Newcastle area


Visit iconic Merewether Beach

The train journey from Sydney to Newcastle is delightful. You'll cross the Hawkesbury River and travel through the gorgeous Central Coast before arriving in Newcastle, home to a rich maritime history and one of Australia's iconic surfing beaches, Merewether Beach.

  • Surfhouse Restaurant, Merewether Surfhouse Newcastle
  • Newcastle Beach

Family day trip ideas for Newcastle

An enjoyable way to experience the beauty of the coast north of Sydney is on a train to Newcastle, the second-largest city in NSW. The journey, via the Central Coast, is less than three hours from Central Station to Newcastle, where there are buses to beaches and other top attractions.

Merewether Beach is one of Australia's National Surfing Reserves and home to the international Surfest surfing competition and festival every summer. The waves helped shape the success of Mark Richards, who was crowned world surfing champion four times.


Check the events calendar when planning your trip. Enjoy daily travel caps and the $2.50 per person Sunday cap using Opal cards on public transport from Sydney to Newcastle and the Hunter, as well as buses on the Central Coast, Newcastle and Hunter, and the Stockton Ferry in Newcastle.

The city also offers heritage tours and Fort Scratchley Historic Site has spectacular views of the harbour and the vast Pacific Ocean. During whale-watching season, Nova Cruises will take you to where humpbacks play in the sparkling blue waters. Other things to do in this vibrant city include the Bathers Way, a spectacular coastal walk, and visits to Newcastle Museum and Newcastle Art Gallery.

Whale watching at Newcastle harbour

You'll find many kid-friendly cafes and restaurants, and if you're planning a weekend escape, there are accommodation options to suit a range of budgets. And you can also travel by train from Newcastle to Maitland in under an hour for a fascinating tour of the historic Maitland Gaol.

  • Frankies Place, Darby Street, Newcastle

    Eating out in Newcastle

    From its hip city centre to Hamilton’s Beaumont Street to Darby Street in Cooks Hill, there's plenty to love about Newcastle's food scene. Go by train and discover excellent dining options just steps from Newcastle's suburban stations, and take a bus to the city centre and waterfront areas.

  • Fort Scratchley, Newcastle

    Explore history

    Walk past Customs House and up to Fort Scratchley Historic Site for fabulous ocean views. Then you can either walk the length of Nobby’s Beach to the lighthouse, or south along Shortland Esplanade to lovely King Edward Park. Don't forget to check out the art deco Newcastle Ocean Baths.

  • Nobbys Beach, Newcastle

    Beaches and Surfing

    Newcastle is blessed with amazing beaches in easy reach of the city centre. Nobbys Beach and Bar Beach are great for swimmers. Newcastle and Merewether beaches are great for a family day out. A popular surf spot is The Stretch, an area which runs from Merewether Beach to Bar Beach.

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