Thursday, 4 February 2016

Newcastle on a budget!


Newcastle is a beautiful part of Australia, particularly during summer and is a place many people who visit Australia end up in at one point or another, especially if they are travelling the east coast. For Jeni and I however, we grew up here and have spent many days enjoying it's beauty, so today I shall give you would be visitors a few amazing things you can do around Newcastle for free, or almost free!
Check out Nobbys beach. You'll find Nobbys right down the end of Hunter st, and not too far from the main bus terminal/old train station. The parking here is also completely free, so a good place to park as you check out this end of Newcastle. You can walk right out to Nobbys Head where the lighthouse is situated. This is pretty awesome as originally the head was an island! In 1846 a pier was put up to join the lighthouse to the mainland, then replaced with the breakwall we have now. This makes for a beaut little spot to view the point the Hunter River meets with the ocean. If you look back from here along the river walk you will also see a small tower, I refer to as the "Big Penis" which you will understand as soon as you see it! That's where you want to walk around to next. Once there you can climb the 180 steps for a nice panorama view of the Riverwalk. Once you make your way back down, if you are feeling a little thirsty, you'll find yourself at The Queens Wharf Hotel, also known as the Brewery.
If you follow the coastline south you will come across the Ocean Baths and Newcastle Beach. Further south and you will come across King Edward Park. A great place for a picnic or bbq, the large pines make it nice and cool on a hot day. If you have a piece of cardboard on you, the hills are ace for sliding down too! I remember coming here as a young fella with the family, the parents would watch car races while we had our own! Up the top of the park you may also see paragliders taking advantage of the updrafts from the ocean meeting the cliffs. There's a beautiful little swimming spot called "The Bogey Hole" which is close by and also an old artillery post which has seen better days.
If you continue south you will consistently find yourself gazing over beautiful beaches. Eventually you may find our favourite beach in the area, can you recognise it?



Another gem of the region is Blackbutt Reserve, this is a little mini zoo that is completely free, minus a small parking meter charge. Here they have a massive picnic area, suitable for get togethers, partys, or the odd backpacker/grey nomad. There's a big billabong full of turtles, large kangaroo and emu enclosures and an amazing collection of birdlife. The big walk in cage is quite nice and if it is really hot they may turn the water system on, this makes it feel like a rainforest and makes the birds excited! You may also see lizards, frogs, snakes, koalas and wombats. There is also reptile shows at 11am on weekends