The historic port of Newcastle, two hours’ drive north of Sydney, is enjoying an almighty revival – and there’s no shortage of places to accommodate all the new visitors. Though its mining tradition continues today, the city is now known for its beautiful beaches, bustling cafe scene and bike trails – plus the world-class Hunters Valley wine region is just on its doorstep. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly beds, check out these great places to stay in Newcastle, Australia.
One for history-loving, fine-dining enthusiasts, Rydges Newcastle offers waterside suites with views over the city’s historic harbour. This luxury hotel is just across the road from the Newcastle Museum, where you can delve deeper into the city’s indigenous and colonial history, while Fort Scratchley is a short stroll along the coast from Rydges. The on-site Wharf 350 Bar & Restaurant serves up Sydney Rock oysters and gourmet red snapper – but the centrepiece of the property is the 25m (82ft) outdoor swimming pool perched on the harbour front.
Perfectly placed for the theatre-goers, The Clarendon Hotel is next to the city’s main theatre. Enjoy a glass or two of wine, sourced from the nearby Hunter Valley, in the hotel’s Art Deco Bar before you tuck into a few Aussie pub specials. Rooms and suites are sleek and modern, and you’re just moments away from the historic harbourside and the Central Business District (CBD).
You might think of Best Westerns as being a little drab. However this “Plus” variety offers mountain views and lush rainforest surrounds from its location in a bushland reserve. Take a few laps of the outdoor pool to work off the burgers from lunch at Babbingtons Bar & Grill. There are 95 spacious rooms, including the King Spa Suite and two-bedroom family apartments.
If you’re in Newcastle for the beach vibe, then Noah’s on the Beach is the place to stay. This is Aussie coastal living at its finest, as the hotel is located right on Newcastle’s oceanfront esplanade. Stroll out onto the white sands of Newcastle Beach, or just kick back with a burger and cold beer at the hotel’s beachfront restaurant, overlooking the Pacific.
With a prime location on King Street, you’re not more than a two-minute walk from Newcastle Beach when you book into the Novotel. In fact, this could be the best location for business or leisure, because two minutes in the other direction will bring you to the historic harbour and Newcastle’s central business district. There are 88 rooms with views of the harbour or the beach, while the Novotel’s Bistro Dalby serves up fresh seafood, kangaroo and Hunter Valley beef and wines.
Sports fans should book into the Nags Head Hotel – the laid-back accommodation is just a five-minute drive from Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium. Located in Adamstown, you can catch the Newcastle Knights playing rugby league or Newcastle Jets FC in the football league, then head back to the hotel for Aussie dining classics in the bistro. Choose from burgers, pizzas, tacos, wings and chicken parmies in a casual pub atmosphere.
Located in West Mayfield, The Gateway Inn is your entrance to Newcastle. The hotel looks out over the Hunter River, with 95 rooms and 25 multi-bedroom apartments to choose from. The hotel is outside the CBD, but you’re placed between the Hunter Wetlands National Park and the historic harbour; where nature meets the city. Order drinks at the Main Bar, have a feast at the Texas Bar-B-Q Grill, or snack on some panini and coffee at the Reload Cafe.
You’ll be the lucky one when you book a bed at Newcastle’s premier boutique hotel, made up of 30 contemporary rooms each containing a special touch: a quote about the concept of luck, hand-painted by local artist Brett Piva. This polished property is walking distance from all the best Newcastle has to offer, but you might never want to leave – the Lucky Hotel is also home to an uber-trendy gastropub.
Grand Hotel | Courtesy of Grand Hotel / Hotels.com
If you’re after comfortable pub accommodation in Newcastle, look no further than this charming 19th-century hotel. Its three storeys of neat rooms fill up with business travellers during the week and revellers on weekends, both benefitting from the central location. Pop downstairs for top quality pub grub – it’s advisable to book as the bistro is popular with both locals and tourists.
With just nine rooms, The Junction is a boutique hotel that embodies its own creative style. The signature animal print headboards in each room are certainly memorable. Down at the hotel bar, you’ll find an impressive range of 180 different wines, many of which have been carefully curated from nearby vineyards. The restaurant has an equally impressive menu, featuring Aussie classics such as beer-battered barramundi and Sydney oysters, alongside the likes of Javanese coconut curry and Baja fish tacos.
This hostel boasts a central location that’s almost as impressive as its history. The beautifully restored heritage building began life in the late 19th century as a gentleman’s club before being handed over to the local hospital to support the war effort. It was eventually converted into backpackers accommodation in the 1990s, retaining the building’s original character. Just a short stroll to the sand, Newcastle Beach YHA is the best budget option in town.