After leaving Sydney, we set out on a little mini-roadtrip. (We thought we would need to be back in Sydney after a few weeks for a mandatory teaching interview that wasn’t actually required in the first place…long story.) Our first stop was Newcastle.
Newcastle is where Mike completed his teaching certification way back 6 or so years ago. It was really fun to see the places that he often talks about. Plus, it just felt comfortable to be in a place that felt somewhat familiar. We felt so comfortable there that after our road trip we ended up staying in Newcastle for nearly a month!
While I really liked Newcastle, it has a bit of a reputation. It is currently the world’s largest harbor exporting coal. As you can imagine, that’s not very pretty. It also has had a fairly rough nightlife in the past. For example, shots are no longer served at the bars because patrons had a tendency of getting out of hand. I’ve heard there have been great improvements but unfortunately one of our German friends had a scary night out. A drunk Australian guy tried to pick a fight by saying he was Jewish and then blaming the German for the Holocaust? Not really sure what happened but it involved 5 or 6 Aussie guys trying to fight our friend, and searching for him all night. Fortunately, it didn’t amount to anything and didn’t happen again.
So it started to make sense why people seemed so confused when I told them we were staying in Newcastle voluntarily. But really, it’s a nice place! It has more artists per capita than any other city in Australia, beautiful beaches, plenty of live music, and a laid back vibe (in general).
One of my favorite features in Newcastle were the Ocean Baths. I know a lot of places along the coast have saltwater pools filled by the ocean…but these ones were just so stylized. While it was far too cold for me, Mike went for a swim in the baths most days.
I have a feeling we’ll be back in Newcastle at least one more time in the coming months.