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4 great new walking tours to help you discover Newcastle on foot

by Silke Elzner

The city of Newcastle is just a two hours’ drive away from Sydney yet a very different experience altogether. Why not plan your next weekend trip for spring, when temperatures are still mild and not too hot? To help you in your planning I have some great walking tour ideas for you that you may want to check out.

But let me start by saying that I am really not a very good sports person. Me holding a ball in both hands always seem to look rather silly, and my all-time best jogging distance is currently under two kilometres. But there’s one thing I am really good at: walking.

As a matter of fact, I can walk for hours on end. Screw the pain in my feet, my curiosity is what pushes me on and on and on. When we visited Rome in July I managed to walk a distance of more than 40km in two days. We never used public transport and yet were able to see all the major tourist destinations.

If you are a little bit like me then you will appreciate the advantages of walking a city and discovering it on foot. You are less distracted than when driving a car, and you have much more time to take in the sights. And who knows, you may even discover things on the way that you would otherwise miss as walking can offer you a whole new perspective on things.

So next time you are in Newcastle, think about parking the car somewhere and experience the city in a pair of comfy sneakers instead. I can assure you it’s a very rewarding experience, and as it happens it’s also much healthier. And it doesn’t really matter where you would like to put the focus – nature, art, history – our lovely neighbour city Newcastle offers it all.

Here are a couple of new walking tours that you may want to try:

Newcastle Memorial Walk

For an unparalleled panoramic view of the city and the surf – with a healthy dose of history – stroll the region’s newest attraction, the Newcastle Memorial Walk. Officially opened on the eve of Anzac Day 2015, the walkway offers views from the coastline to the valley, not to mention a view of the city lights after dusk that’s hard to beat. Newcastle Memorial Walk features a series of soldier silhouettes and the names of thousands of locals who enlisted from the Newcastle area. For further information, click here.

Lookout in Newcastle

Artists’ City Walking Tour

Setting off on foot isn’t just for nature lovers, it’s also a fabulous way to see the downtown area with fresh eyes. Newcastle is a city that has always supported, hosted and inspired artists and public art. The Artists’ City Walking Tour (self-guided) begins at Obelisk Park – one of iconic artist Margaret Olley’s favourite drawing spots – before taking in a range of galleries and public art sites before concluding at Newcastle Art Gallery, home to a collection of more than 6000 works.

Convict and Industry Walking Tour

To explore Newcastle’s early years as a convict settlement and visit remnants of the city’s great industrial origins, amble the Convict and Industry Walking Tour. Beginning at the Convict Lumber Yard, the walk takes in significant archaeological sites from the city’s convict past and concludes at the Newcastle Museum, jam-packed with artefacts from the region’s industrial and convict heritage.

Newcastle at War

A self-guided walking tour, Newcastle at War, invites visitors to delve deep into the city’s war-time tales. Beginning at iconic Fort Scratchley and finishing at the Newcastle War Memorial Cultural Centre at the city’s library.

Maybe you are still not convinced but do want to discover Newcastle at a slower pace? Then head to the Interbike’s station at Crowne Plaza in the heart of the Honeysuckle precinct and hire a bike for the day. It’s fun, cheap and environmentally friendly for all the family!