Welcome to Backpacker’s Boutique. Every Sunday, this spot will feature the luxury side of an awesome city. Guest bloggers will share about either their hometown or a town they are expat in and know very deeply so that you get a guide straight from a local. E-mail me if you’d like to be featured.
A Luxury Guide to Newcastle
Tell us a little about yourself and tell us why you’re an expert on luxury travel in Newcastle.
Hi there! I’m Crystal, an Aussie blogger that loves to appreciate the finer things in life (aka: food and beaches). But why am I an expert on Newcastle? Well, I lived there for five years during University and I still frequently visit because I have family living there. You could say I know the place like the back of my hand. Plus I love it there! It’s the ultimate lux destination and it has everything… great beaches, great shopping, great food (yesssss!), and it’s absolutely stunning!
What makes Newcastle a perfect destination for travelers seeking a glamorous trip?
Newcastle has the perfect mix of busy and chill. It literally has everything you could want, all within a 10-minute drive. Relaxing beach time, spas, shopping, nice places to eat, nightlife and even adventures like sand dune 4WDing! It is literally YOUR choice what kind of trip you want. Newcastle also boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, and you’ll have them all to yourself!
What 5-star hotel is the best in Newcastle?
Crowne Plaza is the best, simply because of the location. It’s right on the iconic Honeysuckle waterfront with gorgeous views to the shipping port. It’s only a few seconds walk to the harbour promenade and 5 mins into the city and main drag. It is also a short 15 min walk to a couple of great beaches. It has all the amenities you could want such as balcony views, a pool and a brilliant restaurant by the water.
Are there any fun activities for the adventurous traveler?
I could go on and an about all the cool things you can do in Newcastle… But here’s a list of my favorites! I love Blackbutt Reserve, a small reserve for an array of interesting Australian animals. Bring a BBQ or a picnic and chill by the duck pond. You can also pat a koala and hand feed the emus! For something adventurous, hire a 4WD and go sand-duning out on Stockton Beach. While you’re there visit Tin City or go shore-fishing. For something a little more luxurious try out Royal Day Spa with pamper packages set in their tranquil environment. They even have private Jacuzzis! For a seriously indulgent day – do a wine tasting tour in the Hunter Valley about 40 mins out of Newcastle. Tours with Tex Tours cost $65 for the whole day and you can buy delicious wines and cheeses at the vineyards.
Where are the best hang outs during the day in Newcastle?
My favourite weekend hangout includes a late breakfast at either Goldbergs of Three Monkeys on Darby Street then hitting Bar Beach to laze around on the sand. I like Bar Beach the best because there are less people on it, but I also really love the Bogey Hole. In the afternoon I would either walk south to Merewether Beach where there are some great waterfront cafes, or walk to the rock pools at the northern end of Bar Beach to check out the starfish. *Bliss*
If you have a big date night, what are the most delicious restaurants in Newcastle and what are their best dishes?
Literally, the best and fanciest place to eat is Subo Restaurant. This decadent restaurant ensures a memorable dining experience with a 5-course set menu for $85, which changes every six weeks. The menu boasts dishes such as ‘Broth of blue swimmer crab from Bateau Bay’ and ‘Gippsland oxtail braised in soy and star anise’. If you’re a foodie, this intimate restaurant is everything.
Tell us all the hot shopping spots in Newcastle; who’s carrying the trendy local designers?
For local designers the best place to head to is the boutique stores on Darby Street. One in particular, Guanabana, has made quite a name for herself! Instilled with a penchant for all things exotic, the label fuses ethnic inspiration and bohemian luxe to create standout ranges that compliment the relaxed, free-spirited culture of coastal life. Guanabana is probably Newcastle’s most famous designer.
Time for a great sunset view… where would you go?
There are three memorable places to see the sunset that I can recommend. First, walk along the break wall of Nobby’s Head and around the base of the lighthouse. The whole harbor will light up with pretty colours and illuminate the lighthouse. Secondly, meander along the harbour from Honeysuckle and up to the top of the tower next to Queens Warf Hotel. You’ll see far-reaching views across the city and the harbor from up here. And finally, one not to miss, check out the sunset over Bar Beach and the rolling hills behind from the ANZAC memorial bridge. It’s stunning!
Now that the sun’s gone down, fill us on the best places to go for some evening drinks or a great pre-gaming spot.
Honeysuckle on the harbor is jammed with all the nicest bars next to each other. Cocktail bars such as Honeysuckle Hotel and MoneyPenny have great views of the coal ships and harbour and awesome relaxing lounge areas to sip your fancy cocktail on.
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Passionate baby goat cuddler and part-time adventurer, Crystal can often be found doing headstands on the edges of cliffs, taking photos of abandoned buildings or sleeping on deserted islands with dangerous criminals. She has too many awesome stories and helpful tips to keep them all to herself so follow along and in return she will bring you inspiring pictures, travel videos and a whole load of fun! You can connect with her blog Castaway with Crystal or on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Twitter.
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