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A Guide to Newcastle
Know Before You Go
- Get free WiFi. Newcastle has 30 free WiFi hotspots located in the city centre. You can also find complimentary internet at any McDonalds.
- You can drink the water. The tap water in Newcastle is safe, so you don’t need to buy tons of bottled water to stay hydrated.
- Make sure you are prepared for hikes. If you plan on exploring the national parks, always check the weather conditions before you go as well as the difficulty level. It’s also a good idea to tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back.
- You don’t need an international drivers license. If you want to rent a car, all you need is your foreign driver's license. Just keep in mind that Australia has strict road rules and heavy fines if you don’t obey.
- Keep a look out for snakes and spiders. If you are bitten, call 000 for an ambulance, and head for the nearest hospital.
Getting Around Newcastle
- Hit the pavements. Newcastle is a very walkable city. There are a number of scenic paths and bicycle tracks that run through the CBD and surrounding suburbs.
- Hire a bike. You can get one for AUD 33 per day from one of the rental companies in the city. You can also use the Swipe ‘n Ride option. All you need to do is go to one of the stations, swipe your credit card and grab a bike.
- Take the bus. The city has an extensive network that operates from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There is also a free bus zone that runs in the inner city and is perfect for getting around if you’re on a tight budget.
- Hire a car. If you prefer having your own set of wheels you can rent a car from the airport or in the CBD.
When is The Best Time to Visit Newcastle?
The most popular time to visit Newcastle is either in spring (September to November) or summer (December to February). The water temperatures warm, perfect for swimming and the city kicks off its social season.
If you can, plan your visit around the annual This is Not Art Festival. The only downside is that the city will be packed. Book your flights and accommodation well in advance to secure availability and lock in better prices.
If you want to save money, plan your trip during autumn (March to May). The temperatures start to cool down, the city empties out, and hotels slash their rates.
For travellers that want to avoid the crowds altogether, visit Newcastle in winter. From June to August, the city is at its quietest, and you’ll be able to explore the region without any crowds. It’s also the cheapest time of year to visit, with accommodation and flight prices at their lowest.
Airports in Newcastle
Newcastle is the 13th busiest airport in Australia and serves the Lower Hunter Region. It operates flights with six airlines who mainly fly to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The airport is a hub for FlyPelican.
Getting To and From Newcastle Airport
The cheapest way to get from the airport into the city is with the local bus. Route 42A stops at the airport, Killingworth and Freeman Hospital. The service runs from Monday to Saturday, and you’ll find the bus stop opposite the airport terminal.
Another affordable option is to take the metro station. The trains leave for the city every 12 minutes and the total journey time is around 25 minutes.
The taxi ranks are located outside of the arrivals terminal. You can pay for your ride with either cash, cheque or any other major credit card.
If you want to hire a car, you’ll find four rental companies on the ground floor of the terminal.