Your semester abroad can feel fast paced, especially with travel and excursions mixed-in. Sometimes, you need slow down and take a breather. If you’re feeling in need of a relaxing day, Newcastle is the place for you. Here are four essential components of a great Novocastrian (a native or resident of Newcastle) day.


1. Spend the morning at the beach

It is almost impossible to feel bad at the beach (unless you forget sunscreen). Somehow, as soon as your feet hit the sand, all your cares are swept out to sea and there are no worries.  In Newcastle, you have plenty of options when it comes to beaches. There are beaches for surfing, swimming, people watching and dog walking. There are rocky outcroppings, hand-carved ocean baths, lighthouse walkways and so much more.  The best thing is that everyone at the beach is incredibly friendly. If you forgot your sunscreen, someone will be there to help you out. My favorite part is the communal games of beach volleyball where everyone can play. So relax, because life’s a beach.


2. Enjoy a picnic at the park

After a morning of swimming in the ocean and playing volleyball, nothing is better than a delicious picnic. You’re more than welcome to eat at the beach, but for those who like their sandwiches minus the sand, Newcastle has plenty of options, from delightful forested areas to lakefront parks. Many of the parks around Newcastle have public electric grills, so bring your favorite bangers and burgers and grill away. Who knows, maybe you’ll even stumble across a friendly game of rugby to join in on, if you’re feeling energetic.


3. Take a walk though history

You learn something new every day, and at Newcastle, there are plenty of opportunities. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean is the ANZAC memorial cliff walk, a great way to spend an afternoon. Filled with stories of Australian war veterans and beautiful vistas, it is hard not to take away a power feeling from the stroll.

Within walking distance of two beaches
Within walking distance of two beaches

If cliff walks aren’t your thing, you can always check out the convict lumber yard, a reminder of Australia’s unique history. The small park shows the daily life of an era gone by and puts modern life into perspective.

And you thought your job was bad
And you thought your job was bad

4. Have dinner out on the town

After a long day of relaxing at the beach, relaxing at the park and relaxing on the cliffs, it is necessary to relax at a local restaurant or bar. And you have got to know that Newcastle has more restaurants than I have time to describe. From the beautiful Customs house to the deliciously unique hog’s breath café, your day is guaranteed to end with a delicious meal.

There is food at the end of this walk way
There is food at the end of this walk way

So if the hustle and bustle of the big city life has got you down, or the stresses of school are getting to you, take a trip to Newcastle and relax. The beaches are open and the fresh air beckons.

James Jolly is a student at Drake University and a TEAN Featured Blogger. He is currently studying abroad with TEAN in Newcastle, Australia