The Hotel: Ibis Newcastle
Set right in the centre of town in the bustling Honeysuckle Precinct, Ibis Newcastle is surrounded by entertainment attractions, live music venues, and dining options to suit a range of budgets. For those who prefer to dine on site, the hotel’s iBistro plates up international cuisine with a Mod-Oz touch alongside wines from the Hunter Valley and premium beers.
Groupies stay in a Standard Room, which features a modern design that encompasses mod-cons like flat-screen TVs with pay-per-view channels and air-conditioning, while a signature touch comes in the form of Sweet Bed by Ibis bedding. The included WiFi makes staying connected a given, and late 12pm check-out helps ensured a relaxed final morning.
- Bed size/type: Queen bed
- Standard occupancy: Two adults or
- Maximum occupancy: Two adults and one child under 12 years
- The room features a modern bathroom, tea- and coffee-making facilities, flat-screen TV, and air conditioning.
The Area: Newcastle, NSW
Rated as one of the top 10 places to travel in the world by Lonely Planet in 2011, Newcastle is often overlooked as a travel destination. But the area boasts a rich cultural history as Australia’s second-oldest town and a sunny beach scene to rival those of typical watery destinations, not to mention the vineyards of the Hunter Valley close by. Visit centuries-old buildings, sip on fine wine, and hit the golden sand all in one day in this holiday hub, just two hours from Sydney.
Kick stays off with a trip to one of eight beaches, like Meriwether, Newcastle, Nobbys, or Bar Beach for surfing or fishing fun, or have a paddle at the iconic Newcastle Ocean Baths. Swing by the Honeysuckle Precinct, where restaurants plating up dishes from around the world compete for attention. This is the place to gaze out at the harbour, listen to some live music, and sample cuisine with a modern twist. Later, move to Darby Street for a coffee or cocktail in trendy surrounds.
Culture vultures find their fix amongst the mix of local and international art at the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery or instead go hunting for a piece to take home at any number of small galleries dotted around the city. Step back in time with a stroll through the Fort Scratchley Historic Site or Bogey Hole to see relics of Newcastle’s colonial past, while the Christ Church Cathedral is worth a visit for its imposing form and steadfast past.