You don't have to go far to enjoy your summer holidays
Make the most of your Summer
[Please be sure to check local COVID-19 travel restrictions for specified areas and if you can't make it these holidays, start making plans for the not too distant future!]
Whilst we can't be travelling too far these holidays, Newcastle is spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do that are right on our doorstep. Here's our list of 30 things to do if you're in need of a bit of inspiration.
Food + Drink
1. Heading to the bay? Stop in at Valhalla Restaurant for a wood-fired pizza and take in the Nordic themes.
Where: 3834 Nelson Bay Rd, Bob’s Farm
2. Haven’t indulged enough over the festive season? Well, you might just need to visit the Icky Sticky Patisserie in Lorn and try some of their delicious treats! While you're there, indulge in the rustic French bistro fare next door at Muse Kitchen.
4. Hang out at Ettalong for the day starting with brekky at Coast 175, stop in at Lords of Pour for a second coffee hit before making your way to The Box for lunch. if you're visiting on a weekend, fit in a browse at Tiki La La, the home of vintage fashion, decor and music.
5. Take a day or two to explore Terrigal's thriving foodie scene starting with something light at Acai Brothers, before moving onto Bellyfish Cafe and Arc, Rhonda's, Joker and Thief and Mumbo Jumbo's.
6. Craft beer lover? Head down the coast to Bay Road Brewing in Gosford to sample some of their quality craft beer flavours!
Where: 89 Donnison St, Gosford
7. If you’re a lover of Margaritas and Mexican food be sure to book yourself in for a feasting at Julio's on the Terrace Bar at Bannisters Port Stephens.
Where: 147 Soliders Point Road, Soliders Point
8. Get acquainted with the multi-million dollar Brokenwood cellar door in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley.
Where: 401-427 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin
9. For a long lunch venue and a custom-made firepit, book in Yellow Billy Restaurant and enjoy something from the grill.
Where: 697 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin
10. Explore the Central Coast coffee scene with this hit list.
11. For a refined riverside dining experience head to COQUUN in Maitland.
Where: 396 High St, Maitland
12. If you’re wanting to spend your weekend eating brunch and dessert for breakfast, you have to try The Brunch Society at Lovedale.
Where: 477 Lovedale Road, Lovedale
13. For some gin tasting take a drive to Allworth and park yourself at the bar of The Farmer’s Wife Distillery.
Where: 166 Allworth Rd, Allworth
14. Head to the beautiful Bar Botanica, set in the garden oasis of Distillery Botanica, for simple garden-to-plate dishes, freshly-roasted coffee and Mr Goaty’s famous gelato and sorbet.
Where: 25 Portsmouth Road, Erina
15. Head to Avoca's eclectic surf shack inspired by Hawaiian and Californian surf culture, Shady Palms and discover the Shady Shack, their version of an Oyster, Champagne & Wine bar.
Where: 366 Avoca Drive Avoca Beach
16. See the bay in a different way with a kayak tour or a paddling picnic package from Port Stephens Paddlesports.
Where: Shop 25, Shoal Bay Village, 47-51 Shoal Bay Rd, Shoal Bay
17. Get up close with the fish when you go snorkelling at Fly Point.
Where: Victoria Pde, Nelson Bay
18. Jump aboard the ferry at Port Stephens to head over to Hawks Nest to enjoy the French fare at Tillermans.
Where: 77 Marine Dr, Tea Gardens
19. Take a drive to Norah Head and explore the secluded beaches, iconic Lighthouse and of course the local foodie scene that must include a visit to Johnny Tapas.
20. Keep the kids (big and small) cool this Summer at SPLASH Water Park, Nelson Bay.
Where: 40 Victoria Pde, Nelson Bay
21. Escape the crowds and spend the day at Kingsley Beach, whilst you’re there take a dip in the rock pools and have a crack Jump Rock; just watch those tides!
Where: Port Stephens
22. Shake your Bouddi around the Central Coast’s best bushwalks and camping sites.
Where: Maitland Bay Track, Bouddi
23. Convince your mates to go camping at Ladies Well and chill out in the cool waters of the Allyn River.
Where: 71 Allyn River Rd, Upper Allyn
24. If we’ve been lucky enough to have some rain, check out the Somersby Falls in Somersby.
Where: Somersby Falls Rd, Somersby
26. Set up at The Pines Campground and go mountain biking, horse riding or hiking among the beautiful tall pines in the only State Forest.
27. Take in the Hunter Valley by helicopter with Aerologistics Helicopters. See our iconic wine region from a different perspective with their range of different scenic flights.
Where: 455 Wine Country Dr, Pokolbin
28. Only an hour from Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, the charming little village of Dungog is known for its picturesque natural beauty and world-class mountain biking trail called the Dungog Common.
29. Grab your SUP and paddle out to Snake Island on the Hawkesbury.
30. Go exploring and check out this list of all the exciting things around town that you can only do at either high or low tide.
All details were correct at the time of publication. Please check online or call ahead for each venue's COVID plan and requirements.