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Cruises to Newcastle (Australia)

Newcastle (Australia) (Photo:RRong/Shutterstock)
Newcastle (Australia) (Photo:RRong/Shutterstock)

About Newcastle (Australia)

Newcastle is New South Wales' second-largest city after Sydney and is becoming a regular fixture on several major cruise lines' itineraries. Set at the mouth of the Hunter River, a 162-kilometre drive north of Sydney, it offers the attractions of a big city while retaining the laidback ambience of a regional town.

Its history as a working port goes back to the early 19th century, when steamships carried coal to Sydney. And while today it is the largest coal exporting port in the world, Newcastle is also known as the gateway to the Hunter Valley vineyards and has plenty to offer in the way of cool bars, exciting restaurants, cultural activities and spectacular surf beaches.

The city was closely linked to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England -- where many of the coalminers migrated from in the late 1800s and nearby towns such as Morpeth, Jesmond, Wallsend and Gateshead are named after their English counterparts. Its convict past is evident in sites such as the Bogey Hole, an ocean rock pool that was hand-carved out of the cliff. For an insight into some of the city's historic buildings, the three-kilometre Newcastle East Heritage Walk takes in the Customs House, Convict Lumber Yard, Fort Scratchley, Christchurch Cathedral and various convict-era buildings. The Newcastle Museum is also well worth a visit.

Ever since the steelworks closed in 1999, Newcastle has been reinventing itself. Honeysuckle Wharf is now a lively promenade of waterfront bars and restaurants; Darby Street in Cooks Hill is becoming the hip and happening place for small galleries, cafes and curio shops; and wine bars and clubs are popping up in converted banks in the commercial district.

Not many ports in the world display a giant welcome sign for visiting vessels and none other than Newcastle marks their departure with a gun salute.

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DAY 1: Melbourne

15 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Melbourne
Visiting:
Sydney, Newcastle ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Sydney

11 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Sydney

11 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Port Douglas, Australia ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Sydney

10 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Cairns ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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12 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Darwin, Cairns ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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92 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Auckland
Visiting:
Napier, Wellington ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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78 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Brisbane ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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92 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Auckland
Visiting:
Tauranga, Napier ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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78 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Brisbane ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Bali
Visiting:
Lombok, Komodo Island ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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28 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Brisbane ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Brisbane ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Adelaide
Visiting:
Burnie, Hobart ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Melbourne
Visiting:
Sydney, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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28 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Brisbane ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Brisbane ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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28 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Bangkok
Visiting:
Kelang, Singapore ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Bali
Visiting:
Lombok, Komodo Island ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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28 Night
Cruise to Newcastle (Australia)

Leaving:
Bangkok
Visiting:
Andaman Sea, Kelang ...
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Cruise Line:
Viking Ocean Cruises
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Why go to Newcastle (Australia)?

Pros:

The Port of Newcastle runs a free shuttle bus into the city center

Cons:

The relaxed atmosphere may be too quiet for some visitors

Bottom Line:

A welcoming city with beautiful surf beaches, waterfront bars, restaurants and a fort

Newcastle (Australia) Cruise Port Facilities?

A volunteer meet-and-greet team is on hand at the Channel Berth as passengers disembark to answer questions, distribute the Cruise Arrival Guide and direct you to tour coaches, shuttle buses, taxis and private pick-up areas.

Good to Know?

Although Newcastle is blessed with several beautiful surf beaches, you must always swim between the flags and -- if the beach is displaying a 'closed' sign -- don't give in to the temptation to go for a dip as conditions can be dangerous or there could be sharks in the area.

Getting Around?

A free shuttle bus will take you from the cruise terminal to Queens Wharf. Once you're there, getting around Newcastle is easy, and there are several transport options.

By Bus: There's a free bus service in the central city zone and timetables are available at the Maritime Centre.

By Taxi: Taxis service the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and Hunter Valley areas and wheelchair-accessible taxis are available on request.

By Rental Car: Hertz car rentals is located at Maitland Road in the city centre; you can book in advance on the company's website.

By Ferry: If you're planning on an independent sand-dune adventure or just want to spend a day on Stockton Beach, the Newcastle to Stockton Ferry Service route runs every half hour from 5.15am to midnight every day; the Newcastle terminal is at Queens Wharf. Central Newcastle is very easy to walk around and if you want to go a little further afield you can hire a bike from Metro Cycles at 2 Bellevue Street.

By Rickshaw: Using pedal-powered pedicabs, Rickshaw Revolution (0477 776 245) offers a fun way to get around. City tours are also available with a rider-guide who shares stories of their personal and historic knowledge of Newcastle.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency is the Australian dollar. For current currency conversion figures, visit www.xe.com. There are several ATMs and banks in the city for obtaining Australian dollars. Credit cards are widely accepted.

Language?

English, with an Aussie accent, is spoken in Newcastle. Locals are referred to as "Novocastrians".

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships dock at the Channel Berth at the Carrington terminal. A free shuttle bus, organised by the Port of Newcastle, takes passengers to and from Queens Wharf, a 10-minute drive away, where you'll find a visitor information centre at the Maritime Centre, as well as a few waterfront places to eat and drink while watching ships, tug boats and a local ferry. A scenic tram ride departs from Queens Wharf, with commentary provided by the driver over 1.5 hours. Walk further up the street to the city centre, where there are numerous attractions, restaurants and beaches.

A new cruise terminal is set to be built on the same site in 2018.

Novotel Newcastle Beach: A great place for cruise passengers to stay is the Novotel, located near the beach, restaurants, cafes and bars, and a short stroll to art galleries, coastal walks and shopping areas. Guest rooms are modern and spacious, and family rooms are also available, with a restaurant and gym onsite. (5 King St, Newcastle; 02 4032 3700)


Newcastle (Australia) Cruise Reviews

Explorer of the Seas
leohillyer
Sail Date: Feb 2019
Newcastle as a Port gets better every time, lots to see and do.... Read More
Celebrity Solstice
dszrew
Sail Date: Jan 2019
Port is just average. We went to Coco Monde and had the best hot chocolate I've ever had. Something about Australia and hot chocolate--they know how to do it right.... Read More
Viking Orion
Bkemlein
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Enjoyed the day in town.... Read More
Norwegian Jewel
yakcruiser
Sail Date: Feb 2019
Did the little hop on hop off tram... Read More
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