Newcastle made the Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2011. Bound by a working harbour and stunning beaches, Newcastle city centre is the hub of the Greater Newcastle Region.


The festival is held in the Civic Precinct, which is close to bus links. Please note, the rail line has been cut at Hamilton Station and passengers cannot alight at Civic or Newcastle stations. Buses are available at Hamilton Station for transfers to the city.

For updates about track work and for timetable information see For bus timetables see Newcastle Taxis bookings can be made by phoning 133 300, or book online.

You are encouraged to leave your car at home, especially on Saturday, 2 April, as The Olive Tree Market will be held in Civic Park from 9am to 3pm and nearby parking will be very difficult to secure.

If you do drive, please allow plenty of time before the start of your session to locate a car park. Newcastle City Council has generously agreed to open its Mall Parking Station at 92 King Street on Saturday for free while the Olive Tree Market is in progress. This station is a 10-minute walk to the festival venues. Please avoid King Street on Saturday and use Hunter Street instead.

A drop-off zone will operate at the northern end of Wheeler Place on Hunter Street. Cars are not permitted to park in the space. Festival volunteers will be on hand to make sure drop-offs happen in a timely manner.

Paid parking is also available in the Honeysuckle Precinct, and Wilson Parking has parking stations close to festival venues.

Download Festival Map & Venue Information


Getting to Newcastle

Parking in Newcastle

Getting around Town

By Road
Newcastle is 2 hours drive north of Sydney and is accessible from the following major Highways: F3, Pacific Highway, New England Highway and the Golden Highway. For driving directions to Newcastle visit For the latest road and traffic conditions check out the RTA’s website or phone 13 27 01.

Newcastle Taxis services all of Newcastle 24 hours a day seven days a week, including Newcastle Airport. Choose from a sedan, station wagon, wheelchair taxi, or maxi taxi to carry up to 11 people at a time. Bookings can be made by calling 133 300 or on-line at the Newcastle Taxis’ website.

By Air
Newcastle Airport is located 30 minutes from Newcastle city centre and is the fastest growing regional airport in Australia with direct flights from Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, the Gold Coast and Ballina. Visit their website for a current flight timetable.

For direct transfers, the Newcastle Airport Information Services desk is your one stop shop to book your airport transfer, including shuttle and hire car and limousine services. Please call 4928 9822 or email direct on

By Rail
Newcastle is part of the New South Wales City Rail network. There are frequent return services daily from Sydney. For timetables and fares visit the Cityrail website or call 131 500. CountryLink trains and coach network connect Newcastle via Broadmeadow station to Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and other NSW country centres. For timetables, fares and online bookings visit the Countrylink website or call 13 22 32.

By Coach or Bus
Newcastle is serviced by coach companies throughout Australia with regular connections to and from various locations. For further information visit the Greyhound website.

Download a Newcastle City Parking Map

Read the signs – Regulated parking areas are clearly signposted to inform drivers of parking requirements. Please read the signs carefully to avoid the risk of receiving an infringement notice.
Ask a Parking Officer – Parking Officers are approachable and will be pleased to provide assistance with parking, directions and general information on the City.
Do not stop – Do not stop at any time in No Stopping Zones, Clearways or at Bus Zones.
Be aware – Some parking zones change to Clearways at various times on selected days.
Do not park in a Loading Zone – Unless you are driving a vehicle primarily designed for the carrying of goods.
Near intersections do not park – Within 10 metres of an intersection without traffic lights or within 20 metres of an intersection with traffic lights unless a parking sign indicates otherwise.
Plan ahead – Be aware that during peak times, it may take a few minutes to find a parking space. If you are visiting the city for an appointment, call ahead to ask about parking options and check if your appointment is running on time. Leave enough time to find a park without rushing and have some coins on hand.
Do not park in Disabled Parking Zones – Unless you have a valid RTA Mobility Parking Scheme permit displayed in your vehicle (the penalty is in excess of $380.00).

Buses and Taxis

Fare Free Bus Zone
State Transit buses (that’s the blue and white ones) are FREE within the inner city zone along Hunter Street from the Catholic Cathedral to Newcastle Railway Station, and as far south as Bull Street on Darby Street. The fare free zone operates between 7:30am and 6:00pm seven days a week. This is a fantastic way to get around the inner city for free without the hassles of driving and parking. Normal fares apply for travel outside of this zone. Ask the bus driver if you are unsure of the route or destination. Timetables for the Stockton Ferry (passengers only) and Newcastle Buses are available online at

Taxis in Newcastle
Newcastle Taxis – 13 3300     Newcastle Maxi Taxi (for larger groups) – 13 3100