Newcastle, Australia: A Beautiful Place to be Murdered.

Travel to Newcastle Australia

The city I grew up in is apparently Australia’s most underrated city and one of the top ten cities to visit in 2011 according to Lonely Planet. (So now it’s 2012, don’t bother?) I find it humorous Newcastle made the cut, even more-so it’s sandwiched between Delhi and Chiang Mi.

Travel to newcastle australia cheap deals packages

Travel to Newcastle Australia

Lonely Planet may believe the city is underrated because it sits in the shadow of its flamboyant and attention seeking neighbour, Sydney, (150km south). The reason for me, is that I found it to be much like a forty-year old – from the right angle it can look good, but in general its rough, under appreciated and has a face so over worked it looks like it stepped out of The Real Housewives. But I am wiser now and on my return I realised this – Newcastle isn’t that bad.

It’s not the miles of beaches, cafes, previous visits by the Queen, the short drive to the Hunter Valley wineries or quick access to Sydney I am interested in, but rather this disturbing fact – Newcastle has a seedy murderous underbelly that has gone relatively unnoticed. The many beautiful cliffs overlooking downtown beaches are graveyards to suicide jumpers, an unassuming Dr’s office was the scene of the “staking” of a woman – between the legs and through the head; the famous murder of Leigh Leigh, whose body was found in sand dunes at Stockton Beach following a birthday party where she was raped and had her skull crushed. And this appears to be just the beginning:

BUDGET Travel to Newcastle Australia

Travel to Newcastle Australia

A 7-year-old girl starved to death at the hands of her 49-year-old father. She was 9kg (19lbs) at death. Her father lost his appeal against his so-called “severe” 16 year gaol sentence.

A 31-year-old was charged after stuffing a murdered woman in the trunk of a car. The car wasn’t found for 2 weeks.

The Newcastle Earthquake – the first recorded earthquake in Australian history on 28 December 1989, killed 13 people and injured 162.

The case of Cheryl Anne Burchell who was murdered on the banks of Throsby Creek at Carrington 24 years ago in 1987 which remains unsolved, was recently reopened.

Timothy Daly, 26, was shot dead on 16 July, 1911 and was found in a pool of blood next to a revolver, a witness came forward alleging it was two men who shot him and one panicked – leaving the revolver at the scene.

A husband confessed at Newcastle Police Station, to the beating of his 43 year old wife and mother of 4 with a tomahawk and then slitting her throat ear to ear with a razor blade in 1927.

A son was found mentally unstable and not guilty of murdering his 52-year-old father. He was stabbed 20 times in the head, back, chest and torso with a 15cm long carving knife.

A 29-year-old teacher and his 22-year-old brother were shot dead by their 53-year-old neighbour who was still reeling over loud music being played at a party.

A man called the police saying he was going to harm his family. By the time police got there, the man, 39, and his estranged wife, 42, were dead and their two daughters (not home) were left orphaned.

The Maitland Gaol has housed some of Australia’s worst criminals and serial killers including Ivan Milat – The Backpacker Killer

And the list continues. Newcastle does have things to offer which I am sure I will eventually explore, but I always find the darker side far more interesting.  Have you been to Newcastle? What did you think?

Also check: A Backstage Pass – Sydney Opera House Tourism

Travel to Newcastle Australia



  1. I stayed overnight in Newcastle on our roadtrip earlier this year. We stayed in a beautiful terrace we found through Airbnb. Newcastle overall though gave me this gritty, steampunky vibe, with its old architecture, a lot of train tracks and the occasional pile of coal lying around.

    • It does have that feel to it – almost a gritty industrial feel with a backdrop of a some pretty beaches. I think the city has moved forward somewhat – it used to be worse; dirtier, edgier, grittier. Now, its not as bad but its being overdeveloped unnecessarily. Shame. I hope you enjoyed your stay there anyway! 🙂

  2. Pingback: How to Save Money on Mackinac Island – 2013 Season | Travelling Assassin

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