|Distance: 0km||Total Distance: 1386.7km|
Yesterday we were having a day off in Newcastle. Newcastle is a city of about 350,000 and used to be very industrial with the BHP Steel Works that closed in 1999. It’s still the largest port in the world for exporting coal. After the loss of the steel works, Newcastle has put a lot of energy and money into rejuvenating itself with great public art, foreshore, free wifi and buses, the Fernleigh Track and many other projects.
We spent the morning doing some website work, laundry, and sorting ourselves out. We then caught the ferry back across the river to the CBD and had lunch, then walked around. Later in the afternoon we got tired of exploring so went to the movies (The Other Boy, 7.5/10, highly recommended). After the movie we caught the ferry back, cooked dinner and went to bed.
Today we intended to carry on cycling up to Stephens Bay but when we woke it was raining. The rain stopped at about 9am but we’d already decided to stay another day in Newcastle as strong winds are forecast for this afternoon. We had a leisurely morning and charged up all the devices. We then set off for town at 11am and caught the free bus. We travelled on the free bus for a full loop to see the sights of the city and admire the architecture, then got off and walked to the Public Art Gallery. We first had some lunch in the park then found that the gallery was almost all closed as they are installing a new exhibition. It’s a shame we didn’t get to look around as the gallery has a good reputation. We then decided to go to the city museum and again caught the free bus. The museum was surprisingly good with a large area devoted to the steelworks, coal industry, and working class history of the city. After the museum we walked along the promenade, had a beer at a busy bar, then caught the ferry back to the caravan park.
We’ve enjoyed Newcastle. It reminds Will of Dunedin crossed with Sydney and Liverpool. Newcastle has a great vibe and we are pleased we’ve spent some time here as it’s not a place that’s normally on the tourist map although the city is trying to change this.
Highlight of the days: Spending time in vibrant Newcastle.