Newcastle Scenic Explorer – 2 hour Tour by Minibus

Newcastle Trip Overview

Newcastle is well renowned for its world-class beaches, ocean baths, waterfront venues, and other coastal attractions. This 2-hour tour (in air-conditioned minibus comfort with tour guide) is a great way to get an overview of the city and surrounds, including the impressive coastline and harbour. There are plenty of stops along the way for those fantastic photo opportunities, and some nice free inclusions for tour participants.

Additional Info

Duration: 2 hours
Starts: Newcastle, Australia
Trip Category: Cultural & Theme Tours >> Historical & Heritage Tours

Explore Newcastle Promoted Experiences

What to Expect When Visiting Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Newcastle is well renowned for its world-class beaches, ocean baths, waterfront venues, and other coastal attractions. This 2-hour tour (in air-conditioned minibus comfort with tour guide) is a great way to get an overview of the city and surrounds, including the impressive coastline and harbour. There are plenty of stops along the way for those fantastic photo opportunities, and some nice free inclusions for tour participants.

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Nobbys Beach, Nobbys Road, Newcastle, New South Wales Australia

Newcastle’s highest profile beach, Nobbys Beach is a favoured swimming spot for family groups, those learning to surf and some of the local dolphins. It is also popular among kite surfers whose aerial acrobatics add colour and movement to the city seascape. With the beach on one side and a public recreational area including barbecue facilities on the other, it’s the perfect spot to spend the day. This beautiful beach is a tourist favourite, and is also the northern point of the popular Bathers Way pathway. The beach is wide and is sheltered from the southerly winds by a hill behind the surf club. A kiosk that serves good coffee and takeaways is also located in the same building as the surf club. The beach also contains the famous Nobbys lighthouse and breakwall.

Duration: 10 minutes

Pass By: Nobbys Lighthouse, Nobbys Road, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300 Australia

Originally, Nobbys was an island until it was joined to the mainland by the construction of the southern Breakwall in 1846 by convicts. Nobbys Beach was then formed as a result of the Breakwall, which today backs the entire beach. Nobbys Lighthouse is a famous landmark at the entrance to Newcastle Harbour, and one of Newcastle’s premier tourist attractions. Walk along the Breakwall and enjoy the magnificent views from this heritage listed Lighthouse, which was built in 1858. The Breakwall extends past the Lighthouse and provides spectacular views back onto the city and beaches. At very close proximity, you can also watch the ships come and go from the busy working harbour.

Pass By: Newcastle Beach, Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300 Australia

Located directly adjacent to the Newcastle CBD, this is an iconic patrolled beach, where you can sit back and relax while soaking up the sun or get active in the water and nearby ocean baths. The impressive pavilion has eateries and all the facilities a tourist or surfer needs to relax and enjoy a great location. From the beachfront, you can stroll north around to Nobbys Beach, stopping off at the historic Newcastle Ocean Baths in between. Towards the south, the scenic Bathers Way pathway connects to the clifftop Newcastle Memorial Walk, which has sweeping coastal views down to Merewether Beach. The local Council employs professional lifeguards to patrol the beaches throughout the year. Most local beaches are patrolled during spring, summer and autumn.

Stop At: Newcastle Memorial Walk, Memorial Drive, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300 Australia

The Newcastle Memorial Walkway, is a spectacular cliff top walkway, spanning 450 metres from Strzelecki Lookout. At each end of the walkway are silhouettes of returned services personnel that bear the 3,859 family names of those 11,000 Hunter men and women who served during the Great War of 1914-1918. The walkway and viewing areas provide sweeping southern and eastern views of the beaches and rocky cliffs, and magnificent views of the city to the west. There are magnificent photo opportunities available for visitors at this impressive location. On a seasonal basis you can see dolphins and the tips of whales. There are many spots along the walkway to stop and enjoy the view. Often you can also encounter some of the hand gliders that frequent this location.

Duration: 15 minutes

Pass By: King Edward Park, Reserve Rd, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300 Australia

King Edward Park was dedicated as a recreation reserve in 1863. Within the grounds are gardens, the Obelisk (built as a navigational marker in 1850), and the focal point a Victorian rotunda. The park has spectacular ocean views, Norfolk Island pines and a sunken garden are usually ablaze with colour. On the southern boundary are the remains of the Shepherds Hill Battery and Gunner’s Cottage which were in regular use from 1890 to World War II. The park also has links with Newcastle’s penal past, with the Bogey Hole (or convict hewn ocean bathing pool) at the foot of the eastern cliff face. A popular place for family picnics and barbecues, with playground facilities, and now an outdoor movie venue in summer. This expansive parkland in Newcastle is definitely one of its hidden gems.

Stop At: Shepherds Hill Fort, The Terrace, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300 Australia

At the top of King Edward Park is Shepherds Hill Reserve. This old gun emplacement played a significant role in the defence of Newcastle during WWII. Defence of Newcastle during that time was of high significance to Australia, as Newcastle had become an area of great strategic and industrial importance in NSW, with its steelworks and operational port. You can access the turntable that the gun once was positioned, and some of the fortification built to protect the city from Japanese submarine attack. Importantly, this reserve has a great view over the city and Newcastle Beach, and out over the Pacific Ocean, with well-maintained grassed areas. This location is an amazing place for photo opportunities, with its expansive views across the coastal vista from the landscaped grounds.

Duration: 10 minutes

Pass By: Dixon Park Beach, Ocean Street, Newcastle, New South Wales Australia

Everyone raves about Sydney beaches, but Newcastle locals know better. Not only are the beaches on par with some of Australia’s most beautiful sandy strips, the crowds are significantly smaller, and it has some of the best waves in the world. Dixon Park & Bar Beach are the quintessential family beaches. It features a patrolled swimming area as well as a sheltered rock pool for children and those who prefer to swim in calmer waters. Bar Beach is a favoured stretch for joggers and walkers and a great place to watch Hang Gliders who take off from nearby Strzelecki Lookout. Across from Bar Beach is Empire Park which provides cricket, rugby league and tennis facilities, a children’s playground area and a skate park. Bar Beach itself has kiosk facilities, picnic areas, public toilets, parking and is patrolled by lifeguards.

Stop At: Merewether Beach, Newcastle, New South Wales Australia

There are few cities in the world beyond Newcastle that can say their city centre is surrounded by so many world class beaches, and there is definitely a wave of surfing culture that characterises the city. Merewether Beach is one of Australia’s most famous surfing locations, the venue of the international Surfest surfing competition, and the location of the largest ocean baths in the southern hemisphere. It is home to four times World Surfing Champion, Mark Richards, and in 2009 was declared a National Surfing Reserve. Merewether Beach is a great example of a typical Australian beach. The water is clean and embracing, and it is never really too crowded. It has to be one of the best beaches on the east coast, with great views, great surf, and great coffee from the café at the surf clubhouse.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Merewether Baths, Henderson Parade, Newcastle, New South Wales Australia

Opened in 1935, Merewether Ocean Baths are the largest ocean baths in the Southern Hemisphere. Free to access, and hugely popular among visitors and locals alike, the Merewether Ocean Baths are the perfect place to cool off, enjoy some wave free frolicking, or do some laps. It is quite a large area and visitors can see waves crashing in and bringing fresh ocean water consistently into the pools. The views out over the ocean are fantastic and there are sheltered tables and chairs for those who would like to picnic. The Merewether Ocean Baths continue to be an important place of leisure and recreation for the people of Newcastle, while the impressive visual aesthetic of the baths also continues to inspire local photographers and artists who frequent the area to work on their art.

Duration: 10 minutes

Pass By: Christ Church Cathedral, 52 Church St, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300 Australia

Christ Church Cathedral is the Anglican cathedral of the Diocese of Newcastle. This building is recognised as one of the great Cathedrals and one of the most imposing buildings of its type in Australia. The present cathedral replaced an earlier cathedral, built in 1817. Work started in 1883 and the older building was demolished the following year. The magnificent architecture of the new cathedral was completed in 1902, with the tower being added in 1979. Extensive repair works were undertaken after the 1989 Earthquake, but even today the restored Cathedral still dominates the Newcastle skyline. The viewing tower is often open to visitors who, for a small donation, can experience the 360 degree views across the entire city.

Stop At: Fort Scratchley, Nobbys Rd, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300 Australia

Constructed in the 1800’s, Fort Scratchley is the only Australian fort to have fired on the enemy. Originally a coalmine, the headland above Nobbys became a military installation in 1882 amid fears of a Russian attack. In June 1942 the Fort’s guns opened fire at a Japanese submarine which had bombarded Newcastle with about two dozen shells. These days this historic site has an impressive military museum, and there are volunteers in army uniform around the site to explain things further, including the impressive gun placements facing out to sea. The site presents fabulous photo opportunities with 360 degree panoramic views of the ocean, coastline, lighthouse, harbour, and city. Entry to Fort Scratchley is free, whilst guided tours of the fort tunnels attract a nominal fee.

Duration: 30 minutes

Pass By: Queens Wharf, Newcastle NSW 2300, Australia

Queens Wharf sits on the edge of Newcastle’s busy harbour port. Newcastle is the biggest exporter of coal in the world, however sharing the harbour with the coal ships are freight ships, cruise liners, fishing boats, ferries, and private vessels, which all make for a very unique scene which can be viewed from a very close proximity. The Queens Wharf Hotel is one of Newcastle’s favourite destinations with mouth-watering food menu’s, delicious cocktails, and fabulous views across the harbour. This venue is as waterfront as you are going to get, with inside or outside dining along the wharf, and a great vibe.

Option – Drop-off at Queens Wharf Hotel.
FREE – Beer, Wine, or Soft Drink

Pass By: Honeysuckle Drive, Honeysuckle Dr, Newcastle NSW 2300, Australia

A popular area on the edge of Newcastle harbour known as Honeysuckle, a major waterfront rejuvenation project which has transformed the previously industrial landscape. Working wharves have become places of play with the creation of foreshore promenades and open squares offering waterfront cafes, restaurants and the Newcastle Museum. This Honeysuckle Harbourside Precinct is home to a range of chic cafes, world-class restaurants, coffee shops, bars and pubs that are sure to leave a lasting impression. One such venue is Honeysuckle Social, where you can feast on delicious share plates, enjoy creative cocktails, an impressive set of icy cold beer taps and well-executed, fresh and approachable dining. This venue is renowned for its exceptional customer service.

Compare Newcastle Similar Experiences