Scoring the ultimate backpacker goldmine (a house sitting opportunity) I unpacked and settled into Newcastle, a port city in New South Wales.
The small, very bicycle-friendly city has a blue collar grittiness thats mixed with a laid back surf vibe. It feels like a hidden gem on the brink of being overrun with people looking for an alternative to massive Sydney. It even had hints of my beloved Fremantle, with charming historical buildings sitting right along side the coast.
We visited Newcastle last year and were very pleased to come back. The Newcastle lifestyle is extremely easy to adapt to. The three weeks consisted of bicycling along the boardwalk, working out of the strip of cafe's on Darby Street, cooking curry dinners and enjoying the salt water of the Merewether Ocean Baths.
From our time there, EditMate ended up doing some videos for HUNTERhunter, an online guide to Newcastle and (the surrounding) Hunter Valley. Their website is a cool guide for what to eat/see/do in Newcastle but here are some of my favorite spots:
MoMo: Beautiful, airy restaurant in a heritage building with giant high ceilings and delicious whole foods.
One Two Seven Darby: Lovely set-up and they put gorgeous FLOWERS on your organic quinoa oatmeal and it makes you wanna go meditate and be a vegan even though after, you'll go get bacon flavored gelato at Monella, which is just a few doors down.
Cocowhip: OR if you want to ride that healthy train into an ice cream station, you can go get "bio fermented coconut soft serve" from Cocowhip. What it is, I don't actually know... but I know it's delicious and there's lots of fun toppings.
Newcastle City Farmers Markets: I've been to a few farmers markets in my day and this was one of the best.
Goldbergs: Dark wood everything, bohemian feel and hearty, savory real-good food. Super nice staff. Excellent coffee.
Newcastle Memorial Walk: Endless ocean views. Nice spot for watching the paragliders.
Merewether Ocean Baths: JUST HEAVEN.
...AND of course, all of the Newcastle Beaches. There are 5 (!) of them.
Lastly, for a little preview of what goes on in Newcastle -- here are the videos we edited for HUNTERhunter: