MERGA Conference 2023
The land and waters of Newcastle, 'Muloonbinba - the place of sea ferns', are acknowledged as the country of the Awabakal and Worimi peoples, whose culture is celebrated in community events, place naming, signage and artworks. Emeritus Professor John Maynard, proud Worimi man and Australia's foremost Indigenous historian, describes the historical and culturally significant abundance that is synonymous with this region and its peoples in his unforgettable delivery as part of the community event, Ngarrama (2022, Wollotuka Institute).
Named as a National Geographic Traveler 'Smart City' in 2017, and appropriately described as 'where the city meets the sea', Newcastle is a lively port city on a breathtaking stretch of Australia's coastline. If you haven't been here before, or are a regular visitor, there is always more to explore and discover in this place known for its historical abundance and ever-evolving opportunities.
Some of the things you will need to expect when visiting Newcastle are:
- A trip to the beach. This city boasts some of the world's most acclaimed breaks and attracts international surfers annually at its acclaimed 'Surfest'. Beach culture is just part and parcel of being a Novocastrian, so be sure to get your dose of 'sand, surf, and sun' at one of our many beautiful beaches whilst visiting.
- Unlimited outdoor activities. With its year-round favourable climate and laidback lifestyle, this city is congruous with the outdoor adventure. From sub-rainforest walks through Glenrock State Conservation Area, sunrise meditations and whale watching on the beach at Merewether, SUP on Throsby Creek Carrington, and picnicking at King Edward Park, you will be spoiled for choice with things to do while attending our conference, making a couple of extra days stay an unofficial pre-requisite.
- Vibrant culture. Whether you want to see the latest installation at Newcastle's Art Gallery - located within a short walk from the conference venue, attend one of the many spectacular theatre productions next door at the iconic Civic Theatre or Playhouse, or escape to the Hunter Valley wine country for a boutique experience, we have certainly got you covered for making your visit that bit 'extra' and memorable. The conference will also be running alongside the city's annual NAIDOC festival, making this an opportune time to learn and engage more with the region's rich and living Indigenous culture.
- See our Travel & Accommodation page for more ideas. For all things related to Attending a conference in Newcastle you can also have a look at the University of Newcastle's dedicated site.
The City of Newcastle has created this site to help our visitors immerse as much as they can in the local culture and beautiful surrounds, so definitely take a moment to bookmark your itinerary before you travel!