Newcastle, New South Wales
Home to Australia’s oldest seaport and one of the largest coal-export harbours in the world, Newcastle is much more than just industry. It’s also blessed with some of the friendliest locals in the country, as well as some of the nation’s best surf.
Located approximately 150 kilometres north of Sydney, Newcastle is the second biggest city in NSW and is the economic and operational hub of the Hunter Valley – a region that encompasses beaches, rivers, mountains, wetlands, and a plethora of vineyards.
Heritage-listed buildings – including the Courthouse, former Customs house, Post Office and Newcastle Railway Station – give the CBD area character, while the recent cultural renaissance taking the city by storm is injecting much-needed life into it.
Voted a top ten city in Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel 2011’ guide, Newcastle’s rich history, friendly locals, and stunning natural assets are sure to impress.
Cruise ships dock at Dyke Point within the Newcastle Harbour, about 500 metres from the CBD. The port lies within walking distance of the city centre, and a range of transport options such as taxis, trains, buses and car rental offices can be found just after leaving the harbour.
Located in Newcastle Harbour, Dyke Point is able to handle large volumes of passengers. It is only a short stroll to the city centre, with a number of important facilities found along the way.
- Visitor Information
- Restaurants, cafés and bars
- Car hire booking offices.
Taxis, trains and buses are within walking distance of the port. Cars can be rented at numerous booking offices within the CBD. A number of hotels are scattered throughout the city centre and are easily found.
How to Get Around
There are a number of ways of travelling to and from Dyke Point in the Newcastle Harbour. Most attractions in the city can be reached on foot.
To explore outlying regions, visitors can use taxis, take buses or catch trains. It’s also possible to hire a car and explore the region independently.
Travel times to and from the port:
- It is a 20 minute journey to Newcastle’s heritage architecture
- It is a 30 minute journey to the Christ Church Cathedral.
- It is a 15 minute journey to the Hunter Wetlands Centre
- It is a 7 minute journey to Fort Scratchley
- It is a 10 minute journey to Bar Beach.
- Currency – The local currency in Australia is the Australian dollar. Coins come in the following denominations: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2. Notes come in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.
- Time Zone – Newcastle is on Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), which is 10 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather – Newcastle has a warm and humid climate with hot summers and cool winters. The warmest time to visit Newcastle is during January, when daytime temperatures average 29 degrees Celsius. During July, temperatures during the day often hover around 17 degrees Celsius. Around 945mm of rain falls annually in Newcastle, the most occurring between June and August.
- Hunter Wetlands Centre – A swampy 45 hectare ecosystem awaits you at the Hunter Wetlands Centre. A haven for over 200 bird and animal species, visitors here can hire a canoe for two hours and explore the picturesque Ironbark Creek on their own. Extensive walking and hiking trails also snake through the entire wetlands, giving visitors a truly immersive experience in one of NSW’s premier ecological wonders. For a bit of extra fun, Segway tours around the park operate every Sunday. The Hunter Wetlands Centre is open 7 days a week from 9am to 4pm (but closed over the Christmas and New Year period).
- Nobby’s Head – Originally an island, this headland was joined to the mainland by convicts in the early 19th century. At the top of the headland sits a lighthouse and meteorological station with commanding views over the southern entrance of Newcastle Harbour and Stockton Beach.
- Fort Scratchley – An historic site perched high above Newcastle Harbour and offering panoramic views of the ocean, coastline, harbour and city, Fort Scratchley is a former coastal defense installation that’s over 130 years old. Visitors can take a guided tour of the fort 6 days a week from 10am to 4pm. It is located just opposite Nobby’s Beach Reserve.
- Bar Beach – Located 1.6 kilometres southwest of Newcastle CBD, Bar Beach is one of the better beaches in the city. It features a patrolled swimming area and a sheltered rock pool for young children, and is quite popular with joggers. The beach also contains picnic tables and change room facilities.