The steel capital of Australia, Newcastle is a 2 hour drive north of Sydney. The city has some wonderful beaches and pools stretching the coastal line with Nobbys Lighthouse overlooking the ocean. Check out the Merewether Ocean Baths on the shore and Bogey Hole built in 1820 by convicts.
For visitors interested in history, the Convict Lumber Yard is the oldest recorded industrial site, now a heritage park. The old Newcastle Police Station has also been revitalized and reborn as The Lock-Up. With the station restored, the old exercise yard is now a cultural centre. Another historical site worth visiting is the Fort Scratchley.