Newy Hotspots for Rejuvenation
Summer is well and truly here, so it’s time for some relaxation and rejuvenation! Charlotte Lloyd runs us through some of the top Newy hotspots so that you can wind down after a long hard year.
It’s finally summer, and with the year we’ve had, it’s time to get outdoors and enjoy some relaxation and rejuvenation. Now I know the weather is almost always unpredictable, with extreme heat to storms and rain, picking the right time can be a challenge, but this is no reason to be put off. The hotspots that are listed below cover both Newcastle and surrounding areas but whether it’s by yourself or with your friends, these free places and walks will be sure to get you in the holiday mood.
This is one of the more obvious ones and also one of the most popular but that is exactly why it had to be included in this list. There are many ways to attempt this hotspot, and while many choose to run along it, the summer heat rather calls for a nice leisurely stroll. Starting from the top of ANZAC Memorial, you can go anywhere up to Mereweather Surfhouse if you’re keen to wander that far. To avoid the crowds and the hustle of Newcastle in the summer holidays, I would highly recommend going either quite early in the morning or for a sunset walk. There are some people that are frequent early morning starters, but by doing it at these times, you’re sure to miss the morning rush or after-school crowds. And if the heat is getting a bit much for you, there are three beaches along the walk that are calling your name – Bar Beach, Dixon Park Beach, and Mereweather Beach are all long the strip between ANZAC Memorial and the Surfhouse, with Mereweather baths just a tad further along if you don’t want to be facing waves. Not everyone loves the beach or the idea of a hot summer walk, but the view is amazing from the top and even just a walk or maybe a cold drink at Bar Beach Kiosk with some friends can make for a great summer’s day. So lather up on the sunscreen and stalk the weather app because it’s time for some relaxation and rejuvenation.
What is there to do on those days when it’s not quite hot enough to take a dip in the ocean but it’s still a nice warm day? Grab a picnic blanket, some delicious snacks, and a few friends, and then you’ve got yourself a picnic in the park! Now Civic Park or King Edward Park would be my two options. While Civic is quite flat, it is closer to the main road and definitely more exposed. Whereas King Edward Park can be known for its hills, but if you find the right spot you can’t go wrong (probably close to the gazebo would be the best bet). Catching up with some friends after a busy and stressful uni year can be one of the most relaxing things to do, as well as possibly getting in the Christmas spirit with a gift exchange or something similar. Take a speaker and you’ve got yourself a good time. If you’re more of a homebody though but want some fresh air, I suggest grabbing a book and a picnic blanket before heading to Civic Park for some much-needed me-time. There are park benches for an easier seat and lots of shade for a hot day.
Commonly known for the copious amounts of mosquitos residing there, if you have your trusty Aeorogard by your side, then there is no need to fear! One of the most energy lifting things for me to do is head outside for some active R&R. While maybe not as relaxing as a book in the park, it can be super fun and exciting if it’s your first time going. The Blackbutt Reserve, which is around 10km from the Newcastle CBD, is one of the few reserves in Newcastle that have trails and walks where you can see animals and interact with them as you go. If you’re not great with nature then I wouldn’t suggest this, but it is free of charge and very relaxing. There are also two other reserves within Blackbutt that are great if you’re seeking a wildlife encounter or a park picnic not too far from the city. These other two reserves (Richley and Carnley) feature various picnic areas and allow you to feel tranquil and relaxed. Almost all of the featured activities at the reserve are catered more towards children, such as feeding the animals and reptile shows – but hey, who said you can’t make the most of what’s on offer?
With this one, you will have to stray a little further from Newcastle and also be a little more active than anything I have mentioned formerly, but it is definitely worth it the most with the incredible views of the Port Stephens area on an active and relatively achievable walk. Tomaree Head Summit walk is located in Tomaree National Park and is around a 2hr return walk of about 2.5km. Now while this doesn’t seem like a lot, the incline is not flat in fact it’s actually quite the opposite. I have done this in both winter and summer, with the summer walk much more enjoyable due to the warmer weather. In saying this, everything I have suggested is outdoors based, which is perfect for summer (just remember a hat and sunscreen is always essential!). Tomaree Mountain does happily provide you with some reasonably steep stairs but these are not cross country and are easy to navigate nonetheless. And while you’re already in the bay, why not pack or wear your swimmers for a nice refreshment after the walk in the beaches close by?
Feature Image: Madelyn Gardiner, Yak Media Designer