In the Australian state of New South Wales, the Newcastle metropolitan region is second-most populous. It encompasses the local government areas of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. It is the centre of the Greater Newcastle area, which encompasses most of the City of Newcastle, City of Lake Macquarie, City of Cessnock, City of Maitland, and Port Stephens Council local government areas.
It is the most populous city in the Hunter Region, located near the mouth of the Hunter River. Newcastle is known for its coal, and it is the world’s largest coal exporting port, with 159.9 million tonnes exported in 2017. The Hunter Region has huge coal reserves outside of the city. The area is situated in the central-eastern section of the Sydney Basin geologically.
Newcastle is located on the Hunter River’s southern bank. Sand dunes, wetlands, and various river channels dominate the northern side. From the west (Watagan mountains) to the north (just north of Stockton), the city is surrounded by a “green belt” that protects plants and wildlife. The mountainous southern bank is largely devoid of urban development. The little village of Stockton, located at the mouth of the River Tyne, is connected to Newcastle by boat. The Stockton Bridge, which spans a 20-kilometer distance between Stockton and central Newcastle, is the only way to get from Stockton to Newcastle. The coal measures of the Sydney sedimentary basin have undercut most of the city, and what were once various coal-mining settlements in the hills and valleys around the harbour have combined into a single metropolitan region reaching southwards to Lake Macquarie.
King Edward Park, which was established in 1863, is one of Newcastle’s public parks. Coastal views, a sunken garden, and a Victorian rotunda are among the park’s highlights.