Newcastle is located on the coast at the mouth of the Hunter River, about 150km north of Sydney. It is the second largest city in New South Wales, with a population of more than 300,000. The coastline around Newcastle is remarkably beautiful, with fantastic waves and white sand beaches, including the iconic Merewether Beach. In the hinterland lies the Hunter Valley with its winery of world renown and the rainforests of the Barrington Tops National Park, which is listed on the World Heritage.
Just south of Newcastle lies Lake Macquarie, about 24 km of length, one of the largest coastal salt water lakes in Australia. Lake Macquarie, nicknamed “Lake Mac” by locals and insiders, has been one of the top spots for sailors for years, but also offers ideal conditions for almost any other type of water sports. The possibilities range from swimming, snorkeling, wakeboarding and paddling to windsurfing and fishing. The shore has the character of a park landscape with walking and cycling trails, which are also open to joggers, rollerblades and skaters. The picnic areas are very popular on the weekends.