The second most populated area in New South Wales Australia is the Newcastle area. It includes most of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas.
To get an idea of how awesome this area is the best thing to do is to head for Fort Scratchley Historic Site. From here you can get some truly panoramic views over the Pacific Ocean north to Nobby’s Lighthouse, Headland and the Harbor, and south across Newcastle Beach and Ocean Baths.
The Newcastle city skyline is dominated by the Anglican Cathedral dating from 1892. The cathedral is full of treasures such as a gold chalice and a remembrance book set that is adorned with precious stones, made from jewelry donated by locals who lost their loved ones in WW I. A self-guided tour brochure offers a look at such special highlights as the stained-glass window by Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris.
For fantastic views of the city and the surrounding waters climb Queens Wharf Tower. Located on the waterfront this obelisk hovers over King Edward Park. Across the river accessible by ferry is Stockton, a settlement with impressive views back towards Newcastle and shipwrecks exposed in its waters.
The Newcastle City Hall opened in 1929. It has an Old World kind of charm and impressive architecture, including sandstone walls and pillars, marble staircases, clock tower and amazing ballroom. Today it is also used for social gatherings. There is a concert hall, stage and upper gallery which is used by choirs, orchestras and for presenting plays and musicals.
Visitors to Maitland Gaol can choose to take a self-guided audio tour or a guided tour as part of a group. This heritage-listed goal features unique spaces tucked away within its great walls and people can hold their next function or event here including conferences, trade shows or corporate dinners.
If you are a believer in the paranormal you might like to join a Ghost Tour. In the East End many spooky things remind one of the dark history of Newcastle. Supposedly one can hear the clanks and groans of convicts who once worked in leg irons in the underground mine shafts in the settlement. You will hear fascinating stories and might bump into a ghost or two. Paranormal investigators retrace the steps of the earliest pioneer settlers. There are stops at well-known haunted sites that have a history of ghostly appearances and experiences.
If you want to hear stories of wrecks and rescues, the port and its city then head for The Newcastle Maritime Center. The restored wharf building has a collection which preserves the record of two hundred years of local maritime activity in Newcastle and the Hunter River. This is also a great location from which to experience and appreciate the workings of a modern port.
Take the fantastic two hour walk on the Bather’s Way. It stretches from the lighthouse at Nobby’s Headland to the coastal wilderness of Glenrock Reserve and the early coal workings at Burwood Beach. It is a most scenic five kilometer coatal walk. Along the way you’ll find yellow information signs giving information and helping you navigate. You can enjoy a wonderful barbecue lunch at one of the tree-lined parks along the way. When you want you can venture off-track and head for Darby Street, The Junction or the City Center for some coffee or to relax at a cafe.
Blackbutt Reserve offers nature trails, wildlife exhibits, children’s playgrounds and recreational facilities. It’s a great place to have a picnic or to get up close to nature. There are eucalypt forests and a restored rainforest that provides habitats for rare and vulnerable species. The wildlife exhibits let you view animals close-up.
The reserve offers many recreational opportunities among them barbecues, picnic facilities, photography, bird watching and peaceful places just to relax. There are over 10 kilometers of tracks for walkers and joggers and range from short to long and hilly.
The Blackbutt Kiosk is a shop that offers information on the reserve, gifts, souvenirs, cold drinks, tea and coffee and confectionery items.
Other highlights include public koala talks, a reptile show, critter encounters for onsite parties and events.