Leonardi Travel Diary

Newcastle: More Like Long-Overdue-Castle

Australia, NSW, Newcastle | 22 February 2014

So we went to Newcastle like two and a half months ago! It's actually a place that I think is significantly underrated by locals. It has a reputation of being a sleepy, coal miner's town -- but it actually reminds me a lot of Portland, Maine back home. Pretty happening bars and restaurants scene, and some beautiful scenery to boot. Very "up and coming." When we got there, I really couldn't see why Australians grimaced when we mentioned we were going.

Anyway, we  decided to take the train from Sydney ($8.50 each way -- best deal in town). It was a 3-ish hour trip filled with really beautiful scenery so the time passed quickly. When we got off the train, we were happy to find we only had to wheel our bags 2 blocks from the station to get to our hotel. Within those 2 blocks we saw four things: tons of bars, several restaurants, the Harbor, and the Nobbys Head Lighthouse. We were pumped for the weekend.

After dropping off our bags, we set off immediately to Nobbys Head. It wasn't too long of a walk and we wanted to grab some lunch in that direction anyway. This 30 min walk ended up turning into a few hours of circling the entire city (including climbing up to the city's tallest point). We ate lunch overlooking the beach, and watched hang-gliders doing tricks. We walked on a jetty and almost got soaked by waves. We even almost accidentally crashed a wedding (before an older lady came running towards us to inform us of the situation).

Once we got back to the hotel we booked a quad-bike tour for the next day. It promised dunes, a shipwreck, and some adrenaline pumping adventure. It didn't disappoint and I have to say Lucia handled her quad-bike like a champ!

I took her to Paymasters! I took her to Paymasters!

On Sunday after the tour, we needed to grab lunch and head home (this was a quick head up/head home trip).  Our lunch plans actually created a bit of debate. Interestingly, this debate stemmed from way back during one of our first weekends in Sydney. We had gone to a rugby league game and then to a pub afterward (as you do). At this pub we some how combined tables with a group of guys from Newcastle! In our wasted-ness these guys obviously took a shine to Lucia and I was told repeatedly "With a classy lady like this, you have to take her to Paymasters!",  "You HAVE to take this lady to Paymasters." At the time I had no idea what Paymasters was, only that it was in Newcastle, and that it's the place you take "classy ladies." I didn't argue, and we made a mental note that we should probably go check it out some day. We eventually found out that it's one of the nicest restaurants in Newcastle! Apparently it IS where you take a lady as refined as Lucia =). Fast forward to us in Newcastle with only about 2 hours before having to get on a train, and we're stuck -- Paymasters usually requires reservations, and it's a bit further away than we thought. Tack on the fact that nicer restaurants typically take more time, and we were a bit hesitant. BUT how could we come all the way to Newcastle and NOT go to Paymasters, especially when we made a promise to that guy!?!  How could we let him down? So I took her to paymasters, and it was awesome, and we got our train on time. Thank you random St. George Dragons fan from Newcastle! We had an amazing lunch!

Here's a quick video of our walk on the jetty.

If I remember anything else I'll update, but I think I got the gist. Check out some pictures!

Check out our other entries from: Australia, NSW, Newcastle