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Finding Paradise in Newcastle, New South Wales
Tuesday 1st February 2011 – Newcastle, Australia
A new location awaited me today and there was a feeling of great anticipation inside of me. I wasn’t bored of Sydney, not by a long way, but I was interested in seeing a different side to Australia, a side that I had always hoped Australia would be like. I wanted to see beaches and smaller towns, and to get a glimpse of the laid back lifestyle. I hoped Newcastle would be like this.
Katie was already in Newcastle, working in the YHA there, and this was where I was headed today. She had informed me that the sun was shining and the beach was lovely, so I was very excited about getting there and getting into the sea. I always hoped Australia would have beautiful beaches and warm sea; perhaps this would be the place that I had been dreaming of.
I bought my train ticket from the train station in central Sydney, and boarded not long after. The train itself was quite nice. The seats were reversible, something I’ve not seen before. It may or may not be quite common in most countries, but I don’t do a lot of travelling by train. In Europe I was unaware this was a feature on the trains, so for all I know, this could be unique to Australia. In any case it was new to me, and it seemed pretty cool. The seats were comfortable as well, so the journey to Newcastle was a good one, if a little delayed. A problem further down the track meant we were stationary on the line for some time.
Once at Newcastle it was immediately obvious just how much hotter it was. As I stepped off the train, the heat hit me, and I presumed it was the heat from the train, but the further from the train I walked, the more I realised it was actually the outside air temperature. Although it was stifling, it was good for me. The sun and the sea was what I came to Australia for, and here it was in abundance. I could tell I was going to enjoy Newcastle a lot.
I followed the signs for the YHA, and managed to walk right past the building as I always do. It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t get lost somehow. I eventually found it and wondered just how I managed to walk right past it, but I was there nonetheless. I found Katie and it immediately began to feel like home.
The YHA hostel in Newcastle is actually a really nice place. The hostel is homely and the people very friendly. The balcony outside the rooms is a nice touch, and the location couldn’t be better being right next to the beach. I put my things down in the room and went down to the beach with a few of the guys once Katie had finished her work.
The beach was incredible at a first glance, and the sand looked golden. There was a little food kiosk by the beach to get burgers, ice creams or cold drinks, and there were surfers trying their luck in the blue sea water. I had arrived at paradise. I wasted no time in finding out how warm the water was, and it was at this point that I felt the boiling sand beneath my feet. I had no option but to run to the sea, as did the other guys, and it was nice to cool our feet down in the surf. I feel I might have blisters on my feet soon. Getting back was going to be hard, especially as the sun was beating down, making the sand ever hotter.
The water itself was fantastic, and we all spent a lot of time splashing around in the sea. We were at the beach for most of the afternoon – the kind of lifestyle that I could easily adopt – and it was late when we finally decided on getting back. We endured the walk back across the sand and got back to the hostel for a well earned shower.
In the evening it was free food night, and bingo down at a local bar. This hostel lays on several nights a week for free food and entertainment, and the food this night was really nice. We spent the night playing bingo with the cool guy running the show, and I met a lot of people from the hostel. It had been the perfect night, and I was extremely happy to be here in Newcastle. At the end of it all I was happy to get into bed and sleep, but the heat was immeasurable.
I was already falling in love with the place, and I knew that I would come back here someday in the future for sure.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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