Outdoor adventures, nature and fun! Newcastle is full of great activities for kids of all ages, so we decided to share some of our favourite kid-friendly experiences around Newcastle from the beach to the playground and everything in between. Why? because inside…we’re all kids at heart.
1. Ride the Scooter Track at The Station
Test drive your scooter or bike at the newest Scooter Track in town! Newcastle’s old train station is a new contemporary destination full of beautiful heritage buildings and local artisan shops. Sit down with a coffee while the kids race around The Station street circuit. The Station also features a 6500-kilogram replica of the old Newcastle Flyer which is modeled off the Steam Locomotive which used to operate between Newcastle and Sydney, commonly known as ‘The Flyer’.
2. Search for Wildlife at the Hunter Wetlands Centre
The Hunter Wetland Centre Australia is Australia’s longest-running community owned wetlands centre. The Centre has been serving the community through conservation, education and eco-tourism for over 33 years. It is full of great activities for kids with dip netting, walking, riding, canoeing, magpie geese feeding as well as reptile talks; if that wasn’t enough the volunteers at the centre also work incredibly hard year round to provide additional kids activities throughout the school holidays.
3. Explore the Barracks of Fort Scratchley
Fort Scratchley was a former coastal defense installation, which is now an interactive museum. The Fort is a great place for the whole family to visit with spectacular views as well as loads of local maritime history. The Fort and barracks are under constant restoration by a team of volunteers that maintain the site. Arguably one of Newcastle’s best vantage points. Enjoy the views from the top, a guided tour of the tunnels or if you are lucky enough at special events witness the guns fire as a seafaring tradition.
4. Learn about Science at Newcastle Museum
Newcastle Museum is the ideal spot for kids, with high-quality kids exhibitions and science shows. One of the best things about the Newcastle Museum is you can tackle it at your own pace, whether you book in for a tour or choose the self-guided option, you cannot go wrong. Kids love it because there is always a range of fun things for them to do and see with exhibitions which ignite their imagination!
5. Catch the Stockton Ferry
Newcastle is evolving, but some things never change. The Stockton Ferry has been evolving along with the city for decades. In 1971 the Stockton Bridge replaced the vehicular ferry service however the passenger ferry is always popular with commuters and visitors to the city. Take the kids “over seas” to Stockton. Enjoy a coffee, walk or ride along the Stockton breakwall or even explore Stockton’s new active hub at Griffith Park!
6. Interact with Reptiles in Blackbutt Reserve
There is a whole day full of kids activities waiting for families at Blackbutt Reserve. Kids love the new adventure playground, the animal encounters and educational shows. If picnics are your thing, then Blackbutt is the perfect place for a family picnic in between a nature walk or a reptile show. Get to know some of Blackbutt’s reptile residents during a reptile show in the Wildlife Arena. The experienced team will let the kids meet, learn about, and at times interact with all different forms of scaly and slimy friends.
7. Splash in the Canoe Pool
Located next to the Newcastle Ocean Baths, the canoe pool is perfect for families with little ones. The canoe pool is said to have been built next to the mysterious ‘map pool’ in 1939. There is a local legend that goes along with the map pool, or ‘Young Mariners Pool’ as it was once called, that a map of the world still lies beneath the sand. Originally, the two pools were constructed as paddling pools for children and sailing of small canoes as well as for the protection of the Newcastle Ocean Baths in rough seas. The legend of the ‘map pool’ still remains today. Some claim to have seen the map for themselves, others believe it was removed; either way, the canoe pool is a great spot for little kids to get familiar with the ocean, and get some sand between their toes!
8. Walk, skip or ride Nobbys Breakwall
Nobbys Breakwall and Macquarie Pier (the section that connects Nobbys to the mainland constructed in 1846) has been a much-loved destination for Novocastrians for decades. Kids enjoy walking, skipping or riding along the breakwall while there are iconic views of Newcastle’s cityscape to the west, Nobbys Beach, dolphins, ships and occasionally seals to the east. For little ones still in prams, Nobbys Breakwall is a great spot for families to stroll. Looking to extend your walk? Why not check out Foreshore Park, Queens Wharf or even the Bathers Way.
9. Go for a slide at Lambton Pool
Lambton Pool is a great summer destination for kids to enjoy some of the best aspects of being a kid, such as swimming, sunshine and the great outdoors. During the warmer months of the year, Lambton Pool is buzzing with kids of all ages living it up at one of Lambton’s amazing pools. There is something for everyone with aquatic facilities such as heated 50-metre, learners and toddlers pools, an aquatic playground and even a 100-metre giant waterslide!
10. Enjoy gelato by the beach
If kids themselves wrote this list, I’m positive this one would be at the top of the list. Once you have covered Newcastle as a kid, why not hit one of Newcastle’s Best Beaches with gelato in hand? There are loads of cafes around Newcastle which are kid-friendly. From gelato to babyccinos and lots of delicious sweet treats in between, Newcastle East is loaded with perfect spots for you to enjoy a break with your kids!
For more details on the best places to go, and what to do, visit Newy With Kids!
CoastXP caters for families and kids above 3 years old on each one of our tours, to plan your next Newcastle experience visit www.coastxp.com