I moved (back) to Bondi about a month ago and I’ve been enjoying the beachy lifestyle to the fullest. Walking to the beach, getting a coffee on the way and a whole day of tanning and socializing with friends and housemates is what I do best. But I wouldn’t be Eef Explores if I didn’t do some exploring, so this weekend my travel buddy Jay and I went on a new adventure: let’s go and see Newcastle!
Newcastle, or ‘Newy‘ as the locals call it, is located about 160km north of Sydney and is Australia’s seventh largest city. It’s very easy to get there from Sydney by public transport. so on Thursday after work (I currently work as a Social Media & Email Marketer until the end of January) I rushed to the train station where I met Jay. Less than three hours later we arrived in Newcastle.
Where to stay
We were staying at The Grand Newcastle, an old pub which has been serving the Newy’s since 1891. With two bars downstairs and lovely boutique-style hotel rooms upstairs this was the perfect place to stay. The Grand is located on a stones throw from the beach, so as soon as we dropped off our bags Jay and I rushed to the beach to check out what Newcastle has to offer.
What to do: ocean baths!
If you’ve ever been to, or have seen images of Bondi Beach, you’ve seen the famous ocean pool at Bondi Icebergs. These kinds ‘ocean baths’ are to be found all over Australia. Newcastle didn’t have just one, not two, but three of these amazing swimming pools! Here’s where you can find them:
–The Newcastle Ocean Baths are located left of Newcastle’s main city beach. Not only are these baths a great place for a swim, they’re also where you want to be at sunrise.
-If you walk further right (when facing the ocean) you’ll arrive at another natural ocean bath. called the Bogey Hole. This one is my favorite of the three, with it’s rough surroundings and waves clashing up on the sides.
-Then continue your walk down Newy’s coastal line, and you’ll eventually end up at Merewether beach, and the Merewether ocean baths. These baths are super spacious, offer fantastic views and are very popular amongst the locals as well. One local I spoke to even called them ‘his favorite place in the world’.
Where to drink/eat
– Breakfast/lunch/coffee – We had breakfast at Moor, a cute coffee place where they not only serve breakfast or lunch, but where you can also enjoy dinner and a good glass of wine. Moor is located very close to the beach, so for us it was the perfect spot to start our day before we commenced on our walk from Newcastle Beach all the way to Merewether.
– Drinks – At first we thought Newcastle was pretty dead when it comes to its nightlife. The first night we were walking down the streets (on a Thursday night!!) but there was not a soul in sight and you could literally hear crickets! Apparently we weren’t looking in the right place. The next day we met up with a friend who asked some locals where to go, and we ended up at 5 Sawyers. A great place with a really good vibe if you feel like some cocktails, a glass of wine or even a cold beer.
Even though Newcastle is Australia’s seventh largest city, it still feels like a small and very friendly little town. It’s beaches aren’t overly crowded, the streets are quiet and clean and the people are very kind. If you plan a trip to Newcastle don’t expect to arrive in the hustle and bustle of a super vibrant city, because that’s not what Newcastle (in my opinion) is about. But if you’re looking for a peaceful getaway from the busy Sydney with beautiful beaches, stunning coastal walks and lovely places to eat then Newcastle is calling your name.