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Monday, November 18, 2013

Action aplenty in Newcastle these Summer holidays

With summer holidays fast approaching, it’s time to plan a fabulous family escape with entertainment and action aplenty for everyone from tots to teens – not to mention some well-earned down time for Mum and Dad.

For an affordable getaway with pristine beaches, a fabulous food scene, history galore and countless 
Nobbys from Stocktonsmall
opportunities to get active in the great outdoors – from surfing to walking trails, chilling in the Ocean Baths to cycling – you name it, Newcastle has it.

Here’s just a small selection of Newcastle’s must-sees this summer break: 

Spectacular swimming spots
From surfing hotspots to spectacular ocean baths, family-friendly rock pools to expansive beaches, you could spend every day of your holiday testing the water at one of Newcastle’s many magnificent swimming holes.

The iconic Newcastle Ocean Baths, with its Art Deco pavilion, gorgeous location and year round lifeguard patrols, is an absolute must; while the sheer size of Merewether Ocean Baths – the southern hemisphere’s largest – is sure to impress.

Younger children won’t want to leave the sheltered rock pool and patrolled swimming spots at Bar Beach, and all ages will love fish and chips and a stroll at Nobbys – so synonymous with Newcastle it’s a given on any itinerary.

Wicked sports action
From surf lessons to paddle boarding, harbour kayaking to fishing – even kite surfing – if it’s watersports you’re after you’ll find something for everyone in and around Newcastle. 

The Bogie Hole - Australia's first European style swimming baths
For sports lovers keen to celebrate human strength and spirit at its best, the Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games(1 December to 7 December) is absolutely not to be missed. Heralded by an unforgettable performance by Human Nature at the 1 December Opening Ceremony at Hunter Stadium, the weeklong program of events will shine a spotlight on the incredible talents of those with an intellectual disability.

Or for those keen to see the edge of human endurance, the Kelloggs Nutri-Grain Ironman Series will see two action-packed day of activity take place at Newcastle Beach from 14 to 15 December. 

Historic highlights
From the glorious historic buildings along Watt Street to local favourite Fort Scratchley with its panoramic outlook (and spooky torchlight ghost tours), there’s plenty of stories for history buffs to explore in Australia’s second oldest city. 

Cool culture
Culture comes in many forms in Newcastle and the latest is the “egghead” revolution sparked by Wendy Whiteley donating celebrated artist Brett Whiteley’s “Black Totem II” sculpture to the people of Newcastle – and it now boasts a prime position in front of the Newcastle Art Gallery – there’s even a facebook page dedicated to it! It is the outward face of the Whiteley on Water exhibition running until 23 February 2014.

Smashing through the borders of comedy, circus, vaudeville and burlesque, Spiegelworld Empire will descend on Newcastle’s Wheeler Place from 14 November with a spiegletent spectacular sure to blow your socks off, while City Evolutions is a new interactive after dark exhibition – lighting up the façades of some of the city’s key heritage buildings on Watt Street.

Kids will love the hands-on activities at the Newcastle Museum, while Civic Park will kick off the silly season on Saturday 7th December with Art Bazaar – an ideal opportunity to bag an early Christmas present as the park springs to life with an eclectic mix of stalls from members of the Hunter Arts Network.

TreeTop Adventure Park
For an unforgettable holiday experience way up high, head to Treetops Adventure Park where everyone from the age of three can soar through the sky on flying foxes, test their balance on a series of suspension bridges and enjoy the challenge of completing a course way above the forest floor. It’s an awesome day out for all ages, but don’t forget to book!

The Hunter Wetlands
When it comes to entertaining the kids at the Hunter Wetlands, knowing where to start is the toughest decision. Choose from daily bird and reptile feeding talks, picturesque paddling in a canoe along Ironbark Creek , dipnetting for creeply crawlies in and around the wetland ponds, exploring the Discovery Playground or tracking down wildlife on a natural treasure hunt in the Discovery Zone.

Festive season action
There’s not much room on Newcastle’s December dance card with plenty of events already lined up to get the festive spirit going. On Sunday December 8 Watt Street will host the Closing Ceremony of the Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games; the Newcastle Museum’s Carols by Candlelight take place on Thursday December 12, while King Edward Park hosts its own carols event the following evening on Friday December 13.  The majestic Old Post Office building on Hunter Street will be dressed up to inject festive cheer into the CBD and will be the centre of a special Christmas market on Friday December 20. For more information on Newcastle’s jam-packed schedule of free ‘Christmas in the City’ events visit www.newcastleseechange.com.au
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