Things to do
Food, Wine & Brews
If indulging in good food, wine and craft beer is a favourite past time, you have come to the right place - Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter Valley Wine Country are renowned for all of the above and more! Woven into the wine experience are countless active & relaxing activities such as golf, and spas, wine & food schools as well as gardens & aerial activities. Newcastle is building a reputation for its love of craft beer and fine wine. Visit a range of boutique beer venues such as the Grain Store Craft Beer Cafe, The Hop Factory and brand new microbrewery Foghorn Brewhouse. If wine is more your scene; immerse yourself in our small bar culture by visiting La Passe Temps, The Reserve Wine Bar or see if you can find our speakeasy venues Coal & Cedar and The Koutetsu hidden amongst the city buildings.
Sun, Sand & Surf
Newcastle & Lake Macquarie are home to some of the country’s most picturesque and iconic beaches. Merewether Beach, declared a national surfing reserve and host to Australia’s largest surfing festival Surfest is also home to one of the largest ocean baths in the Southern Hemisphere. A unique natural attraction, the sea caves are located at the southern end of Caves Beach, a popular, patrolled family beach. The sea caves are best explored on low tide, however, are accessible at other times depending on swell and weather conditions. Or Visit Catherine Hill Bay, a NSW heritage-listed, character-filled town that won a place in Australia’s 101 Best Beaches in 2012 and again in 2016.
Arts & Culture
Discover Newcastle's historical history by visiting Fort Scratchley; prominently positioned overlooking Nobbys and Newcastle Beaches and the harbour. From the grounds explore the city scape with 360° views of Newcastle or take a step back in time with a guided tunnel tour. The Newcastle Museum will keep the entire family entertained (including the big kids). Explore Newcastle's Story through a range of exhibitions or give your brain a work out in the Supernova hands-on science centre.The Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery and Dobell House are the premier cultural attractions in the area. The art gallery and surrounding cultural precinct is award winning, housing the gallery, a restaurant and cafe, seminar facilities and an outdoor sculpture park.
If you love to get out and about, Newcastle & Lake Macquarie provides a plethora of self-guided walking tours, coastal shared pathways, beautiful park lands, state forests and national parks to explore. The Fernleigh Track is a popularly shared pathway built along a former rail line connecting the cities of Lake Macquarie and Newcastle. The track travels through a wide range of natural environments including Belmont Wetlands State Park and is suitable for walking and cycling. Other paths include 5km Bathers Way, Newcastle Memorial Walk & Warners Bay Foreshore Shared Pathway.
The Lake supports a wide range of recreational activities that draw visitors to the area, from adventure sports on the water to more passive activities such as walking on the foreshore. More examples of lake activities include fishing, sailing, cruising, kayaking, windsurfing, water-skiing, wakeboarding, hiring a boat, swimming, cycling on the foreshore and picnics.
Adventure and Adrenaline
If you’re after an adrenaline rush or looking to do something a little adventurous, visit Lake Macquarie Airport. The airport offers 20-minute, high-intensity aerobatic flights with Australia’s number one aviator Matt Hall or one of his experienced pilots. You can also choose to skydive over Lake Macquarie for the ultimate adrenaline rush or if you prefer a more scenic flight, there’s a number of different activities to suit all thrill seekers.
Lake Macquarie Variety Playground is Australia’s largest all-abilities playground. Measuring almost two hectares, the playground contains slides, flying foxes, swings, water and music play areas, climbing frames and more. Located adjacent is Sal’s by the Lake cafe, modern amenity facilities and a picnic and BBQ area. Speers Point Park, in which the Lake Macquarie Variety Playground is situated, is the City’s flagship park and has recently undergone significant upgrades, including the construction of the City’s first fenced dog park, a new fitness trail and new market promenade.
There is no shortage of activities to keep every member of the family entertained during your stay in the Hunter Region. Popular attractions include the Hunter Valley Zoo, Hunter Valley Gardens, Lake Macquarie Variety Playground, sea caves at Caves Beach, Tree Tops Adventure Park and Surfest Surf Lessons.