If you want to be near the city but like the beach life, Merewhether, Bar Beach, The Junction, Cooks Hill are good areas - also Honeysuckle is a great harbour side location. Close to the city and currently being redeveloped from industrial to residential is Carrington and Maryville. Newcastle is a great city and going through a big change for the better. Good cafes, bars and restaurants and very family oriented.
Spudz of Avoca