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Extend your stay at the 2018 Newcastle 500: 5 places you need to visit while in Newcastle

If you’re going to come all the way to Newcastle to watch three days of racing at the 2018 Newcastle 500, you need to think about extending your stay beyond the weekend. Once you visit Newcastle and see all the attractions on offer, you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t plan for more time in this magnificent destination!

Before it’s too late, look at the many accommodation options on offer through NHTAC and make sure you have enough time to watch the race as well as explore Newcastle and its surrounds. There is so much to see and do, three days will NOT be enough.

The city itself is famous for its beaches, its harbour and its amazing views. However, Newcastle also boasts boutique shopping, historic attractions, a vibrant dining scene, a myriad of cafes and bars, museums, walking trails and more.

When visiting Newcastle, it’s also a good idea to put time aside to explore beyond the city centre. These 5 places should be on your must-do list when you come for the 2018 Newcastle 500.

5 places you need to visit while in Newcastle

Hunter Valley

Mist over the Hunter ValleyNewcastle is the gateway to the riches of the Hunter Valley. Famed for its history, horses and wine, the Hunter Valley has something for everyone. Visit historic Maitland and Morpeth, just 30 mins from the city. Travel to Cessnock and savour local produce, condiments, desserts and, of course, wine! Head further north to admire the green pastures of stud country around Denman and Scone and before driving back to take in the wonders of the rest of the Hunter Valley.

Lake Macquarie

One of the largest saltwater lakes in the Southern Hemisphere, Lake Macquarie is situated 20 mins west of Newcastle. The area is popular for recreational fishing, boating, kayaking and water-skiing with several large urban centres scattered along its shore. Visit Speers Point, Warners Bay, Belmont and Swansea on the east side of the lake, before driving (or boating) over to the western side to visit Toronto, Wangi and Morisset.

Port Stephens

Port Stephens Beautiful BayTravel an hour north east of Newcastle and escape to Port Stephens. Larger than Sydney Harbour, this saltwater wonderland is home to every water sport imaginable. Soak up the rays on any one of the stunning beaches that line the coast from Stockton Beach in the south to Bennett’s Beach, at Hawk’s Nest, in the north. Board a ferry from Nelson Bay to Tea Gardens or cruise the waterways at your leisure. Port Stephens is an escape you won’t forget.

Central Coast

Located an hour south of Newcastle, the Central Coast offers a unique mix of beaches, lakes and bush. A popular tourist destination, the Central Coast features attractions to suit every visitor. Take in the views at The Entrance and wander the foreshore. Drive along the stunning Brisbane Waters, south of Gosford. Soak up the slower pace of Patonga on the southern tip of the coast or explore the Glenworth Valley on horseback. It’s up to you!

Barrington Tops

Barrington Tops BridgeA couple of hours north west of Newcastle will find you in mountain country. Barrington Tops is the highest point in the Hunter Valley and one of the few places that receives snow in the colder months. The Barrington Tops National Park features world heritage listed rainforests, hiking trails, camping sites, fishing spots and the chance to test your driving skills on the Barrington Trail. Full of dramatic landscapes and ancient wonders, Barrington Tops needs to be on your list.


Ensure you extend your stay in Newcastle to take advantage of everything the area has to offer. Check out the varied short term accommodation options available through NHTAC to secure the right accommodation for you.

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