A Glimpse of Newcastle

6:30:00 AM

A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila
Newcastle Harbour

Hullo it's Natsuhiko here! (Yes Dani, its the new pseudonym) I'm guest blogging for Awesome in Manila to fulfil my promise to the lovely Danielle. So first off, a little introduction to who I am to Dani: we're friends way back from college and somewhere after that I moved down under with my family. I miss Dani a lot and I missed doing arty stuff and writing since I left so I took the opportunity to do that while I was on vacation in Newcastle. So join me on a little trip away from Manila as I show you a few things to see in Newcastle.

A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila
Stockton Bridge

Obviously I don't live here but I wouldn't mind doing so. With a population of somewhere under 500,000 as estimated by our gracious host, Cheryl, the place is booming with opportunities around (and yes, we had to estimate the population since the Newcastle City Council needs to update the information on the site). Another great thing about Newcastle is that its just an hour and a half drive to my favourite city in Australia: Sydney (sound effects: da-di-da~)! I love Sydney much yes, but Newcastle stands on a league of its own. It's an industrial city all right with all the coal mining and steel industries, but Newcastle was able to preserve spots for escape whenever one feels the need to, and this is something that I love best about the city.

A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila
Newcastle Beach
So just around the bend from where the Hunter River breaks to the ocean, you can find the beaches. It sucks that I visited in winter as I heard the beaches are teeming with sexy men err- people and it is such a great place to catch the waves unless if the western winds or something winds come in (forgive my lack of skill in note taking) that breaks the waves down. Nevertheless, if you like surfing, you'd love living here as you could do it all year round.

I don't know if its surfing, the beaches, or the sports but there isn't a lot of obese people in Newcastle as my friend Merinda observed and I reckon it is very true (I have evidence as shown above. Seriously.). Probably it's just the culture of the people here in Newcastle. Healthy lifestyle amidst all this beauty, who wouldn't? Cheryl says it's also the perfect place to have children. Newcastle has everything you could ask for raising kids and I couldn't agree more.

A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila
surfers: the hot and sporty ones
A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila
Newcastle Port

Newcastle is pretty cold in the weather department. Living here requires nice wool sweaters, chic cardigans, and must-have scarves and gloves to keep yourself warm. No need for trench coats however. I think it is an overkill for the job as it doesn't snow here, it's just very cold. It's pretty cool in summertime too. I heard from my friend that halfway through summer you still feel like its spring and it won't be until around early February or if you're lucky: its in early January when things get warmer, and after that, the cold comes back on just before autumn comes. Pretty cold yes, but its not the coldest part of Australia- so no fuss about it.

A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila
Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, Newcastle

Newcastle has beaches, a river, and there's also a lake: Lake Macquarie. The lake is surrounded by several yacht clubs, a park that's perfect for jogging with dogs, some houses, and lots of foliage. Our gracious host Cheryl took us here at Lake Macquarie Yacht Club for a lovely lunch. The food's pretty decent too, I just forgot to take photos since I was so hungry at the time.

A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila
This reminds of Finding Nemo. I just don't have the power to call seagulls in the photo

Another hotspot close to Newcastle is Pokolbin which is just an hour away from Newcastle. Pokolbin is home to the famous Hunter Valley Gardens and the fantastic wineries. Yes. Wineries! I wish I had the money to go to a tour of the vineyards. It would have been so awesome (and intoxicating). Mmm.. mmm.

A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila
Formal Garden Gazebo, Hunter Valley Gardens, Pokolbin

Moving on, the Hunter Valley Gardens is just perfect for formal functions such as weddings and balls, thanks to the lovely garden set-up here. And yes, they do have Beyonce Best Thing I've Never Had Arches. So if you feel like making your version of her drama by the trellises, be my guest. Newcastle is equipped with Wedding Botiques lined up at Hunter Street who can get the dress for your little Beyonce flick. *wink

A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila

The scenery around hunter gardens is phenomenal. Even in winter, the flora here is blooming with beauty.
A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila

I salute the gardeners, caretakers and engineers of the place for all these marvellous creations.
A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila

I wish I had more time to take photos though, one eventful day isn't really enough to do it all.

A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila

I think the only thing missing here is a little butterfly house. That would be perfect.

A Glimpse of Newcastle | Awesome in Manila
Newcastle Airport

For a big city, they do have quite a small airport. It can only hold three planes at a time. I was told it was probably because Newcastle is close to Sydney, you could always just drive out and catch the plane there. The current airport has gone through renovations and is much better than before. I'm happy I didn't see the older version.

The trip was very short and I wish I could have stayed longer. I definitely will be coming back here sometime. Newcastle is surely a winner. There's just one thing I missed in this trip: it was to grab some material for a review of an amazing restaurant in the city: The Depot. I enjoyed the whole thing much I forgot about the rest. Anyway, that's a different story altogether so I might save that for another time. So, I hope you enjoyed that little sharing of mine. See you on the flipside. XOXO Natsuhiko Boshi

Natsuhiko Boshi is really Aldryx Flores. He is one of the gayest people I know (literally and figuratively and I don't know which to stress) and I've been friends with him since college. He drew Cartoon Dani. Aldryx is currently residing down undah, in a town called Roma, in Queensland. These days he's busy studying Hospitality and part-timing as a barista. 

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