lip top ten: things to do in newcastle
Happy Friday, Lipsters! Next week a few of you might be making the trek to Newcastle for the This Is Not Art festival. While I’m sure your weekend is going to be jam packed attending fantastic events and meeting rocking people, I thought I would use this fortnight’s column and my insider’s knowledge to let you know about some great places to go if you get some downtime. Of course, this is all just in my opinion, so if anyone has some suggestions, get on the comment box and let us know!
1. Darby Street
Darby Street is my favourite place to be. There’s a good chance you’ve heard people rave about Goldberg’s Coffee House before, and they rave for a good reason – best chips and aioli I’ve ever had, and the iced mochas are beautiful. Of course, that’s no reason to write off the other cafes that litter the street. Frankie’s Place and Three Monkeys are both definitely worth a look in. Darby Street is also home to my favourite bookstore in Newcastle – Cooks Hills Books, which is around the corner from another great little store – Blackbird Corner. Why is Blackbird Corner great, I hear you ask? Well, amongst other things, it’s the only place in Newcastle (that I’m aware of) that stocks Lip.
2. Bogey Hole
If it’s a warm enough day, best you head here for a dip. It was originally built in the early 19th century to be the Commandant’s baths. It’s situated between Newcastle Beach and Bar Beach, but it’s best to just ask for directions when you get there because it’s a lot easier when you can see the area.
3. The Lass O’Gowrie Hotel
This is my favourite pub in Newcastle. You can either go for a walk, or jump on a train and get off at Wickham and walk a few minutes up to Railway Street. When you walk in you might think the place is tiny, but head out the back to an awesome paved and grassy area, filled with comfy couches and huge tables. So huge in fact, that you can usually share the table with a couple of other groups and make some new friends. The best part though is the change shelf above the bar. If you get back a few coins you don’t want weighing down your wallet you can pop them on the lip above the bar, and if you’re a little short for a drink you can reach up and pluck a few down.
4. King Edward Park
Just a short walk up the hill from Newcastle Beach, King Edward Park is a beautiful spot for a picnic. There’s a rotunda and a ton of shade, plus you’re surrounded by immaculately maintained gardens. From there you can also walk up to a lookout.
5. The Obelisk
The Obelisk stands on the spot where the first windmill was built in 1820, and now marks the best place to get a view of the entire city. Again, if you are carless, this requires a bit of a walk up Wolfe Street, but I think the view is worth it.
6. The Giant Penis
No trip to Newcastle is complete without a sighting of this phallic wonder. Located on the foreshore, if you feel like traipsing to the top you get a view of the harbour and Stockton, and you at least get to say you were inside a penis.
7. Newcastle Art Gallery
If you need to kill a couple of hours and don’t want to pay a cent to do so, pop into the Art Gallery. It’s just behind Civic Park and a one minute stroll from the cafes of Darby Street, so it’s very easy to get to, and not very far from all the TINA events.
8. Honeysuckle Precinct
If you feel like being a bit fancy, catch the train to Civic or walk down the foreshore and you’ll stumble along Honeysuckle. Price wise, it’s not the first choice for starving artists, but you can bypass the Teppanyaki and the fine dining for a drink in the very popular Honeysuckle Hotel (which is a refurbished warehouse), and get a good meal at Hogs Breath Café. Newcastle Museum is also in the precinct.
If you’ve got time to catch a movie, Event Cinemas on King Street is the place to do it. Not only is right in town, but they show things you won’t see anywhere else in Newcastle – foreign films, Australian indie films, and performances from Broadway and the British National Theatre.
It would be a cardinal sin for me to list some great places in Newcastle and leave out the beaches; Nobbys, Newcastle, Dixon Park, Bar and Merewether – take your pick. They all do the job.