In the heart of the Hunter Region lies the chilled beachside city of Newcastle, where hundreds of motorhome travellers enjoy the sights each year. It’s the second largest city in the state, yet feels nothing like Sydney. With a rich history, quirky culture and eight stunning beaches on its doorstep, it’s the kind of place you’ll always come back to.
The people are genuine and easy going, but this is a city shaped by a cast of convicts, coal miners and steelworkers. Brush up on the past at the numerous heritage sites dotted around the city.
Motorhome hire in Newcastle, all the best deals
Newcastle has plenty of options to choose from for campervan hire in NSW. At Motorhome Rebublic we bring all of those companies together on one site so you can compare. It’s really simple, just enter your details on our search engine and you’ll be shown all the camper hires in Newcastle that suit.
In Australia, folk are easy-going and happy to travel across the country with just the basics. So while there are definitely plenty of motorhome hire options to accommodate the whole family, you’re likely to see the smaller, more easy-to-manage campers on the road.
What to see and do in Newcastle
With a spectacular coastline of pristine beaches and family-friendly waters, it’s easy to find a spot in Newcastle for a dip. There are six patrolled beaches within 5km of the city. On the other side of the mall lies a Bondi lookalike, but without the chaos, that the locals know as Nobby’s. Nobby’s Beach has a long breakwater where you can walk or bike to the head of the harbour. Seals and dolphins often play in the waves.
You can stroll short sections and circle back via the city streets if you’ve got too many things to see in the day. Or if you don’t like sand in funny places, try the Merewether Ocean Baths – the largest baths in the Southern Hemisphere.
Hang around until 2pm, where above the beach at Fort Scratchley they fire the cannon. It’s a great piece of history and the views are spectacular. Take a guided tour through the underground tunnels to learn more about the Fort’s history and involvement in WWII. Head to Bogey Hole for a history lesson while you swim. It’s a historic site that dates back to 1819. The pool was constructed by convicts for the personal use of Commandant Morisset. It is particularly popular in summer, for locals and tourists alike.
At Convict Lumberyard you can see how how life was for the Australian Aborigines and European immigrants – it’s a history lesson not to be missed.
Another famous historic site - the Christ Church Cathedral - is a short motorhome trip away. It survived a Japanese submarine attack in WWII plus the 1989 Newcastle Earthquake, and still boasts exquisite architecture, beautiful grounds and wide views of Newcastle harbour.
Darby Street, Newcastle East and Cooks Hill are where Newcastle boutique culture lies. The Art Deco Civic Theatre presents amazing shows and the architecture itself is truly stunning.
Food and drink – Newcastle nightlife
If you have a passion for good food and shopping, Darby Street is for you. With 20 cafes to choose from, you’ll be well and truly caffeinated for the boutique treasure troves of the area.
Newcastle has recently become a foodie destination with new restaurants winning national awards. Dine at one of the eateries at Honeysuckle precinct and enjoy front-row views of all the harbour action. Watch as ferries come in and out and tiny tugboats pull in monstrous coal ships.
Queens Wharf Brewery, or “The Brewery” as it is locally known, offers local live music, traps for sunshine and extraordinarily good alcoholic ginger beer. It’s an ideal haunt for a Sunday session. If you are on a budget, you can’t go past a Darby’s pie of Novocastrian-style fish and chips from Scottie’s, a short walk from Nobby’s.
Day drives from Newcastle
Your credit cards may need a little cardio or you’d like to enjoy the big city lights. Well travelling between Sydney and Newcastle in your campervan hire is easy - the drive takes barely more than two hours. Avoid the city if you can though, there’s so much more to see. Newcastle is part of the Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s finest wine countries and the Valley is less than two hours north-west of Newcastle. The great thing with a camper is you can drive there, drink, and you’ve already got your place to stay if you have a few too many. Grab a map of the different vineyards so you know where you’re going.
The drive to Port Stephens is beautiful and worth a day. It should take an hour, but there are places along the journey that could keep you captivated for a while. At Nelson Bay take a cruise for the opportunity to see dolphins or cruise across the water to Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens. It’s also a great place to try water-skiing or windsurfing.
Camping on the coast – Newcastle motorhome accommodation
Holiday parks in Australia have great facilities, almost always BBQs and a pool. Belmont Bayview Park is no different and is close to the city of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and several great local restaurants.
Birubi Beach Holiday Park is a brilliant option for those who love the beach. The facilities are clean and the staff friendly. This is a spot to bring the whole family. Or try the child friendly Redhead Beach Holiday Park.
With Stockton Beach Holiday Park on the beachfront of 32km of white sand stretching from Stockton to Anna Bay, it’s an excellent place to lay down your towel for a bit of sunbathing. Or maybe have a surf or fish?
Find your way around Australia – handy driving tips
Keep you camper rental under the speed limit. In NSW during public holidays police are in force and will not tolerate those who break the road rules.
Always keep left unless passing, and remember overtaking in a motorhome takes longer than normal. Allow enough time and judge distances carefully.
Summer in NSW can get hot. Choose a campervan hire that has air conditioning and remember plenty of sunscreen.