Plan your festival

The festival is held in the Civic precinct, which is close to transport links, as well as dining and accommodation options.


Getting here

We strongly recommend that you plan your trip and consider leaving your car at home. If you drive allow plenty of time before your events to locate a parking spot. Be warned, on-street parking will be almost impossible to find. There is a parking station adjacent to the Newcastle Interchange and you can use your Opal or credit/debit card to board the light rail. Alight at Civic.

  • By light rail

    With the festival located in Newcastle Civic precinct, light rail is the perfect choice for travelling into the city. The services run between Newcastle Interchange and Newcastle Beach. Hop off at Civic light rail stop for City Hall, University of Newcastle NUSpace, Press Book House, Watt Street Gallery, Civic Playhouse and the Conservatorium of Music Harold Lobb Concert Hall. The light rail operates 7 days a week between 5am and 1am with services running; - Every 7.5 minutes between 7am and 7.30pm on weekdays - Every 15 minutes at all other times.

  • By train

    The Hunter, Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Killingworth and Port Stephens train lines connect surrounding areas with the Newcastle CBD. Simply get of at Newcastle Interchange and travel on the light rail to the Civic for City Hall, University of Newcastle NUSpace, Press Book House, Watt Street Gallery, Civic Playhouse and the Conservatorium of Music Harold Lobb Concert Hall.

  • By bus

    Routes 11, 12, 13 and 14 have Newcastle covered with services: - Every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm on weekdays - Every 30 minutes between 7am and 7pm on weekends. Routes 10X, 22, 23 24, 26, 28 and 47, connect suburbs with key CBD locations. For routes 11, 13 and 23, hop off at the bus stop at University House on King Street for a short walk to City Hall, University of Newcastle NUSpace, Press Book House, Watt Street Gallery and the Conservatorium of Music Harold Lobb Concert Hall. For route 14, hop off at King St after Darby St and for all other routes, connect with the light rail at Newcastle Interchange.

  • On Demand

    Book a ride with Newcastle Transport On Demand and they will drive you where you need to go for the cost of a public transport fare. Newcastle Transport will pick you up from a point close to your home and take you to a designated point close to your destination within the On Demand area, which covers Charlestown, Dudley, Whitebridge, Gateshead, Redhead, Warners Bay, Mount Hutton, Windale, Tingira Heights, Eleebana, Croudace Bay, Valentine and Belmont areas.

  • By bike

    Bike racks are located at Burwood St, University of Newcastle NUSpace building and Laman Street for those who wish to cycle to the Festival.

  • By ferry

    The ferry operates between Stockton and Queens Wharf with services every 15 minutes during peak periods and 20 minutes throughout the day and weekends. Connect with light rail at the Queens Wharf light rail stop to travel to Civic light rail stop.

  • Newcastle Taxis

    Bookings can be made by phoning 133 300 or book online at newcastletaxis.com.au.

What to do

Visit Newcastle

For more information about where to go and what to do during your stay see Visit Newcastle


Plan your trip

Newcastle Transport

Plan your trip or find out more at Newcastle Transport


Find a spot


Plan your parking near our event venues

Parking guide


There are a number of accommodation options close to the Festival site that will suit your budget, from Newcastle Beach YHA to the recently opened five-star Crystalbrook Kingsley. Rydges Newcastle is our long-time accommodation partner and is located on the harbourfront, a 300-metre walk from the Festival hub at Civic. We encourage you to book early.


Newcastle Writers Festival is making every effort to ensure our events are accessible to all members of the community. If you can’t find the information you need on this page, email access@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au and we will do our best to find what you need.

  • Tickets & accessible seating

    Accessible Seating Requests

    If you require seating in a specific area (aisle, etc) please select your seats with this in mind. Wheelchair seating is marked on the seating plan. You can also speak to Civic Theatre ticketing staff about your preferred options before you book. Contact them at (02) 4929 1977 or via email . Prior to the Festival you can visit the Civic Theatre Ticket Counter, 375 Hunter Street Newcastle. During the Festival weekend, the ticket counter will be located in the Civic Theatre foyer.

    Please note: due to space/demand we cannot also reserve seats for others in your group because we need to ensure the most accessible seats are available for those who need them most.

    Assistance dogs such as guide dogs and hearing dogs are welcome.

    For free sessions, please email us at the above address and we will hold a seat for you and brief our ushers. We request that you arrive 15 minutes before the start of the session to be seated.

  • Auslan interpretation by request

    We will have an Auslan Interpreter available by request for specific sessions. These sessions are clearly marked in the program.

    To request an interpreter for these events please email access@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au

    You are also welcome to bring your own interpreter at no additional cost. Please email us to let us know so we ensure appropriate logistics are in place.

    Companion Card holders qualify for a complimentary ticket for their companion. Companion Cards will need to be presented on the day of the event.


  • Accessible parking and transport

    Accessible Parking spaces can be found at the following locations:

    Cnr King Street and Burwood Street (near Newcastle City Council).

    End of Burwood Street towards the Court.

    Auckland Street (between Hunter Street and King Street).

    Spaces are also provided in the carpark behind Newcastle Library accessed via Queen Street.

    A guide to Newcastle City Accessible Parking, including a map of parking spaces, can be found here.

    There are also accessible public transport options in Newcastle, including light rail. Further information regarding accessible public transport can be found here.

  • Wheelchair access

    City Hall
    Accessible entry to Newcastle City Hall is from the side entrances at Christie Place (off King Street, Newcastle) or via Wheeler Place.

    The elevator to Level 1 and 2 is located at the Wheeler Place (eastern) end of the building.

    There is a unisex accessible toilet facility (right hand transfer) located on Level 1 of Newcastle City Hall.  From the elevator turn left and then sharp left again, walk along the corridor approximately 15m and the door is on the right.

    Accessibility information for City Hall can be found here.

    Civic Theatre Foyer, Civic Digest and Wheeler Place
    The Civic Theatre and Civic Digest Café (in the foyer of the theatre) are accessible on the ground floor. Accessible toilets are also located on the ground floor.

    Wheeler Place is fully accessible and the Civic Theatre accessible toilets are close by.

    Conservatorium of Music Harold Lobb Concert Hall
    The entire venue is wheelchair accessible. The Harold Lobb Concert Hall can be accessed via a ramp to the left of the main entrance. There are a limited number of wheelchair spaces. More seats are accessible with a single step for those with limited mobility. There is also an accessible toilet in the venue.

    The Press Book House and Newcastle Comedy Club
    Unfortunately, these venues are not easily accessible. The Book House is at ground level, however it has a standard-width door and two single steps on entry. There are steep stairs at the Comedy Club.

    University of Newcastle NUSpace

    University of Newcastle NUSpace sessions held on the second and third floor of the building are accessible by lift. When you enter NUSpace from Hunter Street, the lifts are towards the back of the building to your right, past the escalators and toilets.

    Civic Playhouse

    When you enter Civic Playhouse on Hunter St, there is a lift up to the Foyer Level and accessible toilets on the Foyer Level.

    Watt Space Gallery

    Watt Space Gallery is fully accessible with ramp access and reserved parking.

  • Assistance for people who are blind or vision impaired

    Dog Guides and other assistance dogs are, of course, welcome at all Festival events and venues.

    Volunteers will be on hand and can lend assistance if needed. Please contact us via email at access@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au should you wish to arrange any assistance or have any queries.

  • Hearing loop sessions

    All sessions held in the Concert Hall in City Hall on Saturday and Sunday will have an induction hearing loop system available. Please note this is in City Hall, not the Harold Lobb Concert Hall in the Conservatorium of Music.

  • Audio and video recordings

    After the Festival, some events will be made available as podcasts or videos. Monitor our website and also subscribe to our YouTube channel and Spotify feed.

More information and assistance

If you would like assistance to attend the festival, please email us at access@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au

If you would like to include your phone number, we can call you or respond via text to discuss your needs, at a time that is convenient to you. We will have volunteers able to provide assistance, but places are limited. If you have any other queries please don’t hesitate to contact us by emailing the above address.