How to pretend you’re not in Newcastle (in Newcastle)

Everybody loves a vacation; getting some sweet time away from the humdrum of daily life… However, this so-called ‘life’ thing with its ‘responsibilities’ often gets in the way of a much-needed getaway.

Fortunately for Novocastrians, our fine city is filled with places that can make you feel like you’re somewhere else, when you can’t actually be somewhere else – No plane ticket necessary!

Have a French fling at Bank Corner courtyard

Tucked away from view, Bank Corner café’s cute and eclectic courtyard makes you feel as though you’ve been instantly transported to a quaint little corner of Montmartre in Paris. This place really comes alive at night when all the funky light fixtures bathe the area in a moody, warm glow. Get your timing right, and you might be lucky enough to catch a local musician’s jazz-inspired set. Order yourself some bread and vin rouge, and you’re almost a world away…

Feel like you’re lazing somewhere on the Algarve coastline at Susan Gilmore

Just around the bend from Bar Beach, exists this charmingly secluded stretch of sand, surrounded by towering cliff faces and azure waters. All you need to do is claim your patch of sand (easy enough, as the beach is rarely graced by more than a scattered handful of beach-goers), and zone out to the sound of waves lapping the shore.

FYI – Nude sunbaking, while not encouraged, is kind of accepted here, so be prepared to avert gaze…

Take an Arabian adventure at Stockton Sand Dunes

There’s a reason why filmmakers choose to come to Newcastle’s sand dunes to shoot desert scenes – When the sun is high and the clouds are scarce, we look more like the Sahara than the Sahara itself.

But, our ‘desert’ comes with a huge bonus; the refreshing ocean to cool off in just over the other side of the dune.

Imagine an Italian escape in our Wine Country

Ok, so nothing will ever truly beat getting lost in the beauty and the history (and the red wine) of Tuscany – However, when the golden sunset hits our Hunter Valley wine country, if you squint your eyes, the rolling lush green hills sprinkled with small homesteads and vineyards looks just as picturesque. Salute!

Get in touch with nature at the Watagans National Park

It may not be as massive or majestic as the Canadian Rockies or Yosemite, but the Watagans is still a breathtaking natural escape from suburbia. The Pines area is a must-see, as well as the Heaton and Narrow Place lookouts.

Enjoy an almost-tropical tryst in the Carribean-like waters of Shoal Bay

Another one of our local gems. Though Shoal Bay is only about an hour’s drive from the CBD, it’s easy to forget this incredible place exists virtually on our doorstep. In this case, I think the picture does all the talking…


Although nothing really can compare to the thrill of jet-setting across the globe on an adventure, at least you know when life gets a little too hectic and you’re itching for a getaway, you can always spend a few hours pretending to be a tourist in your own town.

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