Did you know that Newcastle is the second-oldest city in Australia, founded in 1797? Or that there are six beaches within 5 minutes of the city’s CBD?

If not, don’t worry; there’s plenty to discover about Newcastle when you explore the city on your next road trip! In the heart of the Hunter Region, Newcastle is the perfect stop for a weekend escape – surrounded by a stunning coastline, a world-heritage listed rainforest and world-class wineries.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your vehicle from East Coast Car Rentals in Sydney and head two hours up the M1 for fun in the sun! Here’s the best of what Newcastle has to offer.

Nobbys Beach


It’s certainly not an Australian road trip without a beach! Nobbys Beach is just one of six beaches close to Newcastle, located near the entrance to the Hunter River overlooked by Nobbys Lighthouse – built in 1858.

One of the great elements of Nobbys Beach is that it’s patrolled by lifeguards seven days a week, all year round. This means swimming is always an option (even when it’s raining) as you’re in the safe hands of the lifeguards. Just remember to swim between the red and yellow flags!

If it’s been a long, hot day at Nobbys, take advantage of the free barbecues on the foreshore area adjoining the beach. Watch the sunset at one of the most picturesque beaches in NSW with some good food and drinks – a great way to end the day! 

Newcastle Memorial Walk

During World War I, Newcastle and the wider Hunter Valley region lost a number of men and women who served their community and country with pride. To commemorate these brave individuals who gave their lives for our freedom, the local council built the Newcastle Memorial Walk, which opened in time for the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in 2015.

The 450m-long cliff top walkway connects Strzelecki Lookout to Bar Beach, offering spectacular cliff edge views and unbeatable perspectives up and down the coastline, into the Hunter Valley and over the Newcastle CBD.

Of course, it’s not just the brilliant views that will capture your eye. Along the Memorial Walk is a 160m bridge with steel silhouettes of soldiers, inscribed with almost 4,000 family names of the men and women who enlisted during World War I. It’s a poignant part of the walk, so take a moment to appreciate these individuals and the sacrifices they made over 100 years ago.

McDonald Jones Stadium 

Sport is a large part of the Novocastrian culture and the local support for their teams is always amazing – even when the teams aren’t performing! Two of the city’s favourite teams play at McDonald Jones Stadium – a short drive from the CBD.

The Newcastle Jets play in the Hyundai A-League and are one of the youngest squads in the league this season. Although the Newcastle Jets have struggled in recent years, there is always great support from the ‘Squadron’ especially on derby days against the Central Coast Mariners (Gosford) and Sydney FC.

The Newcastle Knights play in the National Rugby League and have a similar performance record to the Jets. The Knights last won the NRL in 2001 and have been the bottom club since 2015. That said, the club regularly has larger crowd sizes than more successful teams and the atmosphere is always red hot inside the stadium. The season starts again in March, with the Knights recruiting several exciting new players!

Spend a day at the football riding the highs and lows of Newcastle’s favourite sides – who knows you just might find a new sport to follow!

Blackbutt Reserve 

Newcastle is lucky in that you can explore scenic natural bushland a matter of moments after leaving the CBD. If you’re looking for an escape into nature, look no further than Blackbutt Reserve. In fact, it’s only 18 minutes away by car!

Across 182 hectares, you can take in over 10 km of walking trails that wind around native fauna and flora. Stop by the peaceful picnic and playground areas for a spot of lunch and then visit unique wildlife exhibits, tours and encounters where you can see koalas, kangaroos and lizards up close and personal.

Described on TripAdvisor as an “unknown gum”, Blackbutt Reserve is completely free and can be a cool place to slow down during your busy road trip.  

If you would like to start planning your weekend roadtrip escape to Newcastle, get in touch with the helpful team at East Coast Car Rentals today – we look forward to hearing from you!