The industrial coastal city of Newcastle, two hours north of Sydney, has more to offer than coal – historic buildings, trendy beachfront eateries, friendly pubs and a burgeoning arts scene.
Newcastle Region Art Gallery houses one of the nation’s most substantial public art collections outside a major capital. The Aboriginal Outback Art Gallery in Mayfield, occupying a heritage-listed stone cottage built in 1852, showcases more than 1500 works from Arnhem Land and Central Desert artists.
Half a dozen patrolled ocean beaches lie within a few kilometers of town. The dramatic coastline is best viewed from the Bathers Way, a five-kilometer walk linking Nobbys and Merewether beaches.
If time permits, a day trip to the Hunter Valley, just over an hour’s drive inland, is an another attractive option. One of New South Wales’ premier viticultural districts, it also brims with gourmet restaurants, farms and open gardens.
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