As Australia’s second oldest city, Newcastle has gone through a raft of transformations over the years. The ‘steel city’ may now have a blossoming reputation as an arts and culture hub, but in days gone by it has served as a penal outpost for the most dangerous of convicts and an industrial centre facing the ravages of WWII.

Today, Newcastle is better known for its relaxed locals and pristine beaches, a city where the working wharves are becoming places of play and the emerging food and coffee scene is enough to make any out-of-towner green with envy. Though the city has changed constantly over its 200-year existence, you’re always guaranteed your visit will be something special when you make the trip to ‘Newy’.

Getting here

BY PLANE: Newcastle Airport is your gateway to TiNA with direct flights from Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ballina/Byron Bay, Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne. Located approximately a 25-minute drive north of Newcastle, you can get to the city by car, shuttle bus, public bus, taxi, rental car, and hire car/limousine. For more info on transport between Newcastle Airport and the CBD, head to www.newcastleairport.com.au.

BY TRAIN: If you’re coming from Sydney, jump on one of the regular Newcastle and Central Coast services, which will get you here from Central Station in a matter of hours. Plan your trip at www.transportinfo.com. If you’re visiting us from up north, Trainlink services run from Brisbane and the Northwest stopping at Newcastle Interchange. From there you can jump on the light Rail service or a local bus to get where you need to be.

BY BUS: Hitch a ride on a Greyhound and make the trek to Newcastle by bus from Sydney’s Central Station, Brisbane’s Coach Terminal and Melbourne’s Travel Centre (www.greyhound.com.au).

Getting around

TWO WHEELS: Newcastle is mostly flat and the venues are pretty close together so you’ll have no problem moving around the festival precinct.

BY TRAIN: If using rail note that the nearest train station to the festival is at Newcastle Interchange, Wickham. For timetable information visit sydneytrains.info/timetables and then search Central Coast and Newcastle line. From the Interchange you will need to catch a bus or light rail into town (Please note you will need an Opal Card for this transport service).

LOCAL BUS SERVICES: For full timetable of local bus services beyond the free CBD zone, call 131 500 or go to the State Transit website.

BY TRAM: The Light Rail service operating between 5am-1am runs from the Wickham Interchange train station to Newcastle East with six stops along the way. The closest stop to the festival is at Civic. You can tap on using either an Opal Card or contactless payment.

What else to do?

The Artists’ City Walking Tour: If you’re keen to get out and explore Newcastle for yourself while at TiNA, what better way to do it then a free self-guided walking tour which celebrates the artistic side of the harbour city. Starting at one of the favourite drawing spots of much loved Australian artist Margaret Olley, the tour meanders across the city streets past a number of breathtaking outdoor art installations, before winding up at the Newcastle Art Gallery in Cooks Hill. Go here to find out more about the tour and download a free map.

Beaches: Novocastrians pride themselves on the abundance of amazing beaches that surround our city, with many of them just a stone’s throw away from the CBD. The festival is located within Newcastle East, meaning both Newcastle and Nobbys Beaches are just minutes away on foot.

Newcastle Memorial Walk: Newcastle is a town known for its breathtaking scenery, and what better way to soak it all in then a stroll along the brand new Memorial Walk. Built to commemorate the ANZAC centenary, the walk is part of the Bathers Way, which connects Nobbys Beach in the CBD to Merewether. Providing a 360-degree view of the coast and city, this is one pathway you don’t want to miss.

Looking for more arts and cultural things to do whilst in Newcastle? Check out Culture Hunter or HunterHunter for their online arts directory and information hub of Newcastle and Lower Hunter region.