Category: School Holidays

July Social Groups + School Holiday Activities at DAS!

It’s crazy to be announcing the JULY social groups calendar and that we’re just about half way through 2022! We’ve got a jam packed month of fun social activities planned. It’s also the July school holidays so you’ll notice that we have some additional activities planned throughout the holiday period. 

We have been having so much fun at all of the ‘Cons’ (short for convention) lately that we are going to another one! We’re off to Smash! which is an Anime specific ‘Con’. There will be exhibitions, gaming, free play, art activities, karaoke and even a Cosplay catwalk show! Cosplay is absolutely encouraged for this social day out! We can’t wait!

Some other highlights for the month are the Koala Sanctuary on the 4th of July, the third Jurassic World movie on the 8th and an Escape Room on the 13th.

Spaces are limited for all of our social groups so please book in advance to avoid missing out! You can email groups@dasnsw.com.au to book your spot or if you have any questions. 

Dine and Discover Vouchers
Do you still have Dine and Discover vouchers? You can find these located within your Service NSW app. If you haven’t claimed your vouchers yet, you can do it here. Why not use your Dine and Discover vouchers at one of our social groups?

What To Do In The July School Holidays

Stuck for ideas on what to do these school holidays? Winter activities can be hard to think of, so we’ve compiled a list of free or cheap activities that you can do in Newcastle and surrounds.

Ride an Electric Bike around Lake Macquarie

The Newcastle Herald recently reported that 500 electric bicycles will be deployed around Lake Macquarie in June! You’ll need to get an app to hire the e bikes, the service will be an affordable pay-as-you-go system. Make a day of it and take a big ride around the lake followed by a cafe lunch or get some take away and eat it by the water. It’s a good idea to pack some sun cream, water and snacks for a big bike ride outside! 

Click here to read the full Newcastle Herald article.

Newcastle Museum

Have you ever tried to lift up an entire car? Well you can at the museum! The Newcastle Museum is a hoot for all ages AND it’s open 7 days per week during the school holidays. It’s located right in the heart of Newcastle between Civic Theatre and the Honeysuckle boardwalk. The museum aims to be an accessible place and welcomes all people. Be sure to check out the website for any exhibits that might be happening over the school holidays. The current special exhibit ‘Alice’s Wonderland- a most curious adventure’ wraps up on the 10th July and has a small entry fee.

Click here to be taken to the Newcastle Museum website.

Glenrock Lagoon

Located within the Glenrock State Conservation Area is the Yuelarbah walking track. The walk is around 6.8km return and will take you past 2 waterfalls and through to the beautiful Glenrock Beach. It’s a good idea to pack some food and have a picnic somewhere down on the beach before making your way back up. 

Glenrock is also home to some amazing mountain bike tracks if you’re up for a little more adventure.

Click here to be taken to the Yuelarbah walking track website.

Glenrock Lagoon – Shannon Hartigan Images

Blackbutt Reserve

Spreading over 185 hectares, Blackbutt Reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife and nature. There are around 10km of walking tracks and FREE entry into all of the wildlife exhibits. While the exhibits are free, the parking does cost a few dollars. Picnic and BBQ facilities are open from 7am – 7pm daily so be sure to pack some snags and a hot cuppa and enjoy the serenity! 

Wildlife exhibits and the kiosk have different operating hours, you can find all of the info via the link below. There is a reptile show held on Saturdays at 11am where you can get up close and personal with some of the local reptile residents. The cost for this is $4 per person.

Click here to find out more information on Blackbutt Reserve.

ANZAC Memorial  Walk and Lunch at Bar Beach

The bridge is about 160 meters long and starts at Strezlecki lookout, taking you to another viewing platform to look over Bar Beach. The walkway is adorned with steel silhouettes of soldiers, as well as the names of almost 11,000 Hunter Valley people who enlisted to serve during World War I. The walk will take you through to the famous Bathers Way walk heading towards Merewether, where there are plenty of shaded table areas to eat a packed lunch. There is also the option to buy some hot fish and chips from the Bar Beach Kiosk.

Find out more info on the ANZAC Memorial Walk here.

Picnic and Games at King Edward Park

King Edward Park has stunning ocean views and green grassy hills and flats, perfect for sunny Winter picnics. If you’re lucky you might even score the gazebo! King Edward Park has BBQ facilities, toilets and playground equipment. There is plenty of room to kick a ball around, play some outdoor yard games or why not pack some board games. If you’re up for a short walk the famous Bogie Hole isn’t far away within the park. It’s also a great spot to whale watch, which takes us to the next activity idea!

Click here for more info.

Whale Watching

Each year from June – November the Newcastle coastline sees around 35,000 humpback whales make their seasonal commute. Why are they commuting? They are searching for warmer waters! They come from the icey cold Antarctica in search of somewhere warm to breed and have their young calves, who don’t have enough blubber on them yet to withstand the Winter temps down south. You won’t want to miss seeing these gentle giants so why not make a day of it! Pack some camp chairs, a hat, sun cream, water and snacks and don’t forget a pair of binoculars. 

Click here to find out the best whale watching spots all over Newcastle.

Photo by Visit Newcastle

Hunter Wetlands Centre 

The Hunter Wetlands Centre is a not for profit, self funded, community owned and operated organisation. The entry fees will depend on your age, one adult costs just $7.50. You’ll need closed in shoes for some activities, sun cream, a hat and some insect repellant. From the 2nd – 17th July there is an exhibit called ‘Who Ate The Dinosaur’ – an interactive experience featuring museum quality casts of fossils and extinct animals that once inhabited the wetlands area millions of years ago! Suitable for all ages. 

You can check out the Wetlands website here.

Catch the Ferry to Stockton

Spend the day over at sunny Stockton! The ferry departs from Queens Wharf on a regular basis. You can view the full timetable here. Once the ferry stops off into Stockton the first thing you might notice is the new South Stockton Active Hub. The “Hub” features a huge skate park and playground. It’s one of the biggest playgrounds in the area and has something for all ages. Then there’s the Stockton breakwall, also known as ‘Shipwreck Walk’, which is a 2 km stroll overlooking the ocean. You can also see right across to beautiful Newcastle. Shipwreck Walk got its name due to the many ships that came to grief long ago. You’ll even see some shipwrecks along the walk to this day!

There are some shaded tables in the area where you can have a picnic lunch or why not try one of the local restaurants. 

Check out Weekends Notes for some other things to do in Stockton.

Fighterworld

Just a 20 minute drive out of Newcastle you’ll find Fighterworld. Right near the RAAF base Williamtown, Fighterworld is home to an abundance of famous preserved aircraft. There is also a viewing deck where you can watch the RAAF’s premier fighter squadrons take off and land while listening to the live audio feed direct from the Williamtown Control Tower. Fighterworld is open from 10am – 4pm every day and the cost is $18 and under depending on age. 

Check out the Fighterworld website here.

Fighterworld by Visit NSW

Bike Ride Along Fernleigh Track

The Fernleigh Track is 15km long and stretches from Adamstown all the way to Belmont. It’s a shared pathway for walking or cycling. There are several access points along the way which you can find here. Make a day of it and stop off at one of the access points to check out a local cafe for morning tea or lunch.

The City of Newcastle website has a downloadable map and more info.


If you’re looking for more ideas on what to do in Newcastle, you can always take a look at the Visit Newcastle website or the Newy with Kids website which has an abundance of information on various activities and events around Newcastle.

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