Newcastle’s Famous Tram has been a city icon for over 25 years and, although my kids love riding the new electric trams up and down Hunter Street, I decided to treat them to a city tour aboard the historic tram knowing that they would love it.
The tram operates Monday to Friday and most weekends, with 1 1/4 hour tours at 11am and Chris has been the tram’s driver/tour guide for the last five years. Booking a tour was a breeze. I just rang ahead to ensure that there were seats available on a day and time that suited us. We were asked to meet at the tram 10 minutes before departure. You can also turn up at the scheduled departure time without booking ahead, but a seat is not guaranteed, so calling ahead is advised and preferred.
The tram tours depart from Wharf Road, Queens Wharf and arriving early gave us a chance to have a coffee and a bite to eat nearby at The Signal Box and a toilet stop at the nearby public toilets (this is essential with kids, as there are no toilet stops on the tram tour).
Chris was waiting when we arrived and, prior to departure, gave us a brief history of the tram and answered some questions we had. We learnt that Newcastle’s Famous Tram was built brand new in 1994 to replicate the original working tram from 1923.
The tour starts with a full lap of the Newcastle V8 Supercars circuit, before taking in the significant landmarks of the city including the Obelisk, Fort Scratchley and Christ Church Cathedral.
As we weaved our way through King Edward Park, Chris pointed out a local lady walking her pet sheep. This was a highlight for the kids!
Chris provides full commentary during the tour, from information on historical sights and some of the city’s grand mansions to recent changes in the city. We all learnt something new about Newcastle on the tour.
The tram stops at Strezlecki lookout to allow a 10-minute walk out along the ANZAC walk, which the kids loved.
Back on board, we were driven along Newcastle’s stunning beaches and back to Queens Wharf via Newcastle West.
Newcastle’s Famous tram can seat 28 passengers and its beautiful timber features, including timber seats, and replica paintwork provides great photo opportunities.
If you have friends or family visiting from out of town, a city tour aboard Newcastle’s Famous Tram would be the perfect activity and a wonderful way to showcase our city. Our kids loved the novelty of riding on the ‘old-fashioned tram’, so it’s an especially great activity for families with children of all ages.
If a guided tour of your home town doesn’t appeal to you, Chris informed us that he has also started doing progressive dinner tours aboard Newcastle’s Famous Tram (which would make for a fantastic date night!). The tram is also available for special events such as weddings, school formals, birthday parties and winery tours.
Good to Know
Cost: The City Tour costs $25 for adults and $5 for children.
Bookings: Book via phone 0418 307 166 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Departure: Newcastle’s Famous Tram departs from Queens Wharf (150 Wharf Road, Newcastle)
More Information: Newcastle’s Famous Tram website
Meg is a stay-at-home mum whose interests include gardening, reading, writing poetry and not staying at home. A born and bred Novocastrian, Meg enjoys camping and travelling with her family and weekend road trips to discover new and interesting places. Meg has two energetic kids and is passionate about kids having the opportunity to be outdoors as often as possible.