Two hours north of Sydney you will discover the second largest city in New South Wales: Newcastle. Due to the location by the mouth of the Hunter River, Newcastle is known as the gateway to the Hunter Valley, however, it has so much more to offer than that. The city is rich in culture and heritage, yet it has come a long way from its roots as a coal and steel town to transform into the modern, chic, lively city that it is today.

You won’t be short of things to do in Newcastle, however, one of the things it is best known for is stunning beaches. Relax on the sand or take advantage of the exciting waves and patrolled swimming areas. Explore the sensational coastline on Bathers Way, a scenic 5km coastal walk, learning about the city's history as you wander.

Indulge in Newcastle’s rich culture on guided or self-guided walking tours. The CBD is home to plenty of historic buildings. Take in Fort Scratchley, Newcastle Museum, and Newcastle Art Gallery, as well as plenty of architectural wonders. Get better acquainted with the local wildlife at Blackbutt Reserve and Hunter Wetlands, or take a whale-spotting cruise.

When the sun begins to fade, enjoy a fantastic meal at one of the many excellent waterside cafes, bars, and restaurants that line the foreshore. Be sure to check out Newcastle's vibrant events calendar before you book your trip – with regular concerts, markets, and sports events, there's something fun for everyone.