Ex-Silverchair musician and Newcastle local Chris Joannou gives us his top 10 places to eat, sleep and play so you too can experience ‘Newy’ like a true local.

1. Uprising-worthy Bakery

There’s a bakery here called Uprising, which is absolutely a local’s secret. It’s tucked down a sidestreet in a warehouse in Marysville, a part of town that was forgotten for a long time. The pastries are just amazing. The pies always get me, but whatever you order will be good.

2. Parry Street

Check out Parry Street – it’s where my restaurant, The Edwards, is but it’s also filled with creatives who’ve repurposed derelict warehouses as media, design and architecture offices, as well as a great hole-in-the-wall café, Tufty’s. It’s an awesome example of how Newy is changing.

3. Burwood Beach (to yourself)

Just past Merewether Baths is a beautiful long stretch of sand called Burwood Beach. It has a rock lagoon and meets the edge of the national park, and it’s not unusual to have the whole thing to yourself mid-week.

4. Classic Catherine Hill

If you really want to be a local you’ve got to take the 40-minute drive south of town to Catherine Hill Bay. There are heaps of secret beaches dotted around the area, and not much else except for Catho Pub, which is a laidback, classic spot for a beer.

5. Sweet stay: Honeysuckle

Mates usually crash at mine, but if not I recommend the serviced apartments at Honeysuckle (From $165 a night; apartmentsinhoneysuckle.com.au) – they’re awesome!

6. (Whisky) speakeasy

You have to go to Coal & Cedar, an awesome little whisky speakeasy – but there are no signs identifying its location, you have to enter through an unmarked library door.

7. Preferred pub

Alternatively the Lass O’ Gowrie pub, in Wickham, is our little go-to for a beer. It has a great garden out the back and they’ve always got bands on. Walk along Darby Street – it’s full of pubs getting little facelifts.

8. Cycle away like the locals

There’s a cycleway now open along the entire foreshore, so you can pretty much ride from Nobbys Beach to Islington. It’s an awesome cycle and very ‘local’.

9. Hunt and Gather markets

Check out the Hunt and Gather markets held under the giant fig trees at Pacific Park on the third Saturday of every month. It features local jewellery designers, sculptors, handmade candles, fresh flowers and there’s live music.

10. The Edwards Café

Read all about the city’s hippest venues, The Edwards Cafe, and the full fabulous (traffic-free) city weekend.


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