As Australia’s sixth largest city, Newcastle offers all the benefits and amenities of a large city but with all the friendliness of a regional town. Newcastle is at the mouth of the Hunter River, approximately 150 km north of Sydney in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Australia. The second largest city in the state of NSW and sixth largest in Australia, Newcastle city had a population of 153,000 in 2008 and the suburban area had over 500,000. The city is the focal point for a diverse district that encompasses beaches and mountains, restaurants and wineries.
Newcastle is Australia's oldest sea port, currently the second most important in the country in terms of overall tonnage. It is also the world's largest coal exporter.The city of Newcastle is the hub for exploring the many activities and sights that surround the city. In the north is Stockton beach, miles and miles of uninhabited beaches that stretch up to Nelson bay. The wreck of the Signa can be seen from Fort Scratchley, which was Newcastle's maritime defence during the world wars. Travel westward to the wineries and taste some of Australia's best wines. Barrington Tops National Park in the north west has beautiful fresh water rivers and rain forests, a good place to spot a platypus. Newcastle is a great place for surfers, wine buffs, bush walkers, and anyone interested in Australian history.