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There’s plenty in Newie to make the wheels go round

July 5, 2013 DESTINATION No Comments Email Email

Forget what you think you know about getting around NEWcastle – the reality is much more fun. Rather than cruising on a coach or wandering on weary feet, why not embrace your inner child – or adrenaline-junkie – and check out these fab options to see all that the reinvented Newcastle has to offer.

On your bike

Whether you’re a social or a serious rider, there’s a path or track to suit every age group and ability in Newcastle. For incredible panoramic views of the coastline and city – fabulous for families with confident riders, amateur photographers and romantics – cycle from Merewether along the seaside to Nobbys Beach and enjoy engaging tales along the way of the city’s rich convict and indigenous heritage (medium difficulty).

Young riders will love the short and sweet path from Nobbys Beach to Nobbys Lighthouse or the leisurely peddle along the city foreshore from Nobbys Beach to Honeysuckle – both easy options for little legs.

For the more adventurous, cycle from Newcastle Road through Jesmond Park (easy) to Blackbutt Nature Reserve, where you can spot koalas, kangaroos, emus, wallabies, wombats and many species of Australian birds.

Follow the marked NSW Coastline Cycleway at various points throughout the city. The Newcastle section is part of a larger cycleway linking the NSW coast from the Victorian to the Queensland boarder. The Stockton section of the cycleway was recently upgraded and is an excellent, flat ride perfect for families.

Step up and skate

Roller skate, ice skate, blade or board – Newcastle offers the lot.

If you already have your own wheels, share the manicured Honeysuckle to Nobbys Beach harbour trail with cyclists, joggers and strollers, or, to show off some serious moves visit one of Newcastle’s many skate parks.

The Empire Park Skate Bowl, opposite Bar Beach on Memorial Drive, is a progressive skaters’ paradise and one of the country’s best-known boarding hotspots with its seven to 11-foot bowl and street plaza style skate scape. Onlookers aren’t left out either with plenty of shade, seating and batball courts rounding out the spectator experience. 

For those who prefer to show off their skills on the rink, visit Newcastle Roller Derby Saturday skate sessions or the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium to practice the perfect pirouette. 

Quad bike-tastic

Just a fresh five-minute ferry ride from Newcastle’s CBD and you’ll be in Stockton, renowned for its 32-kilometre beach and rolling sand dunes. Explore both on a four wheel quad bike (available to hire) and check out the famous Adolphie shipwreck and Tin City – a series of old fishing huts hidden deep in the dunes. If you prefer the bush to the beach, cruise through the Australian wilderness at Glenworth Valley’s purpose built quad biking track.  

Sightseeing by Segway

The coolest way to travel today is via Segway. Take your wheels off road and roll along with an eco-guided tour of the picturesque Hunter Wetlands Centre, or channel your competitive spirit and join a group segway challenge such as the Seglympics, or giant human fooseball with innovative travel specialists East Coast Xperiences. 

Go Kart mania

For an action-packed day on wheels hit up Go Karts Go which has three easily accessible centres across Newcastle. There’s plenty of family fun on offer at Broadmeadow, where kids as young as three can motor around in purpose-built karts on a specially tailored track. If your need for speed is somewhat greater, head to the Cameron Park course for the ultimate fast and furious outdoor karting adventure.

Unique off-roading

Newcastle and its surrounds are home to an abundance of four-wheel driving tracks so get your motor running and take in the exceptional Hunter Valley views from the unique Mount Sugarloaf trail – or one of a long list of exhilarating drives in the region.

Don’t have your own 4WD? Not a problem, jump on board Sand Dune Safaris’ purpose-built four-wheel drive Hummer to explore Port Stephens and Stockton’s iconic sand dunes in a ride you won’t soon forget.

Action-packed Rally Driving

To really get your heart racing – and get your hands on some world-class wheels – head to the Hunter Valley Rally School where you can strap into the drivers’ seat for the spin of your life around a championship track.

The wheels on the trolley go….

OK so it’s not in the same league but for those less inclined to spin around Newcastle and more inclined to push a shopping trolley, why not roll out your shopping tote and check out one of Newcastle’s funky artisan or farmers’ markets.

Pick up a one-of-a-kind find at the retro-style Adamstown Markets, bag a bargain at the Islington flea markets, select something distinctive and handmade at the Olive Tree  Markets or enjoy locally grown organic produce form the City Farmers’ and Craft Markets.

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