August 9, 2018

An Insider’s Guide to Newcastle: Discover hidden secrets to the city

An Insider’s Guide to Newcastle: Discover hidden secrets to the city

Welcome to Newcastle – or, as the locals call it – Newy. A city that knows how to tantalise its guests with a feast of coastal charm, a coffee culture to rival Melbourne’s and artistic treasures around every corner.

We’ve kept this place to ourselves for a while, but the secret is spilling out — and the peak insanity of our current real estate prices would have to agree.

Whether it’s your first or four hundredth visit to our beautiful city, there is always more to be discovered. Luckily, the team from This Is Not Art has you covered with an Insider’s Guide you can use to impress your friends.

From picnics and people watching to vintage hunting and art discovery, here’s how to make the best of your time in Newcastle.

People watch at the Newcastle Ocean Baths or watch the sunset from the Obelisk

If you’re looking to relax and unwind, Newcastle is the perfect place for it.

The view from the blue wall at Newcastle’s Ocean Baths combines sweeping coastal cliffs, curling waves dotted with surfers and a striking skyline that borders the ocean.

Keep an eye out and you’ll witness a highlight reel of Newcastle regulars: The world-famous Norris siblings heading for their daily surf, swimwear models posing on the rocks, cheery school groups sharing the lanes with the seasoned swimmers and solo beach bums topping up their tan.

If you prefer something more contemplative, a picnic at the Obelisk will suit your taste. Perched up on The Hill looking over the city and the coastline, the view from the obelisk is something to savour.

It’s a picnic spot with substance and a historical backstory worth googling as you lay out on your rug and watch the sunlight fade.

Newcastle Ocean Baths, NSW

A sunny day at the Newcastle Ocean Baths

Sip coffee and seek vintage delights in Islington

A journey into the heart of Newcastle’s inner west wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Suspension Espresso — a local favourite for its down to earth vibe, silky smooth coffee and pet-friendly terrace out the back.

Once you’re well caffeinated and ready to shop, head along to the vintage and second-hand shops that line Beaumont St and Maitland Rd for some fashionable finds. Planet Islington will have you covered if you’re on a budget, Stoned Saint Moon and Catfight Collections for the more eclectic, and Yard Sale for trendy styles, outdoor plants and speciality foods.

If you’re looking for something closer to the CBD, Darby St in Cooks Hill is home to a close-knit community of cafes, restaurants and boutiques that are always ready to welcome you with a smile.

Suspension Espresso, Islington NSW

The backyard terrace of Suspension Espresso, Islington

Go art hunting at the Creator Incubator, Hamilton North

The Creator Incubator is a member of Independent Galleries Newcastle – a group working to keep the local arts scene alive by promoting and supporting independent, artist-run and volunteer-run galleries.

Located just around the corner from Islington, this creative workspace and gallery is like none other in Newcastle. A visit to the two-story industrial warehouse will have you marvelling at the raw talent of our local artists working in forms such as sculpture, steel, paint and handcrafts.

If The Creator Incubator ignites your art cravings, don’t forget to stop by some of the other IGN galleries sprinkled throughout the city.

Creator Incubator Newcastle NSW

Outside the Creator Incubator, Hamilton North

If you’re in town and our advice improves your visit, or if you’re a local and think you can top our tips for spending time in Newy– let us know on social media @thisisnotart or add to the TiNA excitement using the hashtag #tina2018

Images provided courtesy of kailinphotography