Harper Property Agents is a thriving real estate agency, property management and strata firm that’s bringing a fresh approach to the Newcastle property market. We’ve taken off our ties, discarded the stuffy suits, and thrown away old-world ways of thinking in favour of an energetic new approach that keeps pace with the challenges of the fast-moving modern market. Our passionate group of real estate professionals are highly trained in cutting-edge sales strategies and negotiation techniques, and we pride ourselves on going the extra mile to secure the best possible deal for all our clients. We’ll move mountains to help you achieve your lifestyle aspirations or investment goals, but that doesn’t mean we’ll tell you tall tales just to win your business. We’re much more interested in delivering real-world results and building long-term relationships based on trust, open communication and transparency.
Like most major cities, the Newcastle metropolitan area has an extensive system of both road links and road based public transport services (bus, taxi etc.) which cover most areas of both Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and which extend beyond the metropolitan area itself. Rail transport, however, is accessible to only a relatively small percentage of the population along the major rail transport routes and ferry services are restricted to those commuting between Newcastle and Stockton. Within the metropolitan area the car remains the dominant form of transportation. At the time of the 2001 Census, less than 4% of the population caught public transport, of which around 2.5% travelled by bus and 1% used the train or ferry to commute to work. On the other hand, over 72% of the population travelled by car to and from work. Newcastle, like all major Australian urban centres, had a tram system, but it was closed in 1950. In 2014 it was announced that trams would return to the city as a modern light rail system.
Newcastle is connected to surrounding cities by the Pacific Motorway (south), Hunter Expressway (west), New England Highway (west) and the Pacific Highway (north and south). Hunter Street is the main shopping street in the Newcastle CBD and, along with King Street, is one of the major links to the Pacific Highway from the CBD. King Street provides direct access to the Newcastle Link Road and then the Pacific Motorway and Hunter Expressway.
Bus services within Newcastle are operated by Newcastle Transport. Prior to July 2017, these were operated by Newcastle Buses & Ferries. Trips within a designated area of the Newcastle CBD on Newcastle Transport operated bus services are fare-free under the Newcastle Alliance’s Free City Buses programme. Hunter Valley Buses, Port Stephens Coaches and Rover Coaches also operate services into the CBD from other parts of the Hunter Region.
The network radiates from a bus terminal near Newcastle railway station, on the waterfront of Newcastle’s CBD. Major interchanges are located at the University of Newcastle, Wallsend, Glendale, Warners Bay, Belmont, Charlestown Square and Westfield Kotara. Shortly after the train line closure after Hamilton station, (for trains heading towards Newcastle railway station) Newcastle Transport buses (Route 110) replaced trains from Hamilton station going to Civic station and Newcastle railway station, where the 110 bus then terminates and returns to Hamilton station.
Greyhound Australia, Premier Motor Service and Sid Fogg’s long distance services serve Newcastle.
The Newcastle area is serviced by two NSW TrainLink intercity lines providing local and regional commuter services from Hamilton after the closure of the Newcastle line. The Central Coast & Newcastle Line has twice-hourly train services to Sydney and the Central Coast. The Hunter Line has twice-hourly services to Maitland and less frequently to Scone and Dungog. Two long distance lines operate through the Newcastle area using Broadmeadow station. These provide services to Moree, Armidale, Brisbane and Sydney.
Newcastle once had rail passenger services to Belmont and Toronto, on Lake Macquarie, Wallsend, Kurri Kurri and several towns and villages between Maitland and Cessnock on the South Maitland Railway, but these lines have been closed. In the late-1990s there was intense debate about the future of the rail line into central Newcastle. The New South Wales government had planned to cut the line at Broadmeadow station, ending rail services into Newcastle station in the city centre to allow better connections between the city and the waterfront precinct. This proposal was dropped in 2006.
The proposal to close the line was reactivated and in December 2014, the Newcastle line was curtailed to Hamilton. A new Newcastle Interchange will be built from where the Newcastle Light Rail line will operate.
From 1924 until 1994, Broadmeadow Locomotive Depot was the main railway centre for the Hunter region. Cardiff Locomotive Workshops opened in 1928, primarily as a major repair centre for New South Wales Government Railways locomotives, although it did build twelve 38 class and two 58 class locomotives. Today it is operated by Downer Rail and along with UGL Rail’s Broadmeadow plant, remains active as a locomotive and rolling stock manufacturer and repairer.
The Port of Newcastle is crucial to the economic life of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley region beyond. Over 90 million tonnes of coal is shipped through the facility each year – making it the largest coal exporting port in the world.The Port of Newcastle claims to be Australia’s first port. Coal was first exported from the harbour in 1799.
Newcastle Transport operates a ferry service across the Hunter River between Newcastle’s CBD and Stockton.
Newcastle Airport is located 15 km (9 mi) north of the Newcastle CBD (27 km (17 mi) by road). The airport, which is a joint venture between Newcastle City Council and Port Stephens Council, has experienced rapid growth since 2000 as a result of an increase in low cost airline operations. The airport is located at RAAF Base Williamtown, a Royal Australian Air Force base on land leased from the Department of Defence.
Newcastle Heliport operates alongside the lower section of Newcastle Harbour.
The suburb of Broadmeadow is home to the base of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service. The Helicopter service is one of the longest running services of this type in the world. Two helicopters operate out of this base and operate 24 hours a day.
The closure of Belmont Airport, commonly referred to as Aeropelican, in the Lake Macquarie suburb of Marks Point has caused Williamtown to become Newcastle’s only major airport and residents in the south of the Newcastle metropolitan area must commute up to 55 km (34 mi) by car to reach Williamtown.
Primary and secondary schools
The oldest state school in the area is Newcastle East Public School, a primary school established in 1816. Newcastle East Public School is the oldest continuously operating school in Australia, and will celebrate its bicentenary in 2016. Newcastle High School, which was formed by the merger of three schools, traces its lineage to a secondary school section initially founded on the grounds of Newcastle East Public School. There are three selective state schools in the area. Hunter School of the Performing Arts is a fully selective K-12 school and only takes students by audition. Merewether High School is a fully selective high school in the suburb of Broadmeadow. Hunter Sports High School is a partially selective sporting high school. The school accepts around half its students from the local area and around half by audition.
The two main independent schools in Newcastle are Newcastle Grammar School and St Philip’s Christian College, both coeducational K-12 schools.
Tertiary and further education
The city’s main provider of tertiary education is the University of Newcastle. It was established in 1951 as a satellite campus of the University of New South Wales and obtained autonomy in 1965. The University now offers over 150 undergraduate and graduate courses to a student population of more than 38,000, including 7,000 international students from more than 113 countries. The main campus is in the suburb of Callaghan about 12 km (7 mi) from the CBD.
There are three campuses of the Hunter Institute of TAFE, one located in the Newcastle CBD, one in the suburb of Hamilton East and the other located in the suburb of Tighes Hill. The Tighes Hill campus is the network’s largest campus and offers courses in business, hospitality and various trades.