore Newcastle, Australia with Fred. Olsen
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