Cafes and Restaurants

  • Sprout dining – With the menu changing for the seasons and the markets it’s nice rustic dining you can’t go past!!!! –
  • Kingsland Chinese – located in Wallsend – My husband (being Chinese) always seeks out his favourite Chinese restaurant in a new area – and this was it! The do yum cha on the weekends – but is made to order – but it keeps it nice and fresh! –
  • Darby Street itself is fantastic for cafe’s and restaurants!
  • Hamilton’s Beaumont Street is filled with authentic Mediterranean eateries and cafes.
  • Darby Street in Cooks Hill is filled with a cafe culture with galleries and boutique shopping.
  • Honeysuckle has a wonderful new collection of oceanfront restaurants and bars.
  • Darby Raj – located on Darby street – it you feel like a bit of spice and nothing fancy – check this one out
  • The Brewery – perfect for Sunday chill out sessions – with great food and a wonderful outlook onto the water! Also has lots of live music!
  • Beaumont Street in Hamilton- Lots of food! Pizza, Thai, Indian etc. Good place to catch an early dinner or morning coffee.
  • Coffee – Roladoor, Hamilton. Opposite the train station
  • Crema Coffee House, Broadmeadow
  • Sprocket Roasters, Hunter Street/Charlestown
  • Gandha’s Indian Restaurant: for some good indian food – as hot as you like! –
  • Feel free to check out the Australian good food guide to help with your choices…

Things to do

  • Fort Scratchley Coastal Defense Fort – Nobbys Road Free Parking at main gate 10am-4pm (closed Tuesday) FREE
  • Newcastle Museum – Parking on Wright Lane just next to Civic train station. Great hands on kids exhibits. 10am-5pm (closed Mondays) FREE
  • Walk to Nobbys Head Lighthouse – Parking at Nobbys Beach. Beautiful walk out to lighthouse FREE
  • Bar Beach – The north end of the beach is kid friendly. There is a kiosk where you can get ice cream or fish and chips.
  • Newcastle Ocean Baths – Grab a coffee at the cafe and wander around the ocean pools or down the beach
  • Red Head Beach: Great beach for walking dogs!
  • Take your food to go and wander around the corner to Gregson Park playground.
  • If you enjoy mountain biking – this website is great for finding others that do too! It contains information about areas to ride. –
  • Blackbutt Reserve – Entrance and parking on Carnley Ave. Visit the wildlife exhibit- koalas, wombats, birds and snakes. 9am-5pm everyday FREE
  • Just south of Newcastle Speers Point playground is definitely worth a visit.
  • Follow The Novocastrian Files on Facebook for a bit of local flair.
  • Murrays Brewery – This is a wonderful lunchtime/avo treat – to relax, enjoy local beers and wine and nice food! Sometimes has live music! –
  • Day trips to Nelson Bay and Port Stephens – with beautiful beaches and a country seaside feel! Great camping spots too! Don’t forget to visit the Red Neds pie shop in Nelson Bay – so many different types of pies!!!

Play groups

  • C3 Church Merewether- Thursday 10-12 –



Obviously it depends a bit where you choose to live of course.

The Junction Primary School and Hamilton South Primary School are close to the city and are well regarded.

All the Lambton schools are considered to be good – and there is a few of them. Lambton is a handy area as it is very close to the John Hunter Hospital – the main public hospital in Newcastle.

Merewether heights has a good reputation, and Newcastle East is a small school and is considered very popular.

When you are considering renting/buying, keep in mind that it’s quite difficult to get into schools out of zone, so that can dictate which school you might have to choose.

There is a private Anglican school in town.

Newcastle Grammar School. It can be expensive.

Hunter Valley Grammar School which is toward Maitland.

Both of the Grammar schools are not particularly heavy on religion.

There is a private school called “St. Phillips Christian College” near the Mater which has a good reputation. This school apparently takes its religion seriously. If you are Christian, if if you are at least comfortable with your kids being taught in a religious environment, I think it is probably a good choice.


The Catholic schools:

St. Pius (Years 7-10) in Adamstown and St Francis Xavier in Hamilton are very large, but have an excellent reputation. I think it is not quite so easy to get into without being Catholic or having got into a Catholic Primary school. I do know some medical graduates from there (who weren’t Catholic) who loved it.

Government secondary schools:

 Merewether High School which is the academically selective school for the region, in Broadmeadow (which is pretty central).

Kotara High School also has a good reputation.