In recent years, Newcastle has established itself as an out-of-town wedding destination perfect for couples seeking a vibrant and varied experience. Having placed in the top 10 of the Lonely Planet’s best cities for 2011 list, Newcastle is not only home to Australia’s largest surfing festival; it also boasts a thriving nightlife scene and pristine beaches for all to enjoy.
Established in the 1880s, Fort Scratchley is one of Australia’s oldest historical landmarks and one of Newcastle’s most unique wedding venues. Featuring a function centre with seating capacity for up to 150 guests, Fort Scratchley is situated on a headland that offers panoramic views of the surrounding region, including Newcastle Harbour and Nobbys Beach. Also boasting water views, Stanley Park is undoubtedly one of Newcastle’s most impressive waterfront estates. Spanning 28 acres of idyllic parkland, Stanley Park offers uninterrupted views of nearby Fullerton Cove.
And with the ability to accommodate up to 15 people at the heritage homestead, the venue is perfect for couples wanting an intimate affair. Another of the region’s most prestigious wedding venues, Newcastle City Hall offers several function rooms available for hire. Despite the venue’s somewhat dull name, these spaces are indeed grand and include the Concert Hall, an auditorium with a 14m-high carved ceiling and upper and lower gallery seating, and the Banquet Room, complete with hardwood floors, bar facilities and seating capacity for up to 300 guests.
And if that’s not enough to get those bags packed and on the road to the diverse city that is Newcastle, then perhaps a venue complete with antique decor, sophisticated service and á la carte cuisine is more your thing? Expect all this and more at Longworth House, an historic weddings and functions venue right in the heart of the city. A baroque ballroom of polished floorboards, gilded mirrors and red velvet curtains promises a romantic and luxurious wedding ceremony, while a spacious top-level ballroom with built-in dance floor is perfect for the reception.
Hunter Wetlands Centre
Wedding guests and the married couple alike are sure to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Hunter Wetlands Centre. The conservation sanctuary teems with life, from red foxes to long-necked turtles, and there is a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, including canoeing, dip netting and bike trails.
A trip to Newcastle isn’t complete without a visit to the beach. Merewether is perhaps Newcastle’s most popular beach, made famous not just as the home of four-time surfi ng world champion Mark Richards, but for its ocean baths, which are the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
In many ways, Subo has come to embody the city of Newcastle itself: contemporary, cool and wildly popular. The bistro has earned rave reviews for its attentive staff, relaxed atmosphere and delicious five-course menu offerings.
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