Newcastle Airport (NTL)
Newcastle’s airport is in Williamtown, less than a half an hour’s drive north of Newcastle, and has been jointly run by the Port Stephens and Newcastle City Councils since 1993. The airport is Australia’s 12th busiest by visitor numbers, and its control tower is open between 8 am and 10 pm.
A wide variety of transport is available for those arriving. The Newcastle Airport Information Services Desk at arrivals can organise transfers if needed, with options from shuttle buses to limousines, as well as information on local attractions. Port Stephens Coaches run services to Newcastle CityRail station up to 11 times a day, as well as to Nelson Bay.
The arrivals section of the terminal also has car rental desks for Avis, Budget, Hertz, Eurocar and Thrifty. The baggage claim area is nearby. Taxis can be caught outside arrivals, with a free taxi phone nearby for Newcastle Taxis. Outside the terminal building is also the drop off zone (two-minute limit). Live traffic updates are available at the NSW RTA website, and updates on delays, works and more are given through the airport’s Twitter feed, @NTLairport.
Several noteworthy attractions are a drive away, such as Lake Macquarie (Australia’s largest coastal saltwater lake), beaches, and numerous convict-era buildings along the Newcastle East Heritage Walk. Barrington Tops National Park at Gloucester features World Heritage-listed subtropical rainforests in its lower valleys. The Hunter wine region is world-famous, and has 150-plus wineries and many tours to choose from. There are also many fine restaurants - several of which are hatted - and local produce outlets to enjoy. The Newcastle City Farmers Market has been ranked in the top ten Regional Farmers Markets.
Newcastle enjoys an oceanic/humid subtropical climate, with warm summers and mild winters. January’s average high and low temperatures are 25.6 and 19.2 degrees Celsius, and 16.7 and 9.2 in July.
Five different airlines serve Newcastle. Aeropelican (Sydney), Jetstar (Melbourne, Gold Coast and Brisbane), Brindabella (Canberra), QantasLink (Brisbane), Rex (Sydney and Ballina/Byron Bay) and Virgin (Brisbane and Melbourne).