When I told other tourists, travellers and backpackers I include Newcastle, NSW in my Aussie tour, I was declared nuts. “Nothing there” and “bogan” (hillbillie, chav, marginal, …) where the most heard comments. But Newcastle is included in the Lonely Planet top ten of secret gems and Luke showed me around.
Newcastle is the second oldest city in Australia and acted for many years as Sydney‘s main port. Today industry is still very important to Newcastle. It exports coal to China and heaps of other countries.
Newcastle, I’m told, with its suburbia an population, is a test case for companies in Australia. Many new products are launched in Newcastle to see if it catches on. After specific destinations as Melbourne, Alice Springs and Uluru, Brisbane and Townsville, I find it interesting to visit a typical medium sized Aussie city.
The main attractions of Newcastle? For me it’s the mix of historic town, industry and amazing beaches. Newcastle has a large surfers community. Hot surfer boys and skaters are all over town.
Yes, Newcastle can be rough. Some areas should be avoided by night. Coming-out isn’t an every day event. Glass is prohibited in many bars and pubs because ‘real men’ smash bottles and use them as weapons.
Yet Newcastle has plenty of charm. You have to experience the ocean baths, sea water pools next to the ocean. It’s the best of both worlds: you get the sea and the experience of the Pacific Ocean, yet it’s (more or less) protected as a pool.
I want to thank Sarah, Grant, Rose, Megan, Andrew and Luke for the wonderful time I had in Newcastle.