Jessica Ward, By Brooke Tunbridge by Brooke Tunbridge

If you ever need any inspiration to get outdoors and travel, hit up Jessica Ward’s Instagram (@jesswardphoto). It’s filled with photos that will leave you in awe. When Jessica isn’t navigating her way around the world with her camera, she’s back in her hometown, taking incredible shots of iconic Newcastle landscapes captured from the best angles imaginable.

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CENTRAL3A fresh breeze has certainly blown through the city centre over the last few years and you could say this place is CENTRAL to it all. Conveniently located in the CBD this beautifully restored venue serves some delicious Matilda Bay beverages and glorious food to match. Place: Central Address: 145 King Street, Newcastle NSW Hours:



Why We Love it: #Beer - and also the venue. Plus it adds another layer to the fresh culture of the city. A spectacular space to catch up with friends, a nice walk from other fantastic spaces and we love that it helps to draw people back into the CBD. Nice one Newy!








PLACES WE LOVE: Vivid Espresso by Kian West


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When you walk around the streets of Wickham, Tighes Hill, Islington, Carrington and any other suburbs around the inner-city but just outside the hussel-n-bussel you can easily forget how close you are to CBD and relax.

Tucked away ever-so-neatly is one incredible little coffee destination...

Place: Vivid Espresso Address: 14 Milford Street, Islington. Hours: Monday - Saturday: 6am-12:30PM

Why We Love it: The Coffee! Whenever you find a Barista that is clearly passionate about what they are doing (the first time I visited she remade my coffee because she wasn't super confident it was perfect because of a fresh bag of beans) you can usually be sure that the coffee will be on point. It always is at Vivid. It is basically just a coffee spot, not really anything in the way of other snacks (it's not a cafe) but if you love that daily dose of Caffeine in coffee form and live around the area then make a visit a must-do-item on you weekly to-do list!

It's all the little things, as well as the coffee, that make this a space you want to re-visit again and again. To borrow a phrase "It's the Biscotti Moment" and in this case it means the little chocolate covered coffee bean placed lovingly on the lid of the cup. It is the amazingly designed coffee cups it is served in. Most importantly it is the staff that are open and keen to make niceties and genuinely seem interested that make you feel welcome and want that again.


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The Novel Novocastrian... November by Kian West


The Novel Novocastrian

The Random Ramblings of a Temporary Resident

By Tara Brady

2014-10-20 13.41.25

Lazy Sundays on the Foreshore with an occasional foray into Honeysuckle


I’ve recently become obsessed with the “browse” option on my Spotify app (please note I am not trying to push Spotify in any way shape or form, it just happens to be my go to music app…) I think this is down to the fact that the “browse” option is laziness in one of its better incarnations; I simply look through moods/genres and suddenly there are loads of ready-made playlists like “your morning coffee”, “songs to sing in the shower” and the ever fabulous “walking like a badass”. They pretty much have a playlist to soundtrack any activity, and the last couple of weekends the playlist I find myself drawn to the most is “lazy ass, honey-dipped soul”. Why this playlist you ask? Simple: the past few Sundays that Newcastle has offered up have been gloriously sunny and hot. Not so hot as to be stifling, but just hot enough to encourage a slower pace of life. A kind of languid ambling has replaced my purposeful stride and the tag of “lazy ass, honey-dipped soul” seems to go hand in hand with the clink of ice in my gin and tonic!2014-10-20 13.08.48

This is when barbecue culture comes into its own and it is great. There is something about congregating around a barbecue that always reminds me of good times. Maybe it’s because they usually take place when the weather is warmer, or because they always seem to bring groups of people together, or just that food cooked on a barbecue tastes like childhood summers, whatever it is, it is very difficult to be grumpy at a barbecue, and Newcastle has some great barbecue spots. Indeed, the husband and I have been amazed by the fact that there are so many areas in the local parks with well maintained, electric barbeques. This is not something you find readily in Europe so we were very excited to be meeting up with a group of friends last Sunday for our first, proper Aussie barbecue! We happen to live near the Foreshore so we rather selfishly suggested we head to the Carriage Shed area in the Foreshore Park. It was perfect! We found a table outside that had enough trees around to offer shaded areas and some grass to spread blankets on for lounging. There were loads of other people out as well but it never felt too crowded and everybody took their turns using and then cleaning the electric grills, and generally observing impeccable barbecue etiquette.2014-10-20 13.31.18

However, if barbecue is not your thing, then there are plenty of other ways to spend a lazy Sunday in Newcastle. One of my favourites is to stroll from Nobbys Beach along the promenade parallel to Wharf Road all the way to Honeysuckle where we invariably realise that we’re hungry and so stop off to eat lunch at one of the many restaurants facing the harbour. The only issue is choosing where to eat because all tastes are catered for from sushi at Nagisa to modern Australian cuisine at Silo or even cocktails at Money Penny’s. Then the only effort is to slowly roll home with a full belly telling yourself that the walk is helping you to work off those beer battered chips!


The Novel Novocastrian - October by Kian West


The Novel Novocastrian

The Random Ramblings of a Temporary Resident

By Tara Brady


A list of things to do if you’re visiting Newcastle (in honour of my Ma’s impending visit and all of the fun things we will be getting up to!)


Next week my mum (who will be referred to as Ma from here on out) arrives from the UK! I am soooo excited! This is because, not only do I love my Ma in the way that you kind of have to love family members, I actually LIKE her. I like spending time with her, she’s an incredibly interesting and funny person and we share the same kind of crazy so it’s all good. Better yet, Ma and the husband get along really well, and I realise how lucky I am that this is the case (even if it means they occasionally join forces against me…I mean…how unfair is that?) Anyway, since I’ve known she was coming to visit, I have been compiling an ever growing list of things to do here in Newcastle that may, or may not, be useful for others with guests from out of town, or indeed if you yourself are from out of town.

  1. Christ Church Cathedral via Good Brother Coffee: Even if you’re not a particularly religious person and churches and temples aren’t really your thing, Christ Church Cathedral is worth visiting simply because of the history it contains, particularly in relation to the First World War. To me the most incredible and moving aspect in the cathedral is the Gallipoli Flag which is simply framed so that it speaks for itself. If you need refreshment afterwards then pop down King St to Good Brother Coffee where you can indulge in cardamom cake and excellent coffee.
  2. Newcastle Beach/Ocean Baths/Estabar: Now its warming up again it is of course time once more to hit the beach and the ocean baths. And as I’ve mentioned before: Estabar = blood orange frappe. That is all.
  3. Hunter Street Shopping: I love strolling along the Hunter St shopping precinct. There are so many different shops to poke around in! And many, many cafés in which to chill out. My two faves are The Ground Floor and One Penny Black.
  4. Nobbys Beach and Lighthouse: This is particularly nice to walk along in the evenings when it’s a bit cooler and you can catch some incredible sunsets. The lighthouse is open on Sundays and has a little coffee kiosk to reward you for making the climb! Also make sure to look at the rocks lining the walkway – some have carvings in them including a surfer and other sea creatures. And if you’re a bit peckish after all that windblown walking, why not head to Scottie’s on Scott St for dinner or take away.
  5. Galleries to sooth the eyes and the soul: Newcastle has an incredible number of artists so it only makes sense that there would be numerous galleries to visit. has a great list of galleries with opening times. A few to check out are the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery on Laman St and The Lock Up and Curve Galleries on Hunter St. And if you want to take home some stunning images of Newcastle as a keepsake then check out Shannon Hartigan Images on Hunter St.
  6. Here for a few weeks? Why not learn something while you’re at it: Studio Melt on Hunter St offers various workshops through CleverLab where you can learn silver-smithing, precious metal clay jewellery making and book illustration over a couple of weekends or evenings. Suzy who runs most of the workshops is great fun, in fact she suggested this next activity.
  7. Hire electric bikes and “cycle” the Fernleigh Track or Honeysuckle /Foreshore: located on Parry St (opposite The Edwards if you need a brunch spot) will let you hire a bike + helmet + lock for only 2 hours up to 5 days at a very reasonable price. A great way to explore with pedalling as an option.
  8. Rainy day? How about coffee, a trip to the spa and then the cinema? I have actually done this in this precise order and my goodness what a wonderful way to spend a rainy day. Start at Saluna on King St where you can read copies of Newcastle Mirage while you tuck into your coffee, then proceed to Endota Spa which is just a couple of shops down for some phenomenal pampering, then catch up with the latest flicks at Event (Tower) Cinema which is still on King St (you don’t even need to cross the road!)
  9. Finally, especially if you have visitors from overseas or children or both, it is worth checking out the small but lovely Hunter Valley Zoo which is only 5 mins from Cessnock. You can feed the animals, have a meerkat encounter and tickle some kangaroos…just beware the Emus…greedy buggers!2014-03-25-18.39