Looking to get back in touch with nature? Well then look no further, because Newcastle is home to some of the most stunning and scenic surrounds in New South Wales. With gorgeous beaches, secluded lagoons, and native flora and fauna galore, Newcastle is just an outdoor adventure wonderland waiting to be explored.
To make the most of nature, we have rounded-up our favourite outdoor and adventure experiences in Newcastle.
For adventure-seekers, CoastXP is the only business you need to know. This adventure tourism company provides a host of amazing experiences that combine sightseeing and adrenalin. From helicopter tours to whale encounters, you have to include one of their outdoor adventure experiences on your next Newcastle trip!
TreeTop Adventure Park combines exploration and play, making it the perfect family-friendly adventure. Discover an exciting new world, high up in the treetops, made up of a vast network of obstacles like rope ladders, tunnels and zip lines. You’ll experience a whole new sense of gravity and appreciation for nature as you make your way through the self-guided course.
Blue Gum Hills Regional Park, TreeTops Road, Minmi
Take your sightseeing adventure into your own hands by making the most of Newcastle’s electric bike-share service Bykko. There are bike hire stations throughout the Newcastle CBD, Honeysuckle, Newcastle West, Wickham, The Junction and Bar Beach, so you won’t have to worry about pick up and drop off and you’re guaranteed to get your hands on one.
Newcastle and Merewether Ocean Baths
The best (and cheapest) outdoorsy thing to do in Newcastle is the seaside pools. First, there’s the Newcastle Ocean Bath, opened in 1922, and stands unique thanks to its beautiful art deco facade and short walk from the CBD. And second, there’s the Merewether Ocean Bath, opened in 1935, and is thought to be the largest in the southern hemisphere, consisting of two large pools (100m x 50m, and 100m x 27m) dug into the rocky outcrop at the southern-end of Merewether Beach.
5 Henderson Parade, Merewether
Swim, surf & sunbake at Newcastle’s iconic beaches
Whether you want to rock up with your surfboard or lay back with a book, Newcastle’s stunning coastline plays host to an array of beautiful golden beaches. Take your pick of swimming spots from Nobbys Beach, Newcastle Beach, Bar Beach, Dixon Park Beach, Merewether Beach and Stockton Beach.
Bordered by the harbour and beach, and surrounded by historic sites like Fort Scratchley and Customs House, the Foreshore Precinct is a major Newcastle attraction. There are currently plans underway to upgrade the precinct further by planting more trees and creating more space.
King Edward Park
With spectacular ocean views, King Edward Park provides an idyllic setting for a weekend BBQ picnic. The expansive grounds make it perfect for families, and King Edward Park also links up with a trail to the Bogey Hole for ample photo opportunities.
York Drive, Newcastle
Blue Gum Hills Regional Park
The breathtaking natural beauty and mining past of the Newcastle region is on spectacular display at Blue Gum Hills Regional Park. For a fun day out in nature, Blue Gum Hills Regional Park provides the perfect setting for a BBQ. Once you are done picnicking, you can explore the maze, walking tracks and mountain biking trails.
Glenrock State Conservation Area
With beaches, waterfalls, rainforests, trails and thriving wildlife, this national park is incredible. You could spend days exploring it, or you could do the Bombala Walking Track. One of the best walking trails, it’s the perfect snapshot of Newcastle. Keep an eye out for migrating whales!
Yuelarbah Track, Highfields
Bathers Way Walk
The Bathers Way Walk is the ultimate Newcastle beach crawl that stretches from the Merewether Baths in the south to Nobby’s Beach Lighthouse in the north. The 6km Newcastle walking track also takes you through the famous Newcastle Memorial Walk which commemorates the centenary of the Gallipoli landing. From the Strzelecki Lookout, you’ll have the best view of the steel soldiers who are silhouetted against the glowing Tasman Sea.
Distance: 6km, approx. 3hrs, check out the map here.
Bombala Walking Track
Weaving through bushland before descending down a ridge leading to the secluded Dudley Beach, the Bombala Walking track is a must see. This coastal track is steeped in beauty, with views of dolphins and a great secret swimming spot. At the southern end of Dudley Beach you’ll find a fossilised forest to explore. If you’re adventurous and in the mood for a major walk, you’ll also be able to follow the coastline towards Merewether.
Distance: 1km return, approx 15 – 30 minutes
The Burwood Trail is a tranquil forest trail lined with spotted gum, ironbark and white mahogany trees. In the beautiful Glenrock State Conservation Area, the trail is one of the best walking tracks near Newcastle. Look out for echidnas and listen for the call of bellbirds. Also, if you’re so inclined, you can ride the trail on horseback!
Distance: 1.5km return, approx 45 minutes
Leggy Point Loop Walking Track
This popular Newcastle walking track is perfect for nature lovers with its jaw-dropping coastal views and majestic wildflower displays. Look out for banksia, acacia, spotted gum, ironbark and sky scraping white mahogany trees, and make sure to leave time to examine the Awabakal Aboriginal midden at the mouth of the Glenrock Lagoon.
Distance: 2km loop, approx 45 minutes – 1 hour
For more destination guides and local travel inspiration, head to Sitchu.