Life's best pleasures are often the simple ones – picnicking in the park with friends, a scenic bike ride, or warming up with a hot coffee. Here are four simple pleasures you can enjoy on the weekend while staying local.
Keep calm and picnic
Happiness is fresh air and good friends. Pack a picnic basket and gather your mates for a picnic with a view at one of these scenic locations…
- Enjoy views out across Nobby's Beach and Lighthouse from the grassy headland of historic Fort Scratchley, open to the public between 10am and 4pm on weekends.
- Make the most of its weekend opening hours and climb the path to Nobby's Lighthouse. The up-hill walk will have your heart racing but the views back across Newcastle make it well worth it. Open 8am – 4pm on weekends.
- With stunning views all the way down to Merewether Baths, the grassed area overlooking Bar Beach is the perfect spot to soak up some rays.
- At the very top of King Edward Park is a large grassy off-leash area with spectacular views out across the ocean. The best part – you can bring your best furry friend!
- Have you discovered Merewether's best kept secret, Hickson Street Lookout? With stunning views out across Burwood Beach, this has to be one of the best picnic possies in Newcastle.
The best part? All of these locations have amazing vistas out to the ocean, providing the perfect vantage point to catch the annual whale migration. For more ways to spot the whale's as they cruise past, check out The best ways to whale watch in Newcastle by Visit Newcastle.
Flaunt your active wear at your local park or sportsground
Do you know that Newcastle has around 115 parks, and more than 160 sportsgrounds? Make the most of our green spaces this weekend and get out and about for some fresh air in your active wear. Whether you're walking, jogging or riding a bike, there's a park to suit everyone's tastes. Use the City of Newcastle App to quickly locate the most suitable park for your needs along with facilities such as playgrounds, public toilets, BBQ's, picnic tables, shade shelters, parking and bike racks.
Looking to get a little more active? Many of our parks have gym equipment, basketball courts, tennis courts and skate parks. Dust off your trainers and get in a good sweat session to boost those endorphins! If you prefer to be on the sidelines, use the App to locate your nearest sporting ground and wander down to cheer on a local footy, soccer or netball team.
Drink and dine off the beaten track
Newcastle is brimming with amazing eateries. You probably have your favourites, but why not expand your horizons and try something new this weekend? There's a tonne of hidden gems waiting to be explored. Pick a suburb and go for a stroll – you never know what you'll come across! Best of all, you'll be supporting local business which is more important than ever during these challenging times. Here are ten suburban picks to get you started…
- Carrington: You can't miss Ground Up Espresso on Young Street with its brightly tiled facade – pop in for a coffee and bite to eat at this cheery local.
- Wallsend: Join the queue at one of Wallsend's most loved cafes, Wildflower Espresso on Cowper Street, and you won't be disappointed!
- Kotara: The Letter Q in Joslin Street is a little gem tucked away in suburban Kotara. Get your order to take away and enjoy the brand new park just across the street.
- Lambton: After you've finished a lap of Lambton Park take a stroll down Elder Street and you'll come across the ever popular Williams Artisan Bread and Espresso.
- Adamstown: It may be small but the coffee and treats at Pekarna are mighty, a little gem on Brunker Road full of tasty Czech and European pastries.
- Stockton: Looking for coffee with a view? It's hard to go past Lexie's on the Beach with impressive views over Stockton Beach.
- Tighes Hill: Grab a takeaway cuppa from Praise Joe and try not to be tempted by their to-die-for vegemite scrolls and sausage rolls, good luck!
- Hamilton: Head off the beaten track and pay a visit to Common Circus Hamilton where you can indulge your desire for both good coffee and homewares at the same time.
- Cooks Hill: Tucked away in the backstreets of Cooks Hill is Welsh Blacks with crispy croissants, good coffee and friendly staff.
- Maryville: You can't go past Baked Uprising when it comes to good coffee and fresh sourdough, not to mention all the other tasty baked goods available!
Take your two wheels for a spin
Pump up your tyres and take your bike out for a spin. There's so many amazing bike routes around Newcastle ready for you to explore on two wheels. Whether you want to follow the coast or zip across town, there's bound to be a path that will take you where you want to go. Check out the Newcastle cycleways map for all your options, including:
- Fernleigh Track, an easy 15km shared path along the former rail corridor between Adamstown and Belmont
- Tramway Track, an easy 3.6km track than runs from Ganney Street Wallsend to Frederick Street Glendale
- Bathers Way loops, a 20km loop along Bathers Way, Foreshore and Hamilton, or a shorter 10km loop including Bathers Way, Foreshore and Cooks Hill.
With a bit of help from the City of Newcastle App, you can find the best of everything in your area! And remember, follow the latest COVID advice from the NSW State Government including wearing a face mask when indoors, adhering to social distancing rules, and staying home if you’re feeling unwell.