Newcastle holds a variety of cultural events and festivals. The Newcastle Regional Show is held in the Newcastle Showground annually. The
Mattara festival, founded in 1961, is the official festival of Newcastle with a more traditional 'country fair' type program that combines a
parade, rides, sporting events, band competitions and portrait and landscape painting exhibitions. The Newcastle Jazz Festival is held
across three days in August, and attracts performers and audiences from all over Australia.
Newcastle has an active music culture, as well as a Conservatorium of Music which is part of the University of Newcastle. It continues to
support local bands and has a large underground music scene. The members of Silverchair, the highly successful Australian band, hail from
Newcastle, as does the Australian band The Screaming Jets.
Newcastle has a variety of smaller theatres, but the main theatre in the CBD is now the Civic, at Wheeler Place, (seating capacity about 1500),
one of Australia's great historic theatres built during 1929 in Art Deco style. It hosts a wide range of musicals, plays, concerts, dance and other
events each year.
For a walk through Newcastle’s history you can tour Fort Scratchley Historic Site, with its commanding position guarding the Hunter River
Estuary. Overlooking Nobbys Beach and lighthouse, the Fortress has a long and interesting military history. Another famous historic site and a
survivor of the Japanese submarine attack of WWII and the 1989 Newcastle Earthquake, Christ Church Cathedral is a short car ride away. The
city’s ‘ Castle’ boasts exquisite architecture, beautiful grounds and wide views of Newcastle harbour. Revisit Newcastle’s convict past with a
visit to the convict-hewn Bogey Hole, built around 1820 for the personal use of Commandant James T. Morriset. Located beneath a rocky
prominence at the foot of King Edward Park, the Bogey Hole gets battered during heavy seas.