Monday 1 November 2010

Newcastle beats Cairns (so does New York, Tangier, Tel Aviv, Delhi and even Wellington)

Cairns, let alone Queensland, doesn't even rate a mention in Lonely Planet's 2010 world's best cities.

New York tops the poll, followed by Tangier, Tel Aviv, and Wellington at number four.
Valencia, Iquitos, Ghent, and Delhi are next. Newcastle in New South Wales is awarded 9th place, just ahead of Chiang Mai.

"Newcastle: Is it Australia’s most underrated city?" Lonely Planet asks. "Newcastle flies under the radar of Aussies and international travellers in part because it’s overshadowed by its bigger, bolder and better-known sibling, Sydney, 150km south. But, at around one-tenth the size, Australia’s second-oldest city has Sydney-like assets: surf beaches, a sun-drenched subtropical climate, and diverse dining, nightlife and arts."

Newcastle is the sixth largest city in Australia and is no longer known at the 'Steel City'. There's great beaches and and amazing harbour, historical buildings and cosmopolitan eateries. Cairns could learn a thing or two here. Our harbour is an eyesore, we (read Council and State Government) rip down heritage buildings willy-nilly, and the restaurants are priced so only a few can afford.

Lonely Planet say that Newcastle ideally located, less than an hour’s drive west to the Hunter Valley wineries, south to sailboat-filled Lake Macquarie, north to whale-watching and sharkfeeding at Port Stephens and to sandboarding at Stockton Beach.

New York takes the top prize, saying that since 9/11, the World Trade Center’s site was closed-off, out-of-view, and a "painful gaping void."

"This year that changes, as the former WTC site finally reopens to the public with the National September 11 Memorial, a 6-acre, tree-filled plaza with 30ft-deep waterfalls at the footprint of the former towers, rimmed by the name of each victim and illuminated at night," Lonely Planet says.

At number 4, Wellington, New Zealand, gets a "Cool-with-a-capital-C."

"Crammed with more bars, cafes and restaurants per capita than New York, and a slew of gourmet producers including some 10 independent coffee roasteries," the review says. "Year-round you’ll find arts and cultural events in abundance. Likewise, its film industry, ‘Wellywood’, centred on the Miramar Peninsula, is booming thanks in large part to the success of Wellingtonian Sir Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies)."

"This little capital will be front-and-centre on the world stage in 2011 when New Zealand hosts the Rugby World Cup."


stinhambo said...

Cairns is run by administrators, not visionaries.

We should employ a team of city planners (much like Perth have done for their foreshore redevelopment) and tell it like it is.

Only then can we look at this mess objectively and start table reasoned requests for infrastructure to tate and federal government.

Until then we are destined to a life of Ukelele festivals, duplicate and useless development bodies (TTNQ, Advance Cairns etc) and a lack of innovation in Tourism and industye diversification.

Still, I love it here :)

Warren Entsch said...

The Meriam ukelele man with harp and shaker at Rusty's is a classy act.

Green coconuts for peace. He is zogo le our leader, wa?

Be worth a few hundred million for local economy.

KitchenSlut said...

Ah my home city and many comments here are correct however Cairns needs to grow closer to Newsastle size to rate?!

I again disagree on the restaurant comments. Last time i dined with family at the refurbished Honeysuckle industrial precinct on the Newcastle foreshore I actually walked away thinking it was rubbish compared to Cairns?