Walk through the heart of Newcastle, admiring the historical architecture as you learn about the city’s transformation from a 19th-century penal colony into a cultural center.
Taking a shuttle from the pier, you will soon arrive downtown and begin your walking tour of Newcastle. The city was founded as a penal colony in 1804 and eventually grew into an industrial center for coal mining and steel manufacturing. Today, Newcastle is undergoing a wide-scale cultural renaissance. You’ll hear lots of fascinating stories about the convict labor in this area in the early years of Newcastle.
As you make your way through the historical district bordering the Hunter River, you will pass lush parks and several landmarks that reveal Newcastle’s past. Built in 1877, the former Customs House is a noteworthy example of Victorian Romanesque architecture and Newcastle’s maritime heritage. It now houses a luxury hotel and several popular restaurants. The building towers over Watt Street, the city’s oldest thoroughfare, which now houses numerous restaurants, cafes and shops.
Stop for an exterior visit of Christchurch Cathedral, which sits atop a hill overlooking Newcastle. One of Australia’s largest churches, this nearly 200-year-old landmark features more than 70 stained-glass windows and has withstood shelling in World War II and the 1989 earthquake.
At the end of your walking tour you will have the option to stay in town and take a later shuttle back to ship-side or return directly to the ship.
Need to Know:
Note: Weather appropriate clothing, sun protection and comfortable, closed-toe (required) walking shoes are recommended.