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  • 07
  • Jul
  • 2014

Check out these popular sights in Newcastle, Australia while on a cruise

Newcastle is one of Australia’s most underrated cities. Although it is the second-largest in the state of New South Wales, Newcastle tends to go under the radar because it sits in the shadow of Sydney, located 90 miles to the south. Sydney may have the glitz and glamor, but Newcastle has the down-to-earth charm that you won’t find anywhere else on the continent. You’ll find many of the residents of this city taking in the sun’s rays or surfing.

Here are a few fun places to see during your cruise port stop in Newcastle: 

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Blackbutt Reserve

If you’ll be taking your children on your Australian cruise, don’t be surprised if they demand to see some of the continent’s famed marsupials. Luckily, you don’t have to venture off to the bush to find them. At the Blackbutt Reserve, visitors can have up-close encounters with critters like koalas, kangaroos and wombats. The reserve also has plenty of walking trails and picnic areas if you just want to relax and be entertained by the hundreds of birds that fly through the park.

Fort Scratchley

According to Lisa Bradley, the Administration and Projects Officer for the City of Newcastle, Fort Scratchley, with its commanding position guarding the Hunter River Estuary, is undoubtedly Newcastle’s most spectacular vantage point and is worth the visit for the view alone.  Overlooking Nobbys Beach and lighthouse, the Fortress boasts panoramic ocean, coastline, harbour and city views.  The site has seen a wide range of human activities over the centuries.  At the height of WWII, Fort Scratchley’s massive guns went into action against an attacking Japanese submarine, making it the only fort in Australia to have engaged the enemy in a maritime attack.


Photo of Fort Scratchley at dusk courtesy of the City of Newcastle

Hunter Wetlands Center

If you want to connect with nature, yet stay close to the city, then you need to make a trip to the Hunter Wetlands Center. On this 110-acre swampy site, you can see more than 200 species of animals. On a guided bike, canoe or Segway tour, you can explore the ecosystem of New South Wales without having a detrimental effect on the environment. (Note: Bring insect repellent!)


Photo courtesy of Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia

Or leave the exploring to everyone else while you enjoy a glass of wine and a bite to eat with an incredible view of the wetlands.


Photo courtesy of Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia

The Lock-Up Cultural Centre

While Australia was founded as a penal colony, The Lock-Up hopes to inform visitors of the country’s more cultural history. Housed in a former police station, this center contains a gallery, artists’ studios and a quirky museum about Australian prisons.

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