Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Charlestown Executive Apartments, Newcastle.

Modern, spacious, quiet, and with all the comforts of home, Charlestown Executive Apartments is an example of the kind of accommodation sadly lacking in Australia until a few years ago.

We have come to Newcastle to cycle the Fernleigh Track rail trail and explore one of Australia's most beautiful and under-rated cities. From our home in Sydney, Newcastle is less than two hours by road - the perfect destination for a couple of nights away.


Check-in


We arrive mid-afternoon after a drive along the scenic route past Tuggerah Lake and Lake Macquarie. Check-in is seamless and welcoming. Both on the phone, a few days earlier and at the reception desk, Maddie and Laura are pleasant, efficient and helpful. 

Our Apartment


We are staying in a one bedroom apartment. It feels a little empty at first but once we have deposited our bags and all the bits and pieces we seem to carry around with us it transforms into a home away from home. There is a separate bedroom and living area, a full kitchen and a laundry complete with our own washing machine and dryer. The sunny, spacious balcony makes a perfect spot for breakfast.


The one bedroom apartments have a large living room.

The kitchen is modern and well-equipped.

Although there is a good selection of reasonably priced restaurants and eateries within a couple of minutes walk, the kitchen is a godsend after a hard day's cycling when the last thing we want to do is go out to eat - and I never under-estimate the value of a washing machine and dryer. When our boys were young, and we took long family road trips, I would have loved to have had our own personal laundry facilities. Even now, being able to throw our gear into the wash at the end of the day is a great luxury.

The towels are fluffy, the linen is crisp and the bed is comfortable.

Location


The Charlestown Executive Apartments are in a quiet residential street - far enough from the Pacific Highway that there is no traffic noise but close enough to be within an easy ten-minute drive of Newcastle CBD.


The park across the street.

Charlestown Square Shopping Centre with a Coles supermarket, speciality stores, banks, cafes and restaurants is two minutes walk.



The balcony is perfect for an open-air breakfast overlooking the park.

Facilities


The Charlestown Executive Apartments have Studio 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. For a full list of facilities in each apartment click  - here

All apartments - 

  • Fully equipped kitchen (kitchenette in the studio apartments)
  • King double and king single beds which can be joined together or separated
  • Every bedroom has its own bathroom.
  • Air conditioning
  • Patio balconies with outdoor furniture
  • Foxtel
  • Weekly servicing and a daily fresh towel service.
  • Undercover parking in a secure carpark
  • Free wi-fi up to 400 mb per day

1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments - 

  • Self-contained laundry with washing machine and dryer

Nearby Attractions 


The Fernleigh Track


The Fernleigh Track is a 15 kilometre long walking and cycling trail running from Belmont near Lake Macquarie to Adamstown, a southern suburb of Newcastle. Built along the route of a former railway line, the track runs through a bushland corridor with access points to the surrounding suburbs. 

Charlestown Executive Apartments are a couple of kilometres from the access point at Whitebridge. With several hours of daylight left after we check in, we load the bikes on the car and join the trail at Whitebridge for a pleasant afternoon's cycle.

The start of the track at the site of the old Belmont Railway station.

For much of its length, the track runs through a bushland corridor.

Lake Macquarie City - 7 kms to the south-west


Lake Macquarie just 7 kms south-west of Charlestown Executive Apartments is the largest coastal saltwater lake in Australia. As well as boating, fishing, surfing and exploring the area's heritage listed towns there are a myriad of scenic spots to picnic, walk and cycle. The 9 km Warners Bay Foreshore shared path, running along the lake foreshore, is a great short cycle for families.

Hunter Stadium - 8km to the north


I confess - I am married to a football (I'm not allowed to call it 'soccer') tragic. Hunter Stadium is hardly top of my list of must see nearby attractions but David thinks the apartments will be a great home base next time his beloved Sydney FC play the Newcastle Jets.

Newcastle CBD - 10 kms to the north-east


Once famous for coal mines and steelworks, Newcastle has come a long way since its days as a centre of heavy industry. The coal mines have been relocated to the Hunter Valley and the doors of the steelworks closed for the final time in 1999. Today Newcastle is modern, vibrant and picturesque with much of the harbour foreshore revitalised with waterside apartments, cafes, parks and walkways.

Apartments, cafes and marinas sprinkle the Hunter River Foreshore

With a full day to do nothing but explore, David and I park the car in the free parking lot at Nobbys Beach Reserve and set out to cycle along the waterfront as far as the path will take us. When we run out of cycle path we retrace our steps and catch the ferry across to Stockton where cute little heritage cottages rub shoulders with modern mansions. Watch out for future posts on this cycle and the Fernleigh Track.

A Stockton mansion

Somehow we manage to miss the new and spectacular Newcastle Memorial Walk. It was opened on the 25th of April (ANZAC Day) this year in commemoration of the centenary of the landings at Gallipoli by Australian and New Zealand troops. The multi-million dollar construction budget clearly had very little allocation for signs. We drive straight past without realising it is there.

Steel sculptures on the Memorial Walk


Luckily I get chatting to the owner's wife as we are checking out of our apartment and she mentions how stunning the view from the raised steel walkway is. Even with her detailed directions, David and I struggle to find it the next day. At one stage we park less than a hundred metres away and still can't find it, however a combination of google and our host's advice to head to Strzelecki Lookout get us there in the end. The walkway is suspended above the ocean cliffs between the lookout and Bar Beach and is truly spectacular. It can be accessed from either end but if you want to avoid a long stairway at the Bar Beach end start the walkway from Strzelecki Lookout at the southern end of High Street just past where it intersects with Memorial Drive and Cliff Street.


Steps at the Bar Beach end of the walkway

Tips and Tricks and Things To Know 


  • Ask for a room facing the street if you want a view of the park.
  • If you have accessibility issues request a room directly accessible from the lifts. Some of the rooms require you to go up a small flight of stairs.


Note: David and I received a complimentary two night stay at the Charlestown Executive Apartments

33 comments:

  1. We usually stay with family when we visit Newcastle but I think now with 2 kids we might need something like this.

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    1. I just wish Australia had had more serviced apartments like this when our boys were young. We used to all squash in to third rate motel rooms. Holidays were still fun but they would have been a lot less stressful in this kind of accommodation.

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    2. Oh yes, I am very thankful for serviced apartments! Thanks for linking up to #wednesdaywanderlust - please enjoy the break but feel free to join in each week on social media

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  2. I've actually never been to Newcastle!

    I love the apartment - very nice and love that the kitchen's big cos occasionally in rental places they're tiny!

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    1. Newcastle is lovely. So many people of my generation think of it as just a coal port and steelworks town and don't realise how much it has changed. I can highly recommend it.

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  3. Just seeing your pictures and the sights to see, I feel relaxed already. I have never stayed there, only ever past through #IBOT TEAM

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    1. Next time you'll have to spend a few nights, rent a bike (they have a bike share scheme) and cycle along the waterfront.

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  4. I've spent a lot of time in Newcastle because my boyfriend is from there (and lived there the first 10 months we were dating), and it's a really great city! I haven't yet done the Fernleigh Track, but it looks great!

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    1. The Fernleigh Track is a great, easy cycle and riding around Stockton is lots of fun.

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  5. Looks like a nice spot but not sure I would make it back up all them stairs!

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    1. Haha - Normally we would see the stairs as exercise but David wasn't 100% the day we went so we joined the walk at the other end and stopped before the stairs.

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  6. I love a good serviced apartment! Particularly with a family, they are much better than a hotel room. The Fernleigh Track looks enticing too :-)

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  7. I have never visited Newcastle before, but the apartment looks like a great place for families! #WednesdayWanderlust

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    1. It is perfect for families. Kitchens and laundries may not be a lot of fun on holidays but they make life a lot easier when you are travelling with children.

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  8. Newcastle is the best kept secret in Australia- until now! Lindfields, you've got a lot to answer for! :-)

    I'm from NYC, and would not live anywhere else!

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    1. It has changed so much since I was a child when it was just thought of as a steelworks town. Lots of people don't appreciate how lovely it has become.

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  9. I've never been to Newcastle, although I would love to go one day.

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    1. It is a really lovely city and so much easier to get around than a place like Sydney.

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  10. The Charlestown Executive Apartments in Newcastle look like a place I'd want to stay. It sounds like serviced apartments in Australia are similar to what are called Condo Resorts in the US. I agree with you that having a kitchen and laundry room is a godsend, especially if you like doing some active sports like hiking, biking or snorkeling.

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    1. I have never heard the term Condo Resort but I think we may have stayed in a few in our US travels. David loves the US and we have travelled there a lot. It's a great place for combining road trips and leisure cycling. Hotels can be lovely but when I come home after a hard day on the tourist trail sometimes I just want the comforts of home.

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  11. I haven't thought about Charlestown as a place to stay - had a lot of fun on the foreshore once, but that was just a daytrip from the Hunter on the way home...

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    1. Haha - We have done it the other way around. Stayed in Newcastle and day tripped to the Hunter.

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  12. I like serviced apartments, they give you some flexibility with ransom things like dining and even doing the laundry. Will keep these in mind when we visit relatives in Newcastle

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    1. Serviced apartments save us a fortune on room service. After a hard day cycling/touristing we often just don't want to go out to eat.

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  13. I've not stayed in Newscastle, but apartments are our favourite accommodation. The war memorial and staircase look amazing.

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    1. The Memorial Walk is amazing. The views are stunning but like all war memorials it is also sad and thought provoking. We have two sons in their twenties. I can't begin to imagine how hard it must have been for all the young men and their parents who lost their lives in such senseless slaughter.

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  14. The apartment looks very comfortable. Looks like a great place to stay while relaxing (or being adventurous) around the beach.

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  15. Looks simple, but comfortable. I like renting apartments rather than hotel rooms. Most of the time I pay about the same price for more space and more comfort. Newcastle looks very nice. I'd like to visit it someday. Thanks for joining #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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    1. I agree. We usually find that serviced apartments are far better value for money than hotels.

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  16. i like these hotel/apartment hybrids. Very handy, especially with kids. wish we had more of them here in the US. thanks for joining #wkendtravelinspiration

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    1. We tend to stay in the chains in the US like Homewood Suites which have basic kitchen facilities but they usually aren't quite as nice unless you get lucky and find one which is brand new.

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