Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Newcastle City, Here We Are!

Another out-of-town trip

Newcastle is located 162km north east of Sydney, at the same area as Hunter Valley. Newcastle's economy is driven by coal mining and tourism and it is the second most populated area in New South Wales.

Before European settlement in 1797, Awabakal and Worimi Aboriginal people inhabited this area. Upon discovery by the British, many convicts were sent to Newcastle to mine the coal as punishment to the crimes that did. This continued until 1823.

Newcastle took part in World War II during the attack of Japanese on 08 June 1942. There were no casualties as a result of that attack.

Today, Newcastle becomes one of the major tourist destinations in New South Wales. It can be reached by driving approximately 3-4 hours drive from Sydney or by taking train on Newcastle Line from Central to Hamilton Station and transferring to shuttle bus to Newcastle Station. The journey takes approximately 3.5 hours and costs AUD 5.81 (~SGD 6.5). The train interval is approximately 30 minutes apart.

Newcastle Station

Alighting at Hamilton Station and boarding the shuttle bus to Newcastle Station is not a problem. The station officer guided the passengers to the bus stop. The journey from Hamilton Station to Newcastle Station is only 15 minutes.

After arriving at Newcastle Station, we walked to the Christ Church Cathedral by passing the centre of the area. The buildings there could be considered antique and it felt so laid-back.

One of the building in the city centre

The house

Christ Church Cathedral is a gothic church designed by John Horbury Hunt. This cathedral is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle and was built to replace the previous church. The original designers of the church were Terry and Speechley, who won the design competition in 1868. However, the cost was apparently being underestimated during the design. Joh Horbury Hunt's more feasible design was then adopted to be the new face of Christ Church Cathedral.

The foundation stone was laid in 1892. It took 43 years to complete the nave of the church without the tower and transepts. In 1974, a severe storm damaged a large part of the roof. The repair was completed in 1979 and the Christ Church Cathedral was consecrated in 1983.

However, another damage was undergone by the church again in 1989 due to earthquake. The second repair was completed in 1997. Besides the main cathedral, the church has the Caphel of Saint Nicholas, the Chapel of Saint Michael, the Chapel of Our Lady and the Chapel of Saint Christopher. There are also many ornaments in the church worth admiring. When we moved into the church, a lady passed us an A4 paper full of information.

The first glance of Newcastle Christ Church Cathedral

Front of the church

Side entrance

Selfie time!

Magnificent, right?

The entrance is from the side 

The main chamber


The Window of Rose
The Chapel of St. Nicholas

At the back of the Cathedral

A memorial garden at the backyard of the church

After spending some time in the cathedral, we continued our journey on foot to Darby Street. Darby Street is known as a food street of Newcastle where the cafes and shops flock. Another good thing about Newcastle CBD is the free shuttle bus. From 9:00 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. weekday and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekend, the free shuttle buses run in 20 minute interval on a one-way loop from Newcastle Station to Scott Street, Hunter Street, Honeysuckle Precinct, Wickham Interchange, City West, Donald Street, Hamilton Cafe Precinct, Tudor Street, TAFE, Market Town Shopping Centre and King Street. Later than those hours, the buses are operating as per normal but the passengers should pay for the rides.

Junction of Hunter Street and Darby Street

The tower there is Newcastle City Hall

Darby Street

It is true that Darby Street is the food street of Newcastle. The whole road is full of nice looking cafes and restaurants. We walked a few rounds before deciding the place where we should have our lunch. We chose Monkey Monkey Monkey cafe which had many customers inside. We chose the right one.

Al-fresco dining

The bar

Inside seatings

The coffee is reaaaally nice, bold and bitter!

The best mushroom meal I have ever eaten

Crispy chicken burger

We also went into a dessert cafe called Coco Monde and bought some chocolates. The chocolates are delicious and all other desserts looks so tempting!

Coco Monde

The dessert cafe

The desserts

The chocolates

After having the satisfying lunch, we took the free shuttle bus back to Newcastle Station. At the back of Newcastle Station, there lies Foreshore Park. With the view of Newcastle Harbour, Foreshore Park is one of the best places to have your picnic lunch.

Customs House Hotel

Newcastle Harbour
Pretty Foreshore Park

At the end of the park

Love is in the air,

Little Feet

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