Lifestyle & Culture

Goodbye Four Walls, Hello Outdoors

Say goodbye to isolation and make the most of the lifting restrictions! Keighley Bradford has some great ideas on things to do around Newy during Uni break.

Alright, UON – it might be winter, and restrictions are still easing, but it’s still Uni break for most of us, so why not make the most of it? We’ve compiled a list of places to go and things to do in Newy over the next few months to keep you occupied.

Touring Newy

For those of you who like to study (like, all the time), you probably haven’t explored as much of Newcastle as you think you have, which makes these options perfect for your holiday break explorations.

  1. Pubs and Cafes: With restrictions easing a lot of your fave venues are now offering dine-in outings. If you’re in the mood to try out some new places, why not explore what’s on offer at The Rooftop, Darby Street, and Hunter Street Mall? Don’t forget, takeaways are still  an option, so you can always grab a meal to go and have a picnic somewhere else.
  2. Hunter Street Mall: Alright, you’re not a Novocastrian if you haven’t been to Hunter Street Mall. This street is lovely to stroll along and is filled with some amazing coffee shops, restaurants and retail stores. Grab a friend and wander one of Newcastle’s most famous streets! Perhaps even pose for a photoshoot in front of one of the artsy laneway murals.
  3. Newcastle Afoot: On top of Seaside-to-Laneway walking tours, Newcastle Afoot offers a few different experiences, including a local walking tour (think Newy hot spots that tourists don’t care to see), as well as an “Eat and Drink” experience (it’s like a pub crawl, only classier).
  4. Go to the Heddon Greta Drive-In: If you can’t wait for the cinemas to reopen, and you have a car, then head on out to the Heddon Greta Drive-In, located approximately 40 minutes from Newcastle. It’s the perfect opportunity for a date night or even as a catch up with your best mates. Don’t forget the popcorn!
  5. Plan a Trip to the Hunter Valley: Plan a day-trip out with your mates! There are wineries, distilleries, a shopping village and the Hunter Valley Gardens to keep your plenty entertained for the day.
  6. Plan Your Own Sightseeing Tour: Make a list of the places in Newy you haven’t seen and get exploring! Some places to add to your list may include: the obelisk, The Station, ANZAC Walk, Christ Church Cathedral, Shepherds Hill, the Bogey Hole, and the oceans baths (at Merewether and/or Newcastle).

Nature Walks

A big trend with restrictions easing is nature walks – and luckily for us, there are many great spots around Newcastle to explore. These include:

  1. Bathers Way Coastal Walk: A personal fave, this walk connects Mereweather Baths to Nobby’s Beach and includes a stroll *cough* hike *cough* down the famous ANZAC Memorial Walk. Along this walk you’ll have stunning coastal views and the opportunity to check out some Newy’s hot spots, including the Bogey Hole, Shepherd’s Hill Complex, and Strzelecki Lookout. PS: If the tide is low, you’ll even get to see Susan Gilmore Beach!
  2. Glenrock Reserve: Novocastrains love the view from Hickson St Lookout, but did you know that there are actually several walking tracks and cycleways you can take to explore the reserve? Go for an adventure, and don’t forget to pack some water!
  3. Fernleigh Track: This 15km track is known for its scenic experience, stretching from Adamstown to Belmont (AKA: Newy to Lake Mac). Formally the Belmont railway line, the track was reconstructed into a shared pathway for walkers and cyclists alike. There are several entry points, so don’t fret about the distance – use the track as an opportunity for repeat visits and explorations!
  4. Blue Gum HillsAdventures just keep on coming, with Blue Gum Hills offering dog-friendly picnic areas and walks. Need something a little more adventuerous? Check out Tree Tops Adventure.
  5. Stockton Sand Dunes: For those of you unaware, Newcastle has sand dunes. Yes, sand dunes! Subject to restrictions, you can explore the seaside with sandboarding, quad bike experiences, and even horse and camel rides. Yes, camel rides! (How cool is New, am I right?)

The Simpler Things

For those who want a simpler holiday experience, there is still plenty of things to do. These include:

  • Going to a park and having a picnic
  • Going to the beach and chilling out with a good book
  • Hanging out at a friend’s place. Play games or just sit and chat up!
  • Going to the cinema and watching a movie (nb: reopening soon)
  • Visiting the Newcastle Art Gallery. Check out some of the other local art galleries that are open while you’re out!
  • Exploring the city. There is plenty of tiny places to explore if you just go for a wander. Perhaps you’ll find your next op shop or even your new fave coffee brewer.


Feature Image: Madelyn Gardiner, Yak Media Designer

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