It’s definitely time to take a collective sigh of relief, the semester is done! I say, embrace the wonders of Newy, allow yourself to be captivated by the city’s charm and make this winter break an unforgettable chapter in your student journey. Social media calls this “romanticising life” and I think that’s the perfect way to describe it. “Romanticise” your winter break by taking the opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee at the Press Bookhouse, getting lost in a captivating book at Nobbys beach, cherishing the moments shared with friends over a delicious burger lunch at Betty’s, whale watching at Newcastle harbour, chasing sunsets with a walk down the ANZAC memorial and relishing the simple pleasures that make life beautiful.
Below, I share some delightful budget friendly activities and adventures to make the most of your winter break here in Newcastle.
Embrace the Chilly Beach Vibes:
Firstly, who says the beach is only for summer? From Nobbys beach to Newcastle beach, the sandy shores of Newcastle beaches are something that can help with relaxation and melting away stress. You can build sandcastles, have epic beach volleyball tournaments, cute beach picnics or simply lounge around with a good book. Newcastle beach also offers a whole array of thrilling water sports and activities. If you have always wanted to try your hand at surfing, paddleboarding or even snorkeling to explore the vibrant underwater world, but the stress of exams and assignments was keeping you away, now is the perfect time. It’s an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself and make the most of your break.
Whale Watching Wonder:
One thing about Newcastle, is that it has incredible coastal views and during the winter months, it becomes a prime spot for whale watching. As a student coming from a landlocked country, whales are something I only ever saw on tv. So, if you are like me, take this opportunity and get to see them first hand. Hop aboard a whale watching tour and you will get to witness the majestic humpback whales as they migrate along the coast.
Anzac Memorial and Heritage:
In the mood for walking? Take a moment to pay your respects and enjoy the city view, at the Newcastle Memorial Walk (ANZAC walk). The elevated walkway provides a beautiful view of the coastline and is a gentle reminder of the sacrifices made during World War I. And if you still feel like immersing yourself in the rich history and heritage of Newcastle, explore Fort Scratchley and Newcastle Museum.
Newcastle is blessed with amazing landscapes and national parks, the perfect place to be in if you love hiking and bushwalking. Take a break from your studies and explore Glenrock State Conservation Area, where you can wander along scenic trails, discover hidden waterfalls or even mountain bike. If you’re up for a longer adventure, head to Barrington Tops National Park, a World Heritage-listed wilderness that offers stunning vistas, ancient rainforests and cascading waterfalls. It’s perfect for fishing, camping and hiking.
Hunter Valley Delights:
To my wine and nature enthusiasts, Hunter Valley is a must visit. Join a tour or go with a group of friends and explore the region’s world-renowned wineries, and you get to sample some wines and enjoy some tasty bites.
Unleash Your Inner Foodie:
Newcastle is a food lover’s paradise. Embark on a culinary adventure alone or with friends, hopping from Darby street to Honeysuckle drive, sampling the heartiest of winter comfort foods. From steaming “Beach” burritos, burger lunches with friends at “Betty’s”, to brunch at Newy’s hidden gem “Banana blossoms” and sushi nights at “Sushi revolution,” make the most of your culinary adventure.
Random Acts of Kindness:
Spread some love and joy as well. Donating blood at the Newcastle Lifeblood Centre is a great initiative to give back if you are able to.
So, the winter semester break is not just about academically preparing for the next semester, it should be a time for you to let loose, make memories and experience the joys of life. Make it a point to balance relaxation and exploration, ensuring that you return to your studies with a refreshed mind, renewed enthusiasm, and a collection of incredible experiences.