04 Dec Get to know Newcastle, NSW
You’re moving to Newcastle, NSW but you’re not familiar with the area, where do you start? Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly suburb with nearby schools or would prefer a spot with night-out options, there’s a Newcastle nook for you.
Get to know Newcastle, NSW through the eyes of Novocastrians.
Hamilton, Hamilton North and Hamilton South are the unofficial multicultural centres in Newcastle. If you enjoy a variety of cuisines, you’ll find most are covered in these high streets. Hamilton also host two cultural festivals each year: Beaumont Street Carnivale and Newcastle China Week.
If you’re big on the #supportlocal train (which we are in Newcastle, NSW), you’re in luck. Inner city suburb, Broadmeadow host Newcastle City Famers Markets weekly. Each Sunday you’ll see a stream of families, young, old and community-focused people streaming into the showground. There’s local produce and boutique wine as well as a small selection of handmade items like candles or handmade wooden toys.
Mayfield is equivalent to Sydney’s Newtown, and in the process of gentrification. Darby Street, which spans from Newcastle to Cooks Hill, is similar to Crown Street in Sydney’s Surry Hills. It’s brimming with boutiques, cafes, pubs and restaurants.
If you’re set on living in the very centre of Newcastle, Hunter Street is where the action is. Houses here are few and far between. The closest nearby suburbs are The Hill, Honeysuckle, Newcastle West or Newcastle West. While the cost to rent and buy may be high, you’ll be in literal walking distance to the CBD.
If you’re moving to Newcastle to take advantage of its numerous beaches, Redhead, Merewether, Bar Beach and Dudley are the locations for you. These suburbs are situated right on the beach and have a strong sense of community. You’ll be paying a premium to secure a house for a family, but there won’t be much (want or) need to leave once you’re settled. You’ll find all of the amenities including surf clubs—facilitating Nippers on the weekends—and bowling clubs. You will be surrounded by families and like-minded people who will make you feel like you’d been here all of your life.
By the lake
We’ll call this area the upper lake; it’s situated on the top of Lake Macquarie and still relatively close to the Newcastle centre. Suburbs here include Eleebana, Valentine, Warners Bay and Speers Point. Here, you’ll find walking tracks, access to water sports and the family-pleaser, Speers Point Park. Houses are generally a bit older here, but you’ll enjoy a lot more space than is typical of homes in capital cities.
As you move down the lake, there’s an inner and outer portion. The outer portion is sandwiched between Lake Macquarie and coastal beaches that span the edge of Greater Newcastle. Suburbs here include Belmont, Marks Point, Little Pelican and Swansea. Most of these lake spots have flat inlets which are perfect for little kids or dogs. On the other side, the main hub before you hit the Central Coast is Toronto. If you’re after convenience, this is your spot. It’s got all the amenities including the big three supermarkets and Service NSW, as well as a spot to launch your boat or yacht and fish.
If you’re hoping for more of a laidback feel, Maitland and Cessnock are the main centres heading into the Hunter. Stockland Green Hills Shopping Centre underwent extensive renovations in 2018, which considerably improved local accessibility to major and mini-major retailers. For hobbyists, it’s a gateway to Barrington Tops National Park. There’s a new public hospital being built in Maitland, and access to well-regarded schools: Hunter Valley Grammar and All Saints College.
If you’re accustomed to apartment living and don’t want to take on the workload that comes with a house, you can find an apartment spot in central Newcastle or Lake Macquarie. While Newcastle is apartment-lean, there are a few complexes that have been built in recent years. The big ones are in Belmont, Charlestown and central Newcastle.