One of the most underrated city travel destinations in Australia, vibrant Newcastle is number 68 on Australian Traveller’s ‘100 amazing places you haven’t been to yet‘. Nominated by: Chris Joannou, musician (ex-Silverchair) and owner of The Edwards café.

When an international rock star decides, having travelled the world, that his hometown is the ultimate spot in which to act out his long-held dream of opening a café/restaurant/bar/creative venue, you know there must be something pretty good about the place.

The Edwards is one of the city’s hippest venues, housed in his parents’ former Laundromat in the city’s post-industrial West End.

There’s a decidedly Novocastrian flavour here: the interior reflects its locale with concrete floors, exposed brick walls, steam press beer taps (fashioned from an old laundry press) and gas tumbler lighting; the coffee is sourced from a local roasting house; the seasonal produce is from local suppliers; and the venue is determinedly supportive of the local arts and music scene, hosting an artist in residence program, events and exhibitions in the creative space.

And though Joannou isn’t the only one espousing Newcastle – Lonely Planet recently labelled the Steel City “a unique blend of imagination, sophistication and laid-back surf culture” – it remains a genuinely underrated destination, which is a shame because there’s a whole lot of creativity, art and great food here… not to mention the sparkling beaches.


Australian Traveller Issue 62

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