Australia's second-oldest city is located just 45 minutes drive from Hunter Valley, bound by a working harbour and glorious surf beaches, was forged from coal, timber and sweat but has moved on from that rough-and-tumble era to embrace a new outlook.
Clever repurposing has transformed heritage buildings. Former railway workshops house Newcastle Museum; a sandstone bank is now a French-inspired bar sparkling with chandeliers; a brewery's 19th-century grain and keg warehouse now showcases craft beers.
Arts projects, festivals and events have transformed five inner-city precincts. Come and explore Civic, Cooks Hill, East End, West End and the harbourside Honeysuckle development. Their makeovers are all part of a 25-year plan to revitalise Newcastle, shoring up its position as a vibrant regional centre and gateway to Hunter Wine Country.
A top ten city in Lonely Planet's 'Best in Travel 2011', this is where bohemian culture coexists with surf culture; where hip cafés and award-winning restaurants flank an industrial port; where the land meets the sea.
This is Newcastle – a city of contrast, change and endless possibility.