Published: 10 April 2014 by: Shae Courtney

Newcastle: the destination to be this Easter

For weekending city slickers wishing to escape the urban jungle, or countrysiders seeking a relaxed city break, Newcastle provides a romantic base on the doorstep of the iconic Hunter Valley, with a swathe of cultural, culinary and quirky activity options. Newcastle Airport operates services to Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney - connecting NSW's second largest city to the rest of Australia and the world.

Newcastle by night

1. The city from the surf

Few things are more romantic than city lights by night.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of Newcastle harbour by day or night: watch the sun set over dinner aboard a harbour cruise with perfectly paired wine and a sumptuous spread. Nova Cruises is offering great cruising deals over the Easter long weekend.

For active couples, why not paddle yourselves? Newcastle Kayak Tours is offering a 10% discount throughout the period.

 

Discover market delights

2. Barter for a bargain and take home a trinket

Selling secondhand, handmade and ethically-sourced goods and wares from skirts and shirts to art, jewellery and more - Newcastle's artisan markets are idyllic to peruse, not least for their plethora of fabulous food and coffee vendors.

Hunt&Gather Markets, featuring everything from clothing designers to preloved pieces, and fast gaining a reputation for creativity, flair and personality, is taking place on April 19 in Newcastle East's Pacific Park - simply not to be missed.

Or, for couples planning an ANZAC Day weekend away, on April 25 discover Newcastle's new night markets in Hunter Street Mall (held on the second and forth Friday of each month), featuring artisan wares, local fare and entertainment.

Enjoy a night out

 

3. Fine fare, Pinot and a night to remember

Enjoy a twilight drink at the Honeysuckle Hotel, offering harbour views and waterfront dining, followed by a candlelit dinner at hatted restaurant, Subo - Newcastle's premier restaurant.

Alternatively, check out one of Newcastle's many other eateries serving everything from Fraser Island Spanner Crab to prime, tender Wagyu beef and salt-of-the-earth fish and chips.

For traditional romantics, the recently opened Reserve Wine Bar, French bistro, Le Passe Temps, and the ultimate cellar atmosphere of Bar Petite, are second to none. For those looking for a more relaxed setting, try quirky craft beer haunt The Grain Store, or one of the most awarded pubs in Australia, the Albion.

Newcastle has a thriving art scene

4. Newcastle's beating 'art

Oft regarded as the language of love, art, culture and Newcastle go hand-in-hand.

Newcastle Art Gallery exhibits some of the finest artwork in Australia, with large collections from the likes of Brett Whiteley, including his recently relocated Black Totem II, birds' nest sculpture which now looms large over the main entrance.

If you're seeking an art-inspired present for your loved one, then you can't go wrong at Cooks Hill Galleries - recognised as the Hunter's premier commercial art gallery - which has been auctioning works of art since 1975.

Enjoying a picnic in King Edward park

5. Newcastle's best walks

Watt Street and the iconic East End feature historical buildings around every corner and are an architect's dream - particular at night when City Evolutions, a vivid light display of radiant colours, vibrantly lights up Watt Street.

From coal to cultural - check out Newcastle's transformation which is underscored by Darby Street. Quaint boutiques, art deco cafes and artisan outlets pepper this Newcastle mainstay.

If you're looking for a breath of fresh air, escape the centre of town and head to King Edward Park for a romantic autumn picnic and a laid-back walk in the park. Providing unparalleled views of Newcastle - from city to the surf - and beyond.

 

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