11 Free/Low Cost Things to Do With the Kids in Newcastle

Newcastle is a fantastic place for kids, with so many exciting things to do, from dolphin and whale watching to arts and crafts at one of the best art galleries in the area. And the best bit is, many of our favourite activities for kids cost very little. Some are even completely free! So, keep the kids entertained with one of our top 11 free/low cost kids activities in Newcastle. They’re going to love these ideas.


Arts Cart at Newcastle Art Gallery

1 Laman St, Cooks Hill NSW 2300, Australia
Distance from us: 4 mins (driving), 15 mins (walking)
W: https://www.nag.org.au/Home P: (02) 4974 5100

Founded in 1945, Newcastle Art Gallery is a historic and expansive public art museum. The gallery offers plenty for kids to enjoy, but we particularly like their Arts Cart events. These free events take place on Saturday and Sunday mornings between 10.30am and 12.30pm. Kids can make their own arts and crafts pieces with the help of volunteers and gallery staff. What better way to inspire the budding Picasso in your family!?


Newcastle Museum

6 Workshop Way, Newcastle NSW 2300, Australia
Distance from us: 3 mins (driving), 14 mins (walking)
W: http://www.newcastlemuseum.com.au/home P: (02) 4974 1400  

On Hunter Street you’ll find Newcastle Museum, a vibrant and engaging museum which is sure to inspire your little ones. The museum boasts a huge section dedicated to interactive learning, which is great for kids. There’s also a soft play area where they can burn off some of their excess energy. Not only that, the museum hosts a free weekly ‘Tuesday Tales’ event for the under sixes, held every Tuesday at 10.30am.


Blackbutt Reserve

Carnley Ave, Kotara NSW 2289, Australia
Distance from us: 14 mins (driving)
W: http://newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Blackbutt-Reserve/Home P: (02) 4904 3344

If there’s one thing that’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser amongst our younger guests, it’s Blackbutt Reserve. This wildlife reserve is the go to place to get up close and personal with local Australian wildlife. Head out on a guided tour of the reserve and learn more about the region’s animal inhabitants via the exhibits. Children can even enjoy encounters with reptiles.


Lake Macquarie Live Steam Locomotive Society

Velinda St, Edgeworth NSW 2285, Australia
Distance from us: 26 mins (driving)
W: https://www.lakemacquarielivesteam.org.au/ P: (01) 490 857 420

If your little ones are fans of Thomas and friends they’ll love a trip to the Lake Macquarie Live Steam Locomotive Society. This local institution is fully run by volunteers, and offers families the chance to learn all there is to know about steam trains, and even experience the thrill of riding them. Kids can embark on model train rides on the last Sunday of every month, in exchange for a donation of one gold coin.


Ferry Rides

Queen’s Wharf, Newcastle NSW 2300, Australia
Distance from us: 2 mins (driving), 10 mins (walking)
W: https://www.newcastletransport.info/plan-your-trip/ferry-services

From Newcastle’s Queen’s Wharf you can catch a ferry which will take you across to Stockton. The ferry itself is great fun for kids (and adults!) and costs just $2.50. Make a day of it and enjoy all that Stockton has to offer as you explore the local area.


Visit the Wetlands

1 Wetlands Place, Shortland NSW 2307
Distance from us: 18 mins (driving)
W: https://wetlands.org.au/ P: (02) 4951 6466

Embrace the great outdoors and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of Newcastle at Hunter Wetlands Centre. This centre is ideal for families, and gives kids a chance to learn about reptiles, try bird feeding and head out on adventures via the cycling tracks. For a small fee, kids can even get their hands dirty searching for bugs, or look for buried treasure in the Discovery Zone.


Fort Scratchley

1-3 Nobbys Rd, Newcastle East NSW 2300, Australia
Distance from us: 2 mins (driving), 10 mins (walking)
W: https://www.fortscratchley.org.au/ P: (02) 4929 3066

Bring history to life for your little ones with a trip to Fort Scratchley. Built in 1882 to defend Australia against Russian attacks, this Fort is now a local landmark complete with its own museum. Whilst the kids take their turn examining the huge cannons and other artefacts, adults can relax and take in stunning views of the beaches. The Fort also offers a mind-blowing tunnel tour which is perfect for the whole family.  


Dolphin and Whale Watching

Memorial Walk: Newcastle NSW 2300, Australia
Strzelecki Lookout: Memorial Dr, The Hill NSW 2300, Australia
Distance from us: 6 mins (walking to Memorial Walk) or 22 mins (walking to Strzelecki Lookout)

You can see majestic dolphins and whales in their natural habitat at a few Newcastle locations, but the ones we really recommend are Memorial Walk and Strzelecki Lookout. Both offer a great vantage point to capture unforgettable glimpses of these amazing creatures. The views are stunning, too. Don’t forget your camera for this one!


Nobby’s Lighthouse

Newcastle East NSW 2300, Australia
Distance from us: 2 mins (driving), 10 mins (walking)
W: https://nobbyslighthouse.org.au/ P: (02) 4929 3066

Situated up on the heights of Nobbys Headland, Nobby’s Lighthouse looks down over the whole of Newcastle Harbour. The active lighthouse has been keeping Newcastle ships safe for over 150 years now. This landmark is always a huge hit with youngsters visiting Newcastle, and on Sundays you can visit for free.


Speers Point Park

Park Rd, Speers Point NSW 2284, Australia
Distance from us: 26 mins (driving)
W: https://www.icentralcoast.com/speers-point-park.html

Speers Point Park has been named the “Best Play Space in Australia,” and we wholeheartedly agree with this accolade. The largest park in the Southern Hemisphere, Speers Point boasts a giant flying fox, slide, rock climbing wall and bike track. As well as the playground itself, there’s a fun cycling track for kids and plenty of areas for adults to relax.


Jesmond Park Disc Golf Course

Robinson Ave, Jesmond NSW 2299, Australia
Distance from us: 15 mins (driving)
W: http://newcastlediscgolf.com/courses/

Head to Jesmond Park Disc Golf Course for a game of Disc Golf. If you’ve not encountered Disc Golf before, it’s a combination of golf and frisbee. Players throw a frisbee-like disc at a target to win points. The rules are quite similar to that of traditional golf, and courses tend to have either nine or 18 holes. The Jesmond Park Disc Golf Course has nine holes. It’s completely free to enter, and boasts all the facilities you need for a great day out.



As you can see, Newcastle is full to the brim with fun, exciting and unusual family activities, which definitely won’t break the bank. Choose from sporting challenges, adventures in the great outdoors and explorations of historical landmarks to create the ultimate family-friendly vacation in Newcastle. We can’t wait to hear what you get up to.

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