Blog Student life Top 11 things to do in Newcastle, Australia

Top 11 things to do in Newcastle, Australia

Australia’s metropolitan city of Newcastle is a great place to study for many reasons. From the sunny weather and pristine beaches to its iconic ocean baths and nature reserves, there’s always something new to explore.

Read on to discover the best of what Newcastle has to offer and why it’s an ideal study destination for international students.

1. Explore sand dunes at a national park  

Worimi National Park is a must-visit spot for adventurers in Newcastle. It offers whale-watching and quad bike tours across its incredible sand dunes.  

Thrill seekers can even go boarding down the coastal dunes for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  

2. Meet animals at a wildlife park  

Oakvale Wildlife Park is a haven for animal-lovers. Kangaroos, koalas and wallabies are just a few of the many amazing creatures there for you to meet. 
There’s also a feeding stadium if you want to interact with the animals, and there’s even an opportunity to pay extra for some time up close with an animal of your choice.  

3. Swim in an ocean pool

Bogey Hole is said to be the first purpose-built ocean pool in Australia and sits right on the edge of the coast. Escape to this hidden spot for a relaxing swim overlooking the sea, surrounded by crashing waves. 

4. Expand your knowledge at Newcastle Museum 

There’s always something new to learn at Newcastle Museum, with both temporary and permanent exhibitions exploring everything from prehistoric sea monsters to skateboarding culture.  

The museum also has a collection of over 12,500 objects that tell the story of Newcastle’s diverse history.  

5. Take a coastal cruise

Embark on a sightseeing cruise through Newcastle’s breathtaking scenery. You’ll spot wild marine life including dolphins and turtles, as well as important landmarks and impressive cliffs and caves.  

6. Watch a surfing competition

Surfest is Australia’s largest surfing festival with over 800 competitors each year. It takes place at a selection of Newcastle’s top beaches.
Cheer on the contestants as they compete for cash prizes and World Surf League rating points. You’ll witness some of the world’s most impressive surfing!

7. Visit stunning waterfalls 

Glenrock State Conservation Area is just 5 kilometres from Newcastle and full of natural wonders worth venturing out of the city for. Enjoy rainforest walks, secluded beaches and, best of all, the spectacular waterfalls hidden within the park.  

8. Relax at the beach 

Great for surfing and dolphin-watching, Nobbys Beach is Newcastle’s most popular spot for a day by the sea. It’s home to the striking Nobbys Lighthouse and a cute kiosk selling classic beachside food.   

9. Take on mountain bike trails 

Fans of extreme sports can make the most of the Glenrock mountain biking trails in Newcastle. There are nearly 50 with varying distances and difficulty levels, passing through beautiful woodland scenery.  

10. See a show at the theatre

The Civic Theatre of Australia’s great historic theatres and Newcastle’s premier venue for live stage productions. Expect a year-round calendar of events including live music, comedy, dance and plays. There’s even a bar and café to relax in before or after the performance.  

11. Get back to nature at this reserve

Blackbutt Reserve is a natural environment containing picnic settings with electric and wood fire barbecues, nature trails and a range of habitats and ecosystems. 

It also features wildlife exhibits allowing you to see the animals up close, including kangaroos, emus, koalas and wombats.  

Study abroad in Australia

If you’d like to study abroad in a beautiful part of the world and spend your free time making your way through the activities on this list, we can help you get there. Our partnership with the University of Newcastle means that you can study a preparation course at the University of Newcastle College of International Education and progress to a degree.
Contact our friendly education advisors to find out more about our partner universities in Australia and how you can apply to study in this exciting country. 

Discover more

scoreboard of symbols

Great results in our 2023 student satisfaction survey

Learn more about the fantastic results of Kaplan's student satisfaction survey!

Lauretta a student from York smiling and posing

York student Lauretta’s tips for managing the January blues 

Lauretta gives her tips on how to overcome the January blues while studying abroad.

Stephanie Udoh posing in front of UWE Students Union building

My pathway to a PhD and TED Talks with UWE Bristol’s International College

Stephanie studied for a Foundation Certificate at UWE Bristol's International College and is now doing a PhD.