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Qantas - - TRAVEL INSIDER. -

A 140-room ho­tel is set to open near the har­bour on Honey­suckle Drive in 2020. But for now, the pick of the tra­di­tional ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions is the airy gue­strooms, some with ocean views, at Novo­tel New­cas­tle Beach (ho­tel.qan­tas. com.au/novotel­new­cas­tle). Step out­side the light-filled foyer and ex­plore the bars and res­tau­rants along King and Hunter streets, as well as the beach and fore­shore.

What the city does par­tic­u­larly well is bou­tique ac­com­mo­da­tion. Airbnb prop­erty Hayes House (qan­tas.com/stay) is a lux­u­ri­ous three-bed­room Vic­to­rian home filled with lo­cal trea­sures, in­clud­ing Clay Ca­noe ce­ramic kitchen­ware, pho­tos by James Stephen­son and toi­letries from Sa­vant Apothe­cary. It’s an easy walk to the cafés and shops on Darby Street, Cooks Hill.

Nearby is Flour­ish on Bull, a stun­ning loft-style apart­ment with a dra­matic arched win­dow, lo­cated above the stu­dio of Flour­ish In­te­rior De­sign (flour­ish­in­te­rior de­sign.com.au). Its new sis­ter apart­ment over­look­ing the Cowrie Hole near New­cas­tle Beach is just three me­tres from the water.

Also in Cooks Hill is Pappa Sven’s Sum­mer Cabin (pap­pasven. com.au), which is owned by Libby Helin­ski, who lived in Swe­den for a year and now runs Scan­di­na­vian home­wares store Pappa Sven, a short walk away. The char­coa­land-white weather­board cot­tage is fit­ted out with Nordic tex­tiles and fur­nish­ings and has had its “authen­tic Swedish-ness” ver­i­fied by the am­bas­sador of Swe­den to Aus­tralia, Pär Ahlberger, who stayed here with his wife, Hélène.

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